Selected News
Upcoming Biannual Conference 148th (2024 Spring) Biannual Conference

Date: 18-19 October, 2024

Venue: Keio University

Program and Abstracts

What’s JASPS(SSSP) ?

* SSSP has changed the name to JASPS since 2014.


Towards a Global Network for Social Problems (About SSSP)

2012-2014 President of the Society for the Study of Social Science (SSSP)

Prof. Yoko Tanaka

Our way of working and living has been changing historically. Although it is not always visible to everyone, our society is much influenced by the global competition in the newly liberalized economy, the steady demographic changes, the long-term shifts in gender and family relations, and the functional variations in local communities as well as the welfare state.

Many people have been suffering from problems such as temporary, unstable, and low-wage jobs, unemployment, poor social welfare and poverty, increasing labour volume, overwork, and mental diseases.
In particular, younger generations have tended to lose hope for a positive and stable future.
In Japan, the social damage from the 3.11 East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima atomic power plant accident in 2011 still exists today.

Social policy, which should be able to play a critical role in improving these social circumstances, is not quite catching up with these rapidly developing serious problems.
We are facing an increasing necessity to make social policies work systematically. It is now necessary to accumulate academic studies and investigations as well as various policy implications and to make suggestions based on them.
Our Society for the Study of Social Policy, along with other academic organizations, is actively engaged in this important social mission, and we would like to develop our research in order to meet social needs at the local, national, and global levels.

The Society for the Study of Social Science (SSSP) is one of the oldest academic organizations focused on labour and social problems in Japan. Founded in 1897, it addressed the social problems that stemmed from the industrialization in the 19th century.
The SSSP dealt with issues such as factory law, factory inspections, and the protection of workers, the social insurance and security system, poverty reduction and diminishing social stratification, labour unions and the international labour movement, and so on.
There was also much influence from the German Society for Social Policy (Verein für Socialpolitk).

Although the social problems have changed in many aspects from then until today, the academic focus of SSSP has not changed much in essence.
Our society now deals with labour problems in order to protect and improve labour conditions, the social security system including social insurance and social welfare, the poverty and social stratification reduction problem, labour union movements, and so on.
In addition, we are addressing newly emerging themes including gender problems, career formation problems, medical and care system problems, health and social epidemiology, local community network problems, and so on.

To struggle with these social issues, many researchers have joined the SSSP.
The SSSP membership has grown through the years to over 1,200 members based on the increasing public interest in these topics. Members are mainly coming from various universities and institutions, including young graduate students.
We support the efforts of each member by providing members with the opportunity to present at the annual conferences, in the journal of the SSSP, and at the local and sectional meetings. We have two annual conferences, in spring (in Tokyo) and autumn (away from Tokyo), and we publish three or four journals each year.
Through these activities, we hope that everyone will gain information and stimulation in order to improve the level of academic research and to form networks for academic cooperation.

Today we make much of global academic cooperation.
The background of the social problems that Japan faces has much in common with that of many other nations.
Under similar circumstances, it is often seen that different social policies have been set and implemented.
We could acquire many new suggestions if we learn more from each other from an international comparative point of view.
We hope to develop many academic ties and research cooperation with many countries.

In 2011, we started an academic exchange with the Korean Association for Social Policy (KASP). SSSP and KASP have had sessions to discuss the problems of non-regular workers and welfare financing in Japan and in Korea.
In 2013, we started an academic collaboration with the European Social Policy Analysis Network (ESPA net) and invited ESPA net member to the spring conference to be special presenters on the topic of gender problems and work-life balance.
In 2014, we begin an academic collaboration with the Labor and Employment Relation Association (LERA) in the USA.
We are ready and willing to develop global research cooperation and academic exchanges.

Many of our members are Japanese, but the society is also open to foreign researchers.
Through the website, you can find information on our academic activities, including conference programs and journal abstracts and contents.
We hope you will join our society and come to our conferences in Japan so that your academic horizons can extend to the earliest highly industrialized country in Asia.

With best regards,