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Dr. Christian Etzrodt, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences

Dr. Christian Etzrodt
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Human Sciences

"Pursuing broad interests in sociology, education, and economics"

Born and raised in the Ruhr area, Germany, Dr. Christian Etzrodt obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cologne in 2000 before coming to Japan, where he spent six months at Osaka University of Foreign Studies (now the School of Foreign Studies at Osaka University) and a year and half at Ritsumeikan University as a postdoctoral researcher. He spent another three years at Ritsumeikan University working to obtain his Ph.D. in sociology, where he also worked as an adjunct lecturer for another year and a half. After spending a year in Germany, he returned to Japan to teach at Akita International University for five and a half years. He then moved to Yamanashi Gakuin University to serve as Associate Dean of the International College of Liberal Arts for five years, and came to Osaka University as Associate Professor of Kyosei Studies at the Graduate School of Human Sciences in 2019. 

 

Dr. Etzrodt has developed a wealth of experience in teaching liberal arts at Japanese universities, and working at Osaka University has opened the door for him to focus on his research. He enjoys having colleagues with similar research interests and graduate students who can provide him with input and make research more fun and productive. At the same time, he misses the strong commitment to excellence in teaching that liberal arts colleges have, something that is occasionally overlooked at research universities.

 

The primary research field that Dr. Etzrodt has been pursuing is sociological theory, which he has combined with other perspectives, such as Nihonjinron (theories of “Japaneseness”). In addition, he has developed an interest in the sociology of education, particularly elite education related to liberal arts education. As a Weberian sociologist, he has also been working on research on political sociology that tries to explain why and how the decisions and motives of human actors, particularly elite networks, drive globalization. Furthermore, stemming from his background in economics, he is also interested in researching and understanding how private banks create money and the effects of such activity on the macroeconomy. His multiple research interests have helped him drive off boredom, develop new ideas, and keep his motivation high. As a member of Osaka University, he feels fortunate to have access to vast sources of information, which were unavailable to him while he was working at liberal arts colleges. He also enjoys the freedom of pursuing his broad interests without limitation in Kyosei Studies (Critical Studies in Coexistence, Symbiosis, and Conviviality) at the Graduate School of Human Sciences.

 

Dr. Etzrodt feels the efforts to internationalize education at Osaka University have been progressing well despite the typical constraints that national and public universities face and are relatively more advanced than efforts at some other universities in Japan. However, when compared with universities in other innovative countries, he thinks there is still room for improvement. Furthermore, since the COVID-19 pandemic has left many high-quality students in Asia feeling reluctant to study in the West, Dr. Etzrodt believes that Osaka University should capitalize on this unique opportunity to bring in top talent from the region.

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