Department of Socio-Information Studies
Educational principles of the Department of Socio-Information Studies
The increasing importance of networks and the information society has changed the way we live. On the one hand, they make life more convenient and comfortable, while at the same time they create new problems such as privacy and copyright infringement, impoverishment of personal interaction, and more. At the Department of Socio-Information Studies, the possibilities as well as the dangers of information technology and systems are addressed, and the objectives and issues of the “information society” are considered from the dual perspectives of media and community. The program also creates opportunities for collaboration with experts from diverse fields to develop and foster the capabilities of students who will design and implement the new “information society.”
At the Department of Socio-Information Studies, students acquire the social perspective and knowledge to examine and analyze the framework of the “information society” and its related issues. We help our students to understand the essentials of information technology and systems, and we equip them with the skills they will need to conceptualize, plan, propose and put into practice an information society in which people, the environment and information technology thrive together. To that end, we have established two educational tracks, Media and Community. Students acquire problem-solving skills, international sensibilities, communication and presentation skills, and proficiency in information gathering and analysis through field work and hands-on training.
Information society research from diverse academic perspectives
Students join labs in the second semester of their third year as they move on to more specialized learning and investigation. At the Department of Socio-Information Studies, faculty from many backgrounds explore the significance of “information” within a humanities and social sciences context. Their areas of specialization include law, economics, sociology, geography, political science, media studies, anthropology, history, literature, language studies, philosophy and art, providing plenty of opportunities for students to find a lab that allows them to pursue their particular interests. Work in the labs is done in small groups to allow faculty to provide a greater level of guidance. In this program, students first develop the skills fundamental to information society research, including critical thinking and technical skills, inquiry and analysis, through reading and media analysis and production, or through literature review and field study. Students then engage in research on a topic of their own choosing, with findings culminating in a senior year dissertation. The skills students acquire in this process of information society research prepare them for their futures.
Progression after graduation
Many graduates of the Department of Socio-Information Studies go on to careers in media, public relations, advertising and ICT, drawing on the skills they have developed in information sharing and creation. Others enter public service, finance and transport fields where they utilize their social design problem-solving skills, while still others delve further into their research areas in graduate school.