Research Divisions

About Us: Department of Sociology

The Office of the Department of Sociology is located on the first floor of the Hobun Building 2, facing the colonnade of gingko trees. This is a very convenient location, since there is a photocopy center in the basement, and the Faculty Office and University Co-op are nearby if you go out through the arcade side. The Department Office is divided into four sections, one of which is an undergraduate reading room. The scenery outside the windows of this room is resplendent with dazzling shades of green in early summer and brilliant yellow in late autumn. The room is surrounded by the spines of books that have lined the bookshelves for many decades, and a large table takes a commanding presence in the center of the room. The chaotic bustle of the room perhaps symbolizes the diversity of research fields embraced by sociology. It truly has the feel of a study room that has seen generations of students, and for many years has been used as a place for various kinds of communication between students, spontaneous undergraduate research groups and study meetings being held here frequently. Networking communication is also very active, equipment such as a terminal of the Information Technology Center being installed in the office.

For the Department of Sociology, the largest in the Faculty of Letters with over 170 graduate and undergraduate students, the office is a valuable communal space, forming a node for various kinds of matters such as administrative notifications, copies of teaching notes and seminar report resumes, terminal use, information exchanges as well as being furnished with foreign language books, journals and other materials. With this communal office as the center, there are also several research offices, equipment rooms and teaching staff offices located on the same floor and in the basement of the same building, and on the fourth floor of the Hobun Building 1, opposite Building 2.

The phenomenon of society has existed wherever humans have made their livelihood since ancient times. In the age when the academic study of sociology arose in the Western European society of the 19th century, Comte, Spencer and Marx, in their attempts to answer the question “What is modern society?” aspired to an overall, general and comprehensive theory of society. Today their theories can no longer be supported as they were first formulated. Furthermore, in the usual work of sociological research, there has been an unavoidable and natural specialization on increasingly specific and limited subject areas. Nevertheless, even now sociology consistently has the thread of a realistic interest in the basic issues of “What is society?” and “What would make for better relations between society and the individual?” running through each piece of individual empirical research work. The buildings here may be old, but these fresh and vital themes are thriving inside our offices.