SHIRAHASE Sawako - Tokyo College


Other Affiliations Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo Research interests Sociology, Social Stratification, Social Demography
01 Description of Research

My specialty is sociology. In particular, I have conducted research related to social stratification, social demography, family change, and social security. More specifically, I have focused on the rapidly declining birthrate and aging of society in Japan, and with generation and gender as the main axes of analysis, engaged in empirical analysis of the mechanisms that generate social inequality. Recently, I have been focusing on the concept of social inclusion from a policy-oriented perspective as a way of exploring the shape of a global future.

02 Short Biography

2021.10 – present Senior Vice President, the United Nations University
2019.4 – 2021.3 Executive Vice-President for International Affairs, the University of Tokyo
2018.4 – 2019.3 Vice-President for International Affairs, the University of Tokyo
2015.4 – 2017.3 Associate Dean for Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo
2010.7 – present Professor of Sociology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo
2006.4 – 2010.8 Associate Professor of Sociology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo
2003.4 – 2006.3 Associate Professor, Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences, University of Tsukuba
1997.4 – 2003.3 Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
1997.9 D. Phil in Sociology, University of Oxford

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

(1) Books

Sawako Shirahase (ed.). 2021. Shiriizu Shōshi kōrei shakai no kaiso kōzō 1~3 [Series: The Structure of Social Stratification in the Aged Society with Low Fertility, volumes 1-3]. University of Tokyo Press.

Shirahase, Sawako (ed.). 2019. Todai Juku Korekara no Nihon no jinkō to shakai [Todai Juku—Demography and Society: Looking for the Future in Japan.]. University of Tokyo Press.

Shirahase, Sawako (ed.). 2011. Demographic Change and Inequality in Japan. Trans Pacific Press.

Shirahase, Sawako. 2014. Social inequality in Japan. Routledge.


(2) Papers

Shirahase, Sawako. 2021. “Chōkōreisha shakai no saibunpai to hōsōteki seichō [Redistribution and Inclusive Growth in a Super-aged Society]. Keizai bunseki 203: 252-281.

Shirahase, Sawako. 2021. “Social Stratification Theory and Population Aging Reconsidered.” Social Science Japan Journal 24(2): 277–288.

Shirahase, Sawako and Hiroshi Ishida. 2018. “Shōshi kōrei shakai ni okeru shakai kaiso to raifukōsu [Social Stratification and Life Course in an Aging and Low Birth Rate Society].” Riron to hōhō 33(2): 185-200.

Shirahase, Sawako. 2018. “Jinkō kōzō no henka to Keizai kakusa [Demographic Transformation and Economic Inequality in Japan].” Nihon rōdō kenkyū zasshi 60(1): 44-54.

Shirahase, Sawako. 2017. “Chiisana setai no zōka to shakai hoshō [Increase in the Number of Small-size Households and Social Security System in Japan].” Shakai hoshō kenkyū 2(1): 4-17.

Shirahase, Sawako. 2015. “Demography as Destiny: Falling Birthrates and the Allure of a Blended Society in Japan,” in Japan: The Precarious Future, edited by Frank Baldwin and Anne Allison, 11-35. New York University Press.

Shirahase, Sawako. 2015. “Income Inequality among Older People in Rapidly Aging Japan.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 41: 1-10.

Shirahase, Sawako and James M. Raymo. 2014. “Single Mothers and Poverty in Japan: The Role of Intergenerational Coresidence.” Social Forces 93(2): 545-569.

04 Honors and Awards

2003.   Award for best paper on Labor Relations, The Japanese Institute for Labour Policy and Training, Tokyo, Japan
2011.   Award for best research for the book Nihon no fubyōdō o kangaeru [Thinking about Inequality in Japan] (2009, the University of Tokyo Press), the 8th Seikyo Soken Sho, Consumer Co-operative Institute of Japan