Sociology was the first major to be offered by the Graduate School of Human Relations, beginning on April 5th, 1951. From the start the aim was to promote broad sociological research which crossed the boundaries of the undergraduate departments, and so the school was formed primarily with relevant professors from the Faculties of Letters, Economics, Law and Business and Commerce in a way that ensured it was independent of these faculties. We have maintained this stance as an independent graduate school until the present day. Furthermore, we keep close ties with not just the undergraduate departments, but also with the Teacher Training Center, Institute for Journalism, Media & Communication Studies and other research institutes at the university, and many of our faculty members hold concurrent posts in these institutes. We also provide an abundance of classes taught by part time lecturers or guest lecturers from other universities and research institutes from Japan and overseas to complement the fields of specialization of the full-time faculty at the graduate school.

For the master's program, the basic course structure of the Sociology major involves advanced (taught) courses and seminar-based courses to study individual themes and domains. In the doctoral program, special (taught) research and special seminars are provided to facilitate high-level research which further expands on these individual themes as well as research within domains. In addition, distinctive taught courses such as those given below serve as primers to each specialized domain.

Furthermore, classes to learn about basic theory and research methods to refine sociological studies skills, as well as classes in the native languages of international students (at present, Chinese and English language), are held. Chinese language classes are led by faculty members who are continuing their research or schooling after studying abroad from China and obtaining their degrees at Keio. To bolster global research activities, support for writing of papers in second languages and classes to encourage students and faculty members to participate as joint presenters at academic conferences and seminars in Japan and overseas are also available. In addition, it is planned to newly establish managed funds unique to the Sociology major to support study abroad in the United States. In 1987, the "Mita Sociology Society" was established as a society for sociology researchers associated with Keio University, centering around faculty members of the graduate school affiliated to the Sociology major. The society serves as a platform to support research and the presentation of results by students, and for their mutual interactions. It also provides comprehensive support to early career researchers.


In the master's program, we offer courses in sociological methodology, quantitative and qualitative research, and the history of sociology, which form the basic framework of sociology. Furthermore, by taking advanced lectures and seminars, you can pursue research themes in areas that suit your individual interests. In the Ph.D. program, we offer lecture courses that facilitate the pursuit of deeper individual research. The Graduate School of Human Relations conducts diverse and multidimensional theoretical and empirical research regarding people and society, from issues affecting people at an individual level to issues that concern global societal shifts. Themes and fields of research include those related to theory such as sociological theory and the history of sociology, as well as other areas including ethnicity, cities and communities, social history, life history, global society, globalization, families, art, life story research, culture, social class, inequality, welfare, medicine, consumer behavior, rational choice theory and subcultures, gender, and science studies, with methodologies including statistics, quantitative and qualitative research, visual ethnography, and arts-based research. We focus on interdisciplinary research and education.

Cultural Anthropology & Folklore

In the master's program in cultural anthropology, we offer courses on the history of various schools of thought, research methods, specific research topics, and regional studies. These courses allow students to gain a comprehensive understanding of this broad discipline. Research themes are diverse, including families and kinship, religion, medicine, politics, ritual performing arts, oral tradition, ethnology, ethnicity, migration, colonialism, tourism, world heritage and area studies, with an emphasis on Asia and Latin America, in addition to multicultural psychiatry, etc. Furthermore, we offer folklore courses for conducting research in the area broadly referred to as "Japanology." Through studying cultural anthropology and folklore together, students are able to enrich their understanding of foreign cultures and to develop a viewpoint with which to compare Japanese culture and other cultures around the world.

In the Ph.D. program, students delve deeper into their research topics by combining empirical data and theoretical considerations. As cultural anthropology and folklore place importance on primary source materials obtained through qualitative studies, fieldwork is regarded as fundamental practice in the Ph.D. program. Students are expected to conduct research either within or outside Japan according to their own interests and to investigate the actual conditions of culture and society, which are changing rapidly due to globalization.

Communication & Mass-Communication Research

This field will provide you with a greater understanding of various communication processes and phenomena including interpersonal and mass communication in the master's and doctoral programs. The lectures and seminars focus on research on a variety of issues such as media use, advertising, diffusion of innovations, information behavior, information society theory, mass communication theory and SNS as well as news production processes and journalism, media policy, and the media industry. The main subjects are fields which have been extensively explored around the nucleus of the Institute for Journalism, Media & Communication Studies (formerly the Keio University Newspaper Research Center).

Social Psychology

Some examples of the main research themes of taught courses handled as part of the master's program include interpersonal communication, interpersonal influence, social support, interpersonal attraction, interpersonal conflict, gaming, environmentally conscious behavior, groups, leadership, and career development. We aim to elucidate human behavior and the mechanisms behind it in individuals, groups, and society, taking the existence of others as our key concept over a wide scope from social psychology and media psychology to evolutionary psychology. In the doctoral program, taught courses are offered to further develop research as part of master's programs, and facilitate the coalescing of multiple research strands to feed into doctoral dissertation research. Students collect data mainly through questionnaire surveys, experiments, and interview surveys, and conduct empirical research using advanced statistical analysis.


Kwangho Lee Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Media Communication Studies
  • Diffusion Studies
  • Social Psychology

Jinah Lee Professor, Institute for Journalism, Media & Communication Studies

  • Advertising Studies
  • Media Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Akihide Inaba Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Sociology of Family
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Social Statistics
  • Social Welfare and Policy Studies

Yoshiaki Imai Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Social Psychology
  • Interpersonal Influence
  • Social Power

Norihiro Okubo Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Religious Studies
  • History of Religion
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Latin American Studies

Atsushi Ota Professor, Faculty of Economics

  • Socio-economic history of Indonesia
  • Area studies of Southeast Asia

Aoi Okada Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Family Sociology
  • Historical Demography
  • Family History

Masayuki Okahara Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Sociology of Emotions
  • Performance Ethnography
  • Visual Sociology
  • Arts-Based Research
  • Disability Studies

Teruya Oda Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Theoretical Sociology
  • Rational Choice Theory
  • Evolutionary Game Theory
  • Social Justice
  • Quantitative Sociology

Sayako Kanda Professor, Faculty of Economics

  • Socio-Economic History of South Asia
  • South Asian Studies

Junko Kitanaka Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Medical Anthropology
  • History of Psychiatry
  • Cultural Psychiatry

Byungchul Kim Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • East Asian Area Studies

Atsushi Sawai Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Social Theory
  • History of Sociology
  • Sociology of Death and Bereavement

Yoshikazu Shiobara Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Global sociology
  • Multiculturalism and migration
  • Nationalism and exclusionism
  • Australian studies

Junkichi Sugiura Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Social Psychology
  • Environmental Behavior
  • Risk Communication

Hirohisa Takenoshita Professor, Faculty of Law

  • Social Stratification
  • Statistics for social research
  • Institutional arrangements and generating inequality

Masanao Takeyama Professor, Faculty of Economics

  • Service Design
  • Economic Geography

Takaaki Chikamori Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Urban Sociology
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Social History of Technology

Kai Hiraishi Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Evolutionary Psychology

Yuko Mio Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • East Asian Studies

Takemitsu Morikawa Professor, Faculty of Letters

  • Sociological Theories
  • History of Sociology
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Sociology of Knowledge and World Society Studies