Undergraduate Faculty / Graduate School



The Sociology course aims to provide students with the high level of sociological expertise needed to analyze correlations between human and social factors. In so doing, the course aims to enable students to develop themselves both as researchers and as individuals who can play an active role in the society as highly skilled professionals.

Since its establishment, the Sociology course at OCU has achieved a good balance in both foundational theoretical research, such as family sociology and cultural sociology, and empirical research, such as urban sociology. To this end, the curriculum is designed to be practical, thereby approaching topics from both theoretical and methodological perspectives through lectures and seminars. In addition, since AY 2010, students admitted to this course have been able to obtain certification as a “Professional Social Researcher” from the Japanese Association for Social Research.

The full-time faculty members of the Sociology course are listed in the “Staff” section below. We also welcome specially appointed faculty members and part-time lecturers from various specialized fields every academic year to achieve variety and diversity within the curriculum.

Graduate students of sociology are offered a range of opportunities to expand upon their own research topics, in addition to course-based study centered on lectures and seminars. Students are required to present their research in preparation for their master’s or doctoral thesis. They also have the opportunity to publish papers and book reviews in the OCU Journal of Sociology published by the OCU Sociological Association, which is based within this course. Every year, doctoral students are given the opportunity to participate in the educational practice as teaching assistants in the specialized subject “Practice in Sociology” of the Faculty of Literature and other lecture subjects.

Current research topics of sociology graduate students include medical sociology, media history, urban structures in China, surveillance society theory, the urban sociology of Osaka and Okinawa, the identity of zainichi Koreans, research on youth communication, and comparative cultural research on cell phones. Students freely select research topics that interest them and are motivated to persevere it with their research. In terms of their career pathways, in recent years, an increasing number of students have found employment as civil servants, teachers, or in positions at NPOs or private research organizations, in addition to teaching and research positions at universities and research institutes. Another characteristic of the Sociology course is that it includes many international and Japanese students. Graduate students mainly present their research to groups such as the Japan Sociological Society, the Kansai Sociological Association, and the Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communication.



Under construction.


Professor Saeko Ishita Professor Saeko Ishita specializes in cultural sociology, visual sociology, and media culture theory; the current main research topics include the relationship between images and society, the globalization of culture, and the public nature of archives.
Professor Noriko Ijichi Professor Noriko Ijichi specializes in the sociology of the life world, sociology of local communities, and Korean area studies; the current main research topics include international migration and locality in East Asia, the life history of people from Jeju Island in Japan, and people living in maritime areas of Japan and the Korean Peninsula.
Professor Eiji Kawano Professor Eiji Kawano specializes in the sociology and comparative sociology of urban and social policy; the current main research topics include international comparative research on poverty and social exclusion in large cities.
Associate Professor Ryo Hirayama Associate Professor Ryo Hirayama specializes in family sociology, the sociology of aging, and gender studies; the current main research topics include the relationship between masculinity and social care, responsibility for care-related decisions and coordination, and the social sharing of such responsibility.
Associate Professor Hideaki Sasajima Associate Professor Hideaki Sasajima deals with urban sociology, the sociology of art, and historical sociology; the current main research topics include changes in the social systems that supported art (painting and sculpture) in cities in the 20th century.


Online Journal The Department of Sociology has published a peer-reviewed journal since 2000 as a medium for graduate students to present their research. Many graduate students have used the journal as a training opportunity to develop their research before submitting their papers to national and specialized academic journals.
Other Papers All papers from the pre-digital era are available in the university repository.