Educational Policies of the Faculty of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Every human being is born into a society, and many of us identify social problems as we develop an intellectual interest in our various social experiences—in the family, community, school, and workplace. Since social phenomena are complicatedly related with various perspectives and values of individuals and organizations, it is not easy to accurately grasp social phenomena or solve social problems.
The Department of Sociology offers an academic environment for students and faculty members to exchange their observations, evaluations, analyses, and interpretations of society.
The mission of our department is to nurture the individuals who can investigate various social phenomena and problems by themselves; organize, consider, explain, and discuss their findings on the basis of sociological theory; and make contribution to solve problems. In order to complete this mission, we require students to take courses in sociological theory and social research methods and practice, participate in seminars throughout four years, and complete a graduation thesis. Accordingly, the Department of Sociology is looking for students who meet the following criteria:
- Students who are willing to actively and independently investigate social problems and phenomena.
- Students who can develop constructive interests in what they have learned, heard, and experienced; and who can reexamine these experiences from a sociological perspective to use them for social betterment.
- Students with autonomy and independency.
- Students who can respect others and work in collaboration.
- Students who can listen o the opinions of others and respond in their own words.
- Students who have acquired basic academic ability up to senior high school level.
Department of Sociocultural Studies
The Department of Sociocultural Studies consists of faculty members specializing in sociology, anthropology, and area studies. One common characteristic of these fields is the use of a “bottom-up approach.” In other words, while examining the conditions, history, and challenges underlying our research themes using books and materials, we also visit the locations where our research phenomena occur, where we watch and listen, and then analyze our observations in order to identify where the problems lie. This kind of approach is known as “empirical” research. In addition to the “read-visit-observe-examine” process, another key feature of the Department is our focus on “creating new mechanisms,” or “systems.”
We have our students use the knowledge that they acquire in the classroom to plan and conduct various projects. The Department is looking for students who hope to use their linguistic abilities on the global stage and students who want to conduct various socially meaningful activities in Japan. In addition, we hope to welcome students who meet the following criteria:
- Students with academic ability at the senior high school level
- Students who are willing to continuously ask themselves, “What do I want to do?” and “What can I do?”
- Students who, rather than waiting to be told what to do, are willing to consider, “What should I do, and what do I need to do to get there”
- Students who are willing to “listen once, think ten times, and then act” rather than “listening once and thinking once”
- Students who can treat participants in a polite and humble manner when conducting research
Department of Social Welfare
The harsh economic conditions brought about by a rapidly aging society and the global economic stagnation has seriously affected the lives of citizens in myriad ways. This situation has created the need for individuals armed with a clear mission and expertise in social welfare that are required for providing the kind of support that can help those with welfare needs to maintain a high-quality life. The Department of Social Welfare aims to nurture individuals with outstanding practical abilities in this area. To achieve these goals, students must develop the ability to provide the necessary services in response to consultations by people with welfare needs, manage and develop various social resources and build networks in the community, and provide comprehensive support using these resources and networks. Accordingly, besides mastering various support methods, students must acquire the inclination and ability to provide hospitality in interpersonal services, analyze social research, manage and drive an organization forward, and make presentations. The Department of Social Welfare fosters the ability to interpret social welfare systems and services academically from the perspective of social science, apply this knowledge to services in local society, and solve problems faced by individuals and society. In particular, we provide lectures, seminars, and practical training in which students learn about micro, mezzo, and macro perspectives; learn about interrelationships among individuals, families, organizations, and communities; and develop competency in norms, knowledge, and skills related to the development of social welfare systems, policy, and the practice of social work.
Department of Media and Communications
The Department of Media and Communications aims to systematically nurture individuals who can operate successfully in the fields of media and communications, including the media industry (newspapers, broadcasting, and publishing), the content industry (music, video, and entertainment), and the information and communication technology industry (communications, systems, and databases), as well as in the public relations and information departments of businesses, government agencies, and educational organizations. Accordingly, we select capable students who possess the qualities and basic academic abilities that correspond to this objective. In terms of particular qualities, students must have a flexible learning ability, sound linguistic skills, and a broad perspective. This is because flexible learning ability, which aids us in acquiring new knowledge and skills, is needed to understand the information-driven world as it changes at a rapid pace. Additionally, the ability to communicate in foreign languages is essential for working in today’s globalized media environment, and provides students with the broad perspective that helps them better understand individuals, information, society, culture, and ethics. These skills are crucial for addressing the task of reflecting people’s multifarious demands for information in the field of media and communications. On the basis of this approach, through an entrance examination in three subjects: a foreign language, the Japanese language, and one subject chosen by the student (geography and history, civics, or mathematics), we assess whether applicants possess the qualities that are appropriate to our educational objective and whether they have acquired sufficient basic academic ability to study at the Department.
Department of Social Psychology
Psychology is a comprehensive discipline with connections to all subjects studied in senior high school. Psychological experiments include elements of science and mathematics, and to understand the world we inhabit, it is important to be interested in modern society and to adopt historical and global perspectives. Therefore, the Department of Social Psychology is looking for students who have acquired an even grounding in subjects studied up to the senior high school level, who are enthusiastic regarding contributing to society, and who are intellectually curious about humanity and the world. Psychological phenomena are strongly influenced by the simplistic assumptions that exist among human beings, and even when matters are accepted by society as “common sense,” we must be willing to test these assumptions ourselves to discover the truth.
If we are to test these assumptions, we need to employ research methodologies that follow scientific procedures. Students must be able to engage actively in this kind of learning and to communicate and learn alongside others when experiments and studies are conducted in groups.
Moreover, understanding the relationships between people and society will help us to design a society that is pleasant to live in. To ensure a smooth learning experience in the Department, students must have an active interest in these challenges and a desire to explore human nature and the nature of human interaction and that of social interaction as a way of discovering and solving problems.