Sociological Studies on Universities in Japan: Focusing on the Academic Profession

Akiyoshi Yonezawa, Arthur Meerman, Min Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines the history, current status, and future prospects of universities in Japan through a sociological examination of the academic profession. Studies on the academic profession have always been a key topic of higher education research in Japan, where sociologists assumed a crucial role in theorization and positive research. The formation of the academic profession in Japan is highly linked with the formation of national identity both in education and research and has therefore always attracted international attention. Also, we need to reflect on the role of university academics and their organizations as opinion leaders in political dialogues and contributors to the overall well-being of society. In this chapter, firstly, the authors discuss how sociologists and other researchers in higher education have approached the formation and development of the academic profession. Secondly, the authors highlight how sociologists and other social scientists are tackling current challenges to Japan’s higher education in a difficult social environment characterized by aging, globalization, and the knowledge economy. Finally, the authors anticipate future perspectives of sociological studies on academics and universities in Japan, focusing on strengthening linkages within the international research community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation in the Asia-Pacific Region
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEducation in the Asia-Pacific Region
ISSN (Print)1573-5397
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9791


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