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Course of Social Welfare

Course of Social Welfare

The Significance of Learning and Researching Social Welfare

 

 

Chair of the Course of Social Welfare

Koichi Kaneko

Click here for a list of faculty members

 

Message from the Course Chair

The Significance of Learning and Researching Social Welfare

First, I would like to outline the significance of learning and researching social welfare in today’s era. In academic disciplines that deal with social problems, we can view aspects in which these disciplines widely expand during the process of searching for responses to those problems while the problems continue to intensify and deepen. Regarding social welfare, it can be confidently stated that the academic development witnessed over the course of the intensification and worsening of the poverty problems of the latter half of the 19th century until the establishment of welfare states in the 20th century falls into a period of such expansion. In this period, certain notions were clarified, including an understanding of the actual conditions of poverty and the causal relationships of problems. Furthermore, research in various forms concerning the construction of systems to obtain a response was intensifying, and it can also be said that the shape of the academic discipline known as social welfare was also being adjusted. At present, Japan is directly facing social problems, which are equal to those kinds of poverty problems.

That is, the arrival of the problem known as “population decline.” From the Meiji Restoration onward, Japan had been experiencing an increasing population, and the society structure was also created with such a situation as the given premise. Now, for the first time, we have plunged into a society that is not like that. It is a certain fact that the declining birth rates and aging population (which in a sense are familiar problems) are underlying causes of this problem, but the “population decline” issue is not a problem that can be perceived as an extension of the declining birth rates and aging population—it needs to be understood as a problem that contains various elements from different dimensions.

If the welfare state was the notion that was prescribed for the poverty problems of the 19th century, what kind of society can we depict for population decline?

The questions currently being asked by social welfare are very difficult, but still worthwhile and appealing.

In the Course of Social Welfare, students will learn about methods for working toward such questions.

For example, “Fundamental Theories of Research” is positioned as a required course within the Master’s program, and it is considered that one will be able to begin research by generally overviewing diverse methods of research and analysis, such as quantitative research based on questionnaire surveys, qualitative research based on interview surveys, historical research that involves collection and analysis of historical materials, and systemic and policy research that organizes various statistics and systems as well as trends in administrative policies.

Furthermore, owing to Ph.D. degree recipients being produced every year and many graduates teaching at universities and graduate schools throughout the country and Asia, a decent amount of graduates are continuing their research while being teachers. Lively exchanges of information based on achievements and backed by tradition are also mutually occurring among graduates, rather than only among faculties.

Moreover, with a focus on this course, the “Research Center for the Development of a Welfare Society” was established.  Within this, the “Senior Citizen Unit,” “Disabilities Unit,” “Children’s Unit,” and the “Unit Integrate Group” have been established, and many graduate students are also engaging in research activities as Research Assistants (RA) while retaining their status in the graduate school. I sincerely hope that you will choose to personally experience the sophisticated research environment of this course.

Overview of the Course

Built on the basis of the realization of welfare for all people, social welfare is an academic discipline that comprehensively researches subjects, needs, plans, systems, and practices and aims to provide this knowledge and technology to society.

In this course, in keeping with the history and achievements to date, an academic curriculum has been established: “Social Policy and Administration (SPA)” and “Social Work (SW).”  From both research and practice aspects, we are aiming for a graduate school education that can provide training in sophisticated research abilities and give the resulting outcomes back to society.

Moreover, a day and evening lecture system is employed in this course so that research can be conducted flexibly according to research objectives. We are anticipating research that forges practices designed for the realization of welfare (and the theories that are supporting these practices) as well as abilities of judgement.

  • Admission Capacity: Master’s program – 20 students; Doctoral program – 5 students
  • Lecture Times: Day/Evening (mainly day)
  • Campus: Hakusan
  • Degree: Master’s program – Master of Social Welfare or Master of Social Work ; Doctoral program –Doctor of Social Welfare or Doctor of Social Work
  • Training and Education Benefits System: Master’s program