Born in Kobe, Japan, Dr. Podolsky spent 11 years in England and France before returning to Japan for high-school, undergraduate and graduate studies. She came to Canada in 1987 to pursue a doctoral degree in Sociology (Ethnic Studies) at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1994.
Dr. Podolsky was an Associate Professor of Sociology at Kyoto Women’s University (2001-2008) and a lecturer at York University and Glendon College on Japanese culture and society (2008-2010). She is currently a Program Administrator of the Robert F. Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
Dr. Podolsky's areas of specialization include internationally mobile children and families, cross-cultural communication, cross-cultural socialization and child-rearing.
Understanding Japanese Society and Culture
There are arguably many paths to understanding a foreign culture. Dr. Podolsky will centre her talk on the concept of "family", as she has found that it is one of the most effective and interesting tools in gaining insight into Japanese society and culture. She will show how the concept has evolved over different historical periods, from the traditional "IE" ( which can be literally translated as "House") to what has been called the "postwar family system" n the latter part of the 20th century.
Dr. Podolsky will touch upon important demographic characteristics and their impact on family relationships, and give an overview of recent developments in the Japanese healthcare system aimed at addressing the challenges of a rapidly aging population.
This event is part of the Spring 2017 Speaker series.