Shoko Yoneyama

Dr Shoko Yoneyama

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Shoko Yoneyama is a sociologist and a qualified language (Japanese) teacher with 30 years of teaching and research experience at the University of Adelaide. Graduating from Tsuda College, she was the first recipient of an Australian Government Postgraduate Scholarship made available to students from four universities in Japan (Tokyo University, Waseda University, Rikkyo University, and Tsuda College). She obtained her PhD in sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, under the supervision of (Emeritus) Professor Yoshio Sugimoto, from whom she learned the methodology of comparative sociology, including quantitative research methods.

As a sociologist, Shoko is interested in how knowledge is created and may come to constitute the dominant discourse or method in a particular field. Her research critically interrogates dominant paradigms and foundations of knowledge, informed by her Japanese background and drawing on comparative perspectives (from Asia, in particular Japan).

Shoko has worked extensively in the field of sociology of education. Her first book: The Japanese High School: Silence & Resistance (Routledge, London 1999, 289pp) presents a comparative and critical study of student alienation in Japan & Australia and is notable for its attention to students’ own perspectives and subjectivities. It includes chapters on issues such as bullying: ‘Ijime: The Price for Super-conformity’, and school non-attendance: ‘Tokokyohi: Burnout or Resistance’.

Her most quoted work on bullying is: Yoneyama, Shoko & Naito, Asao (2003) 'Problems with the Paradigm: The School as a Factor in Understanding Bullying (with special reference to Japan)', British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(3):315-330. The pioneering nature of this paper has been widely recognised, playing a pivotal role in the formation of a new field of study which is now called critical bullying studies.

Dr Yoneyama was one of the keynote speakers at the World Anti-Bullying Forum 2019 in Dublin. Her presentation: ‘Connecting the Dots: Insights from Sociology and Cross Cultural Perspectives’ is available online. For the video link, see 'My Research' below.

In 2020, Shoko was appointed by UNESCO and the French Government as one of four members of the International Scientific Committee, responsible for overseeing the preparation of a joint UNESCO/French Government conference on school bullying to mark the first UN International Day Against Violence and Bullying (including Cyberbullying) at School. She also serves on the Scientific Committee for the 2021 World Anti-Bullying Forum to be held in Stockholm (or online if necessary).

Her research interests also include human-nature relationships in the age of the Anthropocene (marked by increasingly visible crises such as bushfires and the COVID-19 zoonotic pandemic, and the looming threat of climate change). Her second book: Animism in Contemporary Japan: Voices for the Anthropocene from Post-Fukushima Japan (2019, Routledge, London & New York, 250pp) presents the notion of ‘postmodern animism’ as a way of addressing nature & spirituality, which are twin blind-spots of modernity and (modern) social scientific knowledge, and are essential for rethinking human-nature relationships today.

Dr Yoneyama has been invited to give a keynote speech on this topic at various international conferences, including the 2014 JAPAN UPDATE, a flagship international conference of the Australian National University, Japan Institute. For further details about her keynote & invited presentations, see 'Professional activities' below.

For the link to other publications, see 'My Research' and 'Publications' below.

As a sociologist, Dr Shoko Yoneyama is interested in how knowledge is created and may come to constitute the dominant discourse or method in a particular field. Her research critically interrogates dominant paradigms and foundations of knowledge, informed by her Japanese background and drawing on comparative perspectives (from Asia, in particular Japan).   

Dr Yoneyama has worked extensively in the field of sociology of education. Her first book: The Japanese High School: Silence & Resistance (Routledge, London 1999, 289pp) presents a comparative and critical study of student alienation in Japan & Australia from the students’ perspective. It includes a chapter on bullying: ‘Ijime: The Price for Super-conformity’, and a chapter on school non-attendance: ‘Tokokyohi: Burnout or Resistance’.

Her most quoted work on bullying is: Yoneyama, Shoko & Naito, Asao (2003) 'Problems with the Paradigm: The School as a Factor in Understanding Bullying (with special reference to Japan)', British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(3):315-330. As a sociologist, her analysis of school bullying covers a wide socio-cultural milieu as represented in: 'The Era of Bullying: Japan under Neoliberalism', The Asia-Pacific Journal - Japan Focus, 2008, 6(12).  Her more theoretical work is: 'Theorizing School Bullying: Insights from Japan', Confero - Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics, 2015, 3(2):1-37.

Dr Yoneyama was one of the keynote speakers at the World Anti-Bullying Forum 2019 in Dublin. Her presentation: ‘Connecting the Dots: Insights from Sociology and Cross-Cultural Perspectives’ can be viewed here. A paper based on the presentation will be available in the the WABF2019 anthology, ‘Politics of School Bullying: Teachers Matter’, in Robert Thornberg & Björn Johansson (eds), Always Take Action: Researchers on Results and Children’s Voices on the Journey from Bullied to Acknowledged, Friends Foundation, WABF, Stockholm, to be published later this year. 

In 2020, Dr Yoneyama was appointed by UNESCO and the French Government as one of four members of the International Scientific Committee, responsible for overseeing the preparation of a joint UNESCO/French Government conference on school bullying to mark the first UN International Day Against Violence and Bullying (including Cyberbullying) at School. She also serves on the Scientific Committee for the 2021 World Anti-Bullying Forum to be held in Stockholm (or online if necessary).

Shoko's research interests also include human-nature relationships in the age of the Anthropocene (marked by increasingly visible crises such as bushfires and the COVID-19 zoonotic pandemic, and the looming threat of climate change). Her second book: Animism in Contemporary Japan: Voices for the Anthropocene from Post-Fukushima Japan (2019, Routledge, Oxon & New York, 250pp) presents ‘postmodern animism’ as an effective way of addressing nature & spirituality, two blind-spots of social scientific knowledge, that are extremely important if we are to rethink human-nature relationships. 

Dr Yoneyama has been invited as keynote speaker at various international conferences to speak on this topic, including the 2014 JAPAN UPDATE, a flagship international conference of the Australian National University, Japan Institute. For further details about her keynote & invited speech, see Professional activities.

Her other publications on this topic include:

'Life-world: Beyond Minamata and Fukushima', The Asia-Pacific Journal - Japan Focus, 2012, 10(42) 

'Animism: A Grassroots Response to Socioenvironmental Crisis in Japan', Tessa Morris-Suzuki & Eun Jeong Soh (eds) New Worlds from Below: Informal Life Politics and Grassroots Action in Twenty-first Century Northeast Asia (2017, ANU Press, Canberra) pp. 99-130; and

Rethinking Human-Nature Relationships in the Time of Coronavirus: Postmodern Animism in Films by Miyazaki Hayao & Shinkai Makoto', The Asia-Pacific Journal - Japan Focus, 2020, 18(16)

2020         University of Adelaide, Barbara Kidman Women’s Fellowship ($30,000)

2015         Australian Government, Asia Bound, Gateway Japan Study Tour

2014         Australian Governmenet, New Columbo Plan, Gateway Japan Study Tour

2011         University of Adelaide, HUMSS FRAGS

2010         University of Adelaide, HUMSS Faculty Research Grants

Courses currently taught

Introduction to Asian Cultures (Level 1, ASIA1104)

Asia: Cultures & Identities (Level 2, ASIA2007, Coordinator)

Beyond Asian Ecological Crises (Level 3, ASIA3007, Coordinator)

Japanese 2B (Level 2, JAPN2202, Coordinator)

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 Co-Supervisor The relations between the Chinese Party-state and urban intellectual churches Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zhengying Shen
    2020 Co-Supervisor What is Meant by Contemporary Chinese Feminism? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Annie Elizabeth Drahos
    2020 Principal Supervisor A Biography of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery: Memorialisation of 'Foreigners' since the Meiji Era Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Toshiki Asakura-Ward
    2020 Principal Supervisor Agent Orange and Endogenous Development: Unheard Voices as Passage to Healing Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Ngoc Lan Tran
    2014 Principal Supervisor Post Fukushima discourse of Japanese Modernisation through Michiko Ishimure Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Maki Hammond
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Engaging the Angst of Unemployed Youth in Post-Industrial Japan: A Narrative Self-Help Approach Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Rie Kido
    2013 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Melancholic Things Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Katherine Tamiko Arguile
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Public participation in Japan's nuclear energy policy-forming process Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Philip Christopher White
    2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor A Future to Pine for: Transmodernist Movement in Japan Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Steven Michael Attwood
    2003 - 2006 Co-Supervisor Corporate Warriors or Company Animals?: An Investigation of Japanese Salaryman Masculinities Across Three Generations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Tomoko Hidaka
    2003 - 2011 Principal Supervisor The Unexpected Transformations of Chinese International Students in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Glen Stafford
    2002 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Reframing Futoko (School Non-Attendance) in Japan - A Social Movement Perspective Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss So Wong
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2015 - 2016 Council Asian Studies Association of Australia Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2002 - 2012 Editor Japanese Studies Australia
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2019 - 2019 KEYNOTE presentation at the 2019 World Anti-Bullying Forum in Dublin. Title: Connecting the Dots: Insights on School Bullying from Sociology and Cross-cultural Perspectives Dublin City University UNESCO, FRIENDS (Sweden), Dublin City University Ireland
    2016 - 2016 KEYNOTE presentation, Title: A Mysterious Connection between Totoro and Post-3.11 Japan Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of South Australia (JLTASA) Annual Conference Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of South Australia (JLTASA) Australia
    2016 - 2016 PANEL ORGANISER: Post-3.11 Japan: Exploring a New Narrative, Presenters: Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Adam Broinowski, and Shoko Yoneyama: ‘Animism: A Grassroots Response to Socio-Environmental Crisis in Contemporary Japan’; Discussant: Kent Anderson Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) Conference ANU Australia
    2015 - 2015 KEYNOTE presentation: Animism: A grassroots Response to Socio-Environmental Crisis in Contemporary Japan Survival Politics in East Asia: Socio-Environmental Crises and Grassroots Responses, ANU Australian National University Australia
    2014 - 2014 INVITED presentation: Civil Society Discourses on Life, Soul, and Nature: Re-thinking the Social Sciences for the Post-Fukushima Era JAPAN UPDATE. A flagship international conference for Australia-Japan Research Centre, ANU Japan Institute, Australian National University Australia
    2013 - 2013 INVITED presentation: Animism for Modernity: Lessons from Minamata for the Post-Fukushima World 183rd Nichibunken Evening Seminar on Japanese Studies, Nichibunken International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), Kyoto Japan
    2012 - 2012 INVITED presentation: Re-imagining Social Sciences for a New Modernity in Post-3/11 Japan Research School of Asia-Pacific Symposium, ANU: Experiencing Asia and the Pacific: New Visions of Region across Disciplinary Boundaries Australian National University (ANU) Australia
    2011 - 2011 INVITED presentation at the keynote session (with Professor Roger Goodman, Dean of Social Sciences, Oxford University). ‘Japan’s Education Revolution: Local and Global Dimensions': Title: Knowledge Crisis and a Search for Hybrid Experts for Post-3.11 Japan Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) The University of Melbourne Australia
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83135187
  • Email: shoko.yoneyama@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 3772
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Kenneth Wills, floor 6
  • Room: 6 38
  • Org Unit: Asian Studies

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