Department of Sociology

Department of Sociology
Department of Social Work

Many different mechanisms govern the societies we inhabit. Sociology provides a toolbox for understanding these mechanisms. In the Department of Sociology, students develop flexible and creative ways of thinking in small, personal classes. Our professors are leaders in their fields ready to guide each student as he or she pursues the issues of interest to them.

Department of Sociology

Key Features of the Department of Sociology

The study of sociology begins by examining a range of topics including inter-personal and inter-group relationships and the nature of rules and media from a diversity of perspectives. This foundational understanding of people and society gives graduates of our department the ability to contribute in many different situations.

4 years of small, personal classes that instill a living knowledge of sociology

Throughout four years of small group seminars, students improve their ability to read, listen, conduct research, and write. For example, the Sociology Basic Seminars teach strategies for not being misled by statistics or book reviews, interpreting the gender-related messages in magazines, and reading texts critically. From their 1st year, students acquire and test out knowledge of sociology that is truly useful.

3 specialized programs starting in the 2nd year

Students are allowed flexibility in selecting classes in order to focus on a research theme in their 3rd and 4th years. They join with others interested in similar areas of study to deepen their knowledge and interests through debate and discussion in their 2nd year.

  • Culture and Media Program
  • Students explore the production and communication of information and its impacts with the goal of understanding their own culture and that of others.

  • Life and Identity Program
  • Students build on an understanding of the connections between human life and society to investigate the nature of contemporary societies based on advanced science and technology.

  • Environment and Community Program
  • Students gain an understanding of the connections between events in their everyday lives and the broader community, city, and world, while also developing the practical skills needed to create new communities.

    A field-work centered approach that nurtures the skills and spirit of on-the-ground research

    The pleasure of sociology lies in going out into the field to identify issues, make observations, ask questions, and apply knowledge learned in the classroom. In courses related to social researcher certification, students incrementally acquire the skills and spirit of sociological research starting in their 1st year.

    Seminars of How to Express Oneself taught by media professionals

    Faculty and visiting lecturers working in broadcasting, publishing, and related fields teach this course on visual and text-based forms of expression. Students deepen their understanding by creating works of media themselves.

    “Internal Internationalization” Project

    This joint project by the Faculty of Sociology and the Center for Liberal Arts envisions a peaceful society that embraces people from many countries. It aims to deepen understanding of the cultures, educational systems, and policies of immigrants to Japan, and to educate “Multicultural Symbiosis Facilitators” who help build meaningful relationships between people with roots in a diversity of countries and cultures.

    Assistance in attaining the Certificate of Social Researcher, teacher certification, and other qualifications

    Students in the Department can attain the Certificate of Social Researcher, which is useful for careers in marketing and polling; junior high (social studies) and high school (geography and history, civics) teacher certification; or Social Education Supervisor certification, which is required for a board of education position.

    The 4-Year Program

    Year 1: Master the basics of sociology

    Sociology research classes begin in the 1st year. In the Academic Literacy class, students learn to write reports, while in Basics of Social Research, they learn about field research. Class sizes are small.

    Year 2: Select a specialized program and develop communication and analytical skills

    Starting in their 2nd year, students split into three specialized programs, selecting classes based on their areas of interest and developing the analytical and communication skills they’ll need throughout their academic and professional careers.

    Years 3 and 4: Choose seminars and deepen specialized knowledge

    In the 3rd and 4th years, students choose seminars and pursue topics of interest to them. As the culmination of their time in the Department, they build on knowledge and experience gained in seminars and field research to write a graduation thesis.

    Where Our Graduates Are Now

    Our graduates work in a wide range of fields, from finance, service, and manufacturing to publishing, broadcasting, and communications. Others pursue careers as civil servants, teachers, or healthcare and welfare sector workers. Today, as social systems become increasingly complex, it is difficult for both companies and individuals to gain a clear vision of the future. Against that context, our graduates are putting the skills they learned in the Department to work in insightfully assessing trends in public concern and interest, gathering the information necessary to predict where those trends will end up, and proposing solutions to problems.

    Job placement rate by field, 2015–2017 (%)