|Research Field :
|Hobbies and Interests :
||Photography, hiking, jogging
|Recommended Books :
||“Choosing books is similar to choosing food - choose the ones that best fuel yourself”
For this edition of Professor Close-Up, we are introducing Assistant Professor KOJIMA Shinji.
Being a passionate sociologist who spent most of his years of life in the USA, he decided to return and contribute his knowledge to his homeland by becoming a faculty member at APU in Spring 2014.
Having born in Okayama, Japan, growing up in the USA and frequently moving between the two countries exposed him to the international society since very young age, leaving him the privilege of being able to connect, associate, and sympathize with different kinds of people. His first encounter with sociology dated back to his time in college, as he found himself intrigued by the readings given by his English teacher, which topics revolved around people and the society. A strong interest, self-motivation and support from his teachers and family then led Professor Kojima to receive his Ph.D at University of Hawaii at Manoa and become a lecturer at his alma mater for several years before coming to APU.
In APU, he found the interactive learning atmosphere a stimulating environment for the students. His interaction with curious, passionate students from various parts of the globe had become a constant inspiration for him to keep on improving and providing a global standard experience for the students, through a set of learning goals, basic theories and real-life applications. Apart from answering questions and having discussions at his office hour, he allows students to deepen their knowledge in the topic of globalization and inequality, his field of expertise, by opening English and Japanese-based 3rd and 4th year seminar classes. Students will be given a chance to explore and prepare themselves for higher education by doing literature reviews, research and thesis on the issue of global and regional inequality, ethnic minority, gender issues, national identity, or any topics of their preference.
Furthermore, he is currently doing research on labor movements in Japan. He is examining what labor unions are doing to counter its declining influence and to reshape themselves into a force that matters in the age of neoliberal globalization. It is to be published in another two years, and he is more than willing to share it with his students.
His message to APU students is, “acquire good habits.” Reflecting on his own experience as a student back in the day,he believes that the short years of undergraduate student life is not so suited to acquire professional skills or expertise knowledge, but the best time to acquire dispositions that help you grow, such as developing appreciation for cultural differences, coming to enjoy reading books and to learn various forms of art, exercising regularly, or developing mindsets such as prudence.
Young at heart, bright and friendly, he left a warm impression on me as one of his students. I wish him the best in his current and future endeavor, and look forward to seeing him at his courses; Transnational Sociology, Multiculturalism and Society, Social Stratification and Research Methods in Culture, Society and Media, or exchanging our common interests in people photography, Haruki Murakami books and living a healthy, active lifestyle!