Human-Social Information Sciences

Social Structure and Change C07

  • Prof. Naohito Tokugawa    
  • Assoc. Prof. Aya Okada    
  • Assis. Prof. Kanako Sasaki  
KeywordsSocial Structure, Interaction, Social Theory, Civil Society, Fieldwork

Theoretical and Qualitative Inquiry into Social Life

Two sociologists are analyzing the substance of social life, with focus on ethos or habits among people, relationships and communications, as well as dynamics between ideology and existence. Methodological characteristics are: 1)intensive reexamination into the movements of social theory from such classics as Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Parsons, Goffman, and Habermas to the development of cultural studies, phenomenological sociology, and symbolic interaction, and 2)qualitative inquiry using purposive selection, intensive case study, semi-structured interview, and monographic representation, and participant observation. Each student is encouraged to choose his/her subject within the laboratory specialty. Close reading of texts and firsthand explorations in the field are essential in this lab.

In 2016, The Recent Reconstruction in Chinese Village was published as a result of long-term joint study with Shandong Academy of Social Science. Prof. Tokugawa also published Color Vision Discrimination and Difficulty to Talk in 2016, the first social science book in Japan that analyzed language, experience, and power on this topic. Assoc.Prof. Okada explores the relationship between nonprofits’strategic communication and voluntary actions such as donations and volunteering.

Appointed.Assist. Prof.Sasaki is conducting practical research on the potential of self-narratives to improve the well-being of cancer patients by designing a "place" to generate their stories.

  • International conference at Shandong Academy of Social Science, “Fifteen Years in Shandong: the Method and Practice of Fieldwork”, held in December 2015.

  • A study exploring relationship between social media posts and donation behaviors