Professor Takehiko Kariya

Professor in the Sociology of Japanese Society

I joined the University of Oxford in 2008. After completing my BA and MA degrees at the University of Tokyo, I studied at Northwestern University in the US, where I got my PhD in sociology in 1988.  After going back to Japan, I worked at the National Institute of Multimedia Education from 1988 to 1991, and then moved to the Graduate School of Education, University of Tokyo, where I taught the sociology of education for almost two decades until I came to Oxford.

My teaching at Oxford includes the Sociology of Japanese Society and Research Methods for Japanese Studies.

My research interests cover sociology of education; social stratification and social mobility; social changes of Postwar Japan; social and educational policies.  In these fields of research, I have published 15 books in Japanese, including A Sociology of School, Occupations, and Selection (1991); The Rise of Mass Education Society (1995); Education in Crisis in Stratified Japan (won Osaragi-Jiro Rondan Shō Promotion Award in 2002); The Century of Education, (won Suntory Gakugei Shō, Academic Award in 2005) and Education and Equality (2009).  I have edited and co-authored 13 other books, and published more than 50 articles in Japanese academic journals.

My recent published works in academic journals and books in English include ‘From Credential Society to “Learning Capital” Society: A Rearticulation of Class Formation in Japanese Education and Society’ (2009); ‘The End of Egalitarian Education in Japan?: The Effect of Policy Changes in Resource Distribution on Compulsory Education’ (2010); ‘Reimagining Self/Other: ‘catch-up across Japan’s three great education reforms’, (2011).  I have two forthcoming publications ‘The State’s Role and Quasi-market in Higher Education: Japan’s Trilemma’ and ‘Resource allocation, historical background of egalitarian education and its changes in Japan: A silent revolution and its unintended results’.  I am a co-editor of Challenges to Japanese Education: Economics, Reforms, and Human Rights (Teachers College Press, 2010), and The State and Higher Education (Symposium Books, forthcoming).

My first book in English, Education Reform and Social Class in Japan (Routledge) is due out this year.  I am now working on a book entitled Japanese Education and Society in Transition: A Sociology of Education Reforms, Opportunities and Mass Education during the Lost Decades (Routledge), which will be published in 2013.

Oxford University is a unique university, which provides real ‘college’ life and an international environment, and I enjoy teaching about Japanese society to students from all over the world.

Contact Information


Phone: +44 1865 274577

Fax: +44 1865 274574