Mathematical sociology in Japan: Its powerful development and a problem

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Mathematical sociology in Japan was born in the mid-1970s and has actively developed since then. Mathematical sociologists in Japan have studied various topics of mathematical sociology as well as of quantitative sociology. The Japanese Association for Mathematical Sociology (JAMS) was established in 1986. It holds semi-annual conferences and publishes Sociological Theory and Methods, its official journal. Thus, the JAMS is a platform for mathematical sociologists in Japan to present and publish papers, contributing to the institutionalization of mathematical sociology in Japan. It has also co-sponsored five joint conferences with the Section on Mathematical Sociology of the American Sociological Association. Based on these activities, mathematical sociology in Japan could be judged to be vibrant domestically and internationally; it has a bright future. I argue, however, that mathematical sociologists in Japan have tended to confine themselves to areas where mathematical modeling is relatively easy. These areas are not necessarily attractive to sociologists in other fields. I propose that mathematical sociologists in Japan should tackle social phenomena that other sociologists think are critical to sociology so that they further contribute to advances in the discipline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Japanese Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Japanese Association for Mathematical Sociology
  • Mathematical sociology
  • Sociological Theory and Methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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