Glenda S. Roberts

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Research Program and Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies Waseda University, Tokyo
robertsglendas [at]
(+81-3) 3286-3877
(+81-3) 5272-4533
Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, Cornell University, 1986
Area of Expertise: 

Qualitative research on family and gender issues, work/life balance, contemporary Japanese society, anthropology of work, immigration policy.

Glenda S. Roberts joined the EWC as a post-doctoral fellow in 1989, working on issues of Japan’s aging society, in particular studying the role of government programs to facilitate the work of senior citizens in the local community.  Following appointments at the University of Hawaii’s Center for Japanese Studies (Associate Director, 1991-1995), and the Department of Anthropology (1988-89 and 1995-96), she obtained a Visiting Associate Professor post at the University of Tokyo, Institute for Social Science (1996-98). Then she became Associate Professor and later Professor at Waseda University GSAPS from 1998 to the present. She is now Professor at GSAPS, where she teaches courses on international migration, the Anthropology of Work, Gender, Social Anthropology, and Contemporary Japan. Her most recent work focuses on a comparison of work/life balance and well-being for families in Paris and Tokyo.


From April 2013 she has served as member on the 6th and 7th Deliberative Committee for Immigration Control Policy, Ministry of Justice, Japan.

Other Service:

Dr. Roberts is President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) of the American Anthropological Association, 2017-2019.

Dr. Roberts is a member of the board of the Abe Fellowship, since 2017.

She served on the Fulbright Commission in Tokyo from 2009 to 2014.

Visiting Scholar Positions:

University of Hawaii at Manoa and East-West Center, Honolulu, Summer 2018.

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 2017-2018

Sciences Po, Paris. 2017-18.

Free University of Berlin, December, 2015

University of Vienna Department of Japanese Studies, January, 2015

Yale University Department of Anthropology, 2006-07.

Related Events

SEAA Regional Meeting to be held at GSAPS. 2-3 August, 2019:

Current research:

“Work/Life Balance and Well-being for Families in Paris and Tokyo.”

“Inclusion and Integration of Diversity:  Voices from Employers, their newcomer migrant workers, and their communities in Japan.”

Recent Publications:

2017.  “An Immigration Policy by Any Other Name: Semantics of Immigration to Japan” in Social Science Japan Journal,  jyx033, Oxford University Press.

2017. “Urban Salarywomen in Contemporary Japan,”  December, EHESS/FFJ:

2016.  “Japan’s Evolving Family: Voices from Young Urban Adults Navigating Change,” East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Member, International Editorial Board, Social Science Japan Journal, 2009—current

Member, International Editorial Board, Contemporary Japan