Department of Contemporary Societies

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Department of Contemporary Societies

Goal of the Department

The Department of Contemporary Societies aims at interpreting social phenomena using sociology and communication research as the core. The education goal is to develop competent personnel who can examine immediate problems from many directions using the methods of empirical science, grasp the whole picture of society, and plan measures to solve an identified problem. The theory of sociology is a valuable tool to analyze the many different problems in society, including issues with modern families, cities, regional societies, environment, and welfare. The students will understand the effects of connections between a person and society, such as mass communication and media, including newspaper and TV, and advertising, and clarify adaptability in the information society using the methods of communication research. In this department, we develop competent personnel who can recognize reality clearly and have a capacity for precise judgment and an ability to take action.

Educational Content

In seminars (exercise classes), which is the core of small-group education, the students develop a high level of expertise and their problem-solving ability. There are two specialized fields: "Sociology" and "Communication Research," in which students systematically learn subjects in a structured way according to their own interests. By learning "Neighboring Specialized Subjects," which are specialized subjects in other departments of the faculty of Humanities, students acquire a broad education and develop a comprehensive understanding of their specialized fields. Foreign language skills are valued as essential to an information society. The needed subjects are included in our curriculums to acquire qualifications so as to take them reasonably.

Studies in the Four Years

In the first year, the students learn mandatory "theoretical," "methodological," and "practical" subjects to study the basic theories of specialized fields and analytical methodologies. They prepare the foundation of the empirical approach and explore their interests and concerns. In the cultural study course, they gain a wide-ranging education, including foreign languages. In the second year, the students develop basic knowledge in their specialized fields and learn "Sociology" and "Communication Research" subjects to improve the special ability to clarify our diversifying contemporary society. We also offer a variety of subjects including "Methodological Studies on Contemporary Societies I to IV" where students learn topical research results. In the third and fourth years, "Seminar I and II" dominate the studies and each student works on a sociological or communication research theme to develop a high level of expertise including concepts, methods, and ways of thinking for specialized research. The students can also develop their practical ability to apply, which enables quickly responding to social trends. In the fourth year, with the firm foundation of a high level of expertise developed in seminars, and strong language skills and information processing capacity as support, they will finish with graduation theses.

Career Options

With the background of a high level of expertise in contemporary society, analytical ability, and a capacity for judgment, places of employment include planning or public relations departments of companies, mass communication and media companies, and research organizations. There are also opportunities in social welfare organizations, government offices, and posts as teachers in which they can use their knowledge of sociology. In addition, there is also the option to explore a specialized field as a graduate student.