Silke Werth

Ph.D. Candidate
Modern and Contemporary Japanese Culture and Society

Research Focus:

Silke Werth is specializing in the field of modern and contemporary Japan with a focus on the global mobility of young Japanese adults. Relying on traditional and virtual ethnographic research methods, she investigates how young “uncertain” Japanese migrants place themselves in today’s world and how they connect mobility with maturation. Silke is particularly interested in the global circulation of people, diaspora theory, changing work situations of youth (i.e. “Brazilianization”), social structure, influence of natural and man-made disasters on people’s lives (3/11 and Fukushima), as well as questions of identity formation, maturity, nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, and class.

Ph.D. Dissertation:
Maturation Goes Global: On the Experience of Uncertainty among Japanese Young Adults

Silke Werth is fluent in English, Japanese, German, and Italian.

Academic History

  • M.A. Heidelberg University, Germany
    • M.A. Thesis: NEET in Japan – Not in Education, Employment or Training: Young Adults Outside the Workforce as “New” Phenomena and the Role of the Media

Additional study:

  • 2003-2004 Study Abroad, Tokyo Gakugei University

Additional experience and information:

  • June 2012: Graduate Student Assistant responsible for logistics and co-coordination of UCSB-Japan Foundation Summer Institute “Modes of Japanese Multiculturalism: Coexistence and Marginality,” June 20-24, 2012
  • Fall 2009 – Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS-UCSB)

Teaching Experience


  • Winter 2012 – Japanese Language 2 – Dr. Shinagawa
  • Summer 2011 – Japanese Language 1 – Dr. Yamauchi
  • Fall 2010 – Japanese Language 4 – Dr. Shinagawa
  • Summer 2010 – Japanese Language 3 – Takara Nobutaka
  • Spring 2010 – Japan 40: Anthropology of Japan – Dr. lewallen
  • Winter 2010 – Japan 63: Sociology of Japan – Dr. Frühstück
  • Fall 2009 – Japanese Language 4 – Dr. Sugawara

Teaching Associate:

  • Summer 2010 – Japan 150: Globalizing Japan: Culture and Society


Honors and Awards:

  • 2/2014 – 6/2014: Japan Foundation Long-Term Research Fellowship
  • 1/2013 – 4/2013: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Grant
  • Spring 2012: UCSB Japan Foundation IPS Graduate Studies Fellowship
  • Spring 2011: UCSB Japan Foundation IPS Graduate Studies Fellowship
  • Winter 2011: UCSB Japan Foundation IPS Graduate Studies Fellowship
  • April 2011: UCSB Residence Hall Association Outstanding TA Award



  • “Not in Education, Employment, or Training: Japan’s ‘NEET-Question.’ Views of a Social Phenomenon.” In JAPAN 2008 Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, ed. Iris Wieczorek. Berlin: Vereinigung für sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung, 2008, 267-291.

Conference Papers:

  • 6/8/2013: “Going global: An-, Ein-, und Aussichten junger Japaner im Ausland.” (Going global: Opinions, Insight and prospects of young Japanese abroad). Invited talk, Japanology Department of Heidelberg University, Germany.
  • 3/7 – 3/9/2012: “Self and Society Among Japanese Sojourners in Santa Barbara: On ‘Lifestyle Migrants,’ ‘Floaters,’ and ‘Subcultural Migrants.’” Paper presented at 9th EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies) Ph.D. Workshop. Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 6/22/2012: “Maturation Goes Global: Self and Society Among Japanese Sojourners in Santa Barbara.” Paper presented at Japan Foundation Summer Institute 2012, “Modes of Japanese Multiculturalisms: Coexistence and Marginality.” UCSB.
  • 11/24/2007: “Not in Education, Employment or Training-NEET in Japan. Nichterwerbstätigkeit junger Erwachsener als ‘neues’ Phänomen und die Rolle der Medien.” Paper presented at Annual Conference, German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF). Berlin, Germany.


  • Dr. Sabine Frühstück, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies
  • Dr. Howard Winant, Department of Sociology
  • Dr. ann-elise lewallen, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies