Sociology of Culture
Understanding humans through culture and society
■ Social history of medicine; social research on technology and media; the sociology of labor issues, theory of division of labor, and everyday life
We approach the relationship between technology and society/culture from social-historical and sociological perspectives. Although the faculty member’s area of specialization is in medicine, the research interests of our graduate students cut across many fields including media, tourism, and medicine. We primarily use qualitative methods such as archival research, interviews, and field research, but we are also exploring quantitative research analysis using text mining and survey research (Professor Yamanaka).
Key research areas include the qualitative examination of work-life balance, work-hour issues, occupational disease, and the housework/childcare sharing between husband and wife. The research interests of our graduate students tend to be concerned with cultural forces regulating social behavior: the world of traditional Japanese music, the mass problem in China, comparative study of participation in sports and health between Japanese and American female high school students, falling birth rate, and human rights of disabled people (Professor North).
We examine various everyday social phenomena such as the globalization of eating and education and the commodity chain of forest products. We use these micro-level perspectives to consider macro-level questions such as the relation between power and competition (Professor Ishikawa).