Sociology of Education
Approaching the subject empirically by using social research and statistical data
■ Quantitative research on educational opportunity, and education and social mobility
■ Empirical research on education and the class/labor market
Sociology of education is an empirical science that originates at the boundary between pedagogy and sociology and has developed as an interdisciplinary field that studies educational phenomena using sociological theories and methods. In addition, the universal penetration of the school system in social life has generated a distinctive area of intellectual interest, an “education-oriented society,” resulting in even more interdisciplinary pursuits in the field to understand it. This research track engages in theoretical and empirical research by focusing on the practical relationship between education and society and the dynamics of changes in such.
The figure summarizes the trend in educational attainment in Japan in the last 100 years by organizing it by dividing parent occupational classes between white collar and blue collar/farming. It demonstrates that the relationship between social class and education has stably shifted against different historical backdrops. By contemplating the reality of education shown in objective data such as this, we ask and examine questions such as “how does a relationship like this exist?”; “how does the Japanese situation differ from that in other countries?”; and “what are effective strategies to rectify problems?”
The major challenge of the sociology of education is to approach the actuality of education and society in contemporary Japan through such inquiries.