The Japan Sociological Society (JSS) is a nationwide organization of sociologists with the aim to promote sociological research and facilitate its development. JSS currently has more than 3,600 members and is engaged in such academic activities as organizing academic conferences and publishing journals.
Established in 1924, JSS has been holding an academic conference every year since the first annual conference in 1925, except during certain periods like the end of the Second World War. The one in 2017 was the 90th conference . JSS has also been publishing Japanese Sociological Review on a quarterly basis as its journal since 1950 after having published Journal of Sociology (1924 to 1930), Sociology Quarterly (1931 to 1932), The Annual Review of Sociology (1933 to 1943), and Sociological Studies (1944, 1947 to 1949). Japanese Sociological Review released its volume 67, or 266th issue since the beginning, at the end of fiscal year 2016. Further, JSS has been publishing International Journal of Japanese Sociology (IJJS) annually as a journal in English since 1992, publishing issue no. 25 in fiscal year 2016.
In addition to holding conferences and publishing journals, the Society’s bylaws dictate JSS to undertake various projects, such as joint research, promotion of sociology, research grant provision, and communication and cooperation with other academic societies, research organizations, and academic societies overseas. In terms of cooperation with academic societies overseas, JSS has been an influential member of the International Sociological Association since its establishment in 1949 and, as a part of its international collaborative research in the 1950s, conducted a joint research on social class and social mobility. In addition, JSS has hosted sociology conferences in Asia several times since 1973.
JSS was a small organization prior to the Second World War because only a few universities had sociology courses and there were not many sociologists. However, as sociology-related departments, courses, and seminars were developed, the number of sociologists rapidly increased; the number of JSS members exceeded 1,000 around the 1960s as well. At the same time, more regional academic organizations formed in areas such as Hokkaido, Tohoku , Kanto, Kansai, and West over the course of the 1950s to the 1960s. In collaboration with these regional academic societies, JSS has not only undertaken routine business, such as holding national academic conferences and publishing journals, but also launched a variety of activities, including joint research organized by JSS and compilation of standard textbooks for college curricula. Since then, as the population of sociologists increased and the scale of JSS grew, the research fields and methods also diversified, resulting in various sociology-related academic societies being organized for each specialized field. Today, JSS continues to undertake activities aimed at developing and popularizing sociological research and enhancing sociology education while collaborating with regional and field-specific academic societies in developing international cooperation.
A notable outcome of such activities is the creation of a social researcher certification system. The need for establishing an educational system related to social research and training people to handle research and then institutionalizing the qualification for this profession had been recognized in the early days; JSS was already discussing certifying qualifications in 1991. In collaboration with The Japan Society of Educational Sociology (JSES) and The Behaviormetric Society of Japan (BSJ), JSS founded Japanese Association for Social Research (JASR) in November 2003 and continues to strive for the appropriate management, popularization, and establishment of the system.