Faculty Members


(Associate Professor/Division of Environmental Studies)

Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies/Environmental Sociology and Environmental Ethics

Career Summary

1999: Graduated from Faculty of Liberal Arts (Tsuda College)
2001: Received Master's Degree in International Relations (Tsuda College)
2007: Research Fellow (JSPS, DC, -2008)
2008: Received Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from University of Tokyo
2008: Assistant Professor (Rikkyo University)
2011: Associate Professor (Osaka Prefecture University)
2015: Associate Professor (University of Tokyo)

Educational Activities

Graduate School:Environmental Ethics, Sustainability and Natural Resource Management

Research Activities

Our research focus is the analysis of environmental values and social norms in order to discern causal and reciprocal relationships between human communities and nature. We examine these interactions within the richness and diversity of human existence, examining which social systems have contributed and or have the potential to contribute compatibility between human communities and nature, and how they have contributed. Our research begins with the premise that environmental values are an inseparable companion of environmental problems, and that these values are plural, multidimensional, contested, historical, and embedded in social practice and praxis. Furthermore, we recognize that social facts and complex social relations often mean that what we understand is little more than fragments of social reality, especially as the increasing number of stakeholders accelerates diversification and therefore the contestation of values.
In seeking any solution to improving human-nature relations and avoiding the trap of relativism, we need to shared social contexts, networks and practices so that we can produce an ethic or social norms that functions as building blocks for a sustainable future, with reciprocation between the various fields and theories. Our research is theoretically framed, empirically tested, and action-oriented, grounded in an ethic of participatory-action research.
Any attempt at this agenda should begin with a thick description that comes from intensive fieldwork involving case studies. In drawing and narrating such a detailed picture of social reality, we need to clarify the problem contexts and values that stakeholders have as their backgrounds, how those values have been held in place and with what kinds of social mechanisms, and in what ways historical changes affected our socio-ecosystem. We also need to be able to characterize, discuss and design public spaces in which actors and stakeholders can maintain and change their relations with the environment: that is, where discussion on values can be held.
In my research I have addressed the problem of watershed ethic and resource management, environmental justice, political control of passion and interests in resource management, social memory of pollution, polyphony in contested narration, oral history research methods, socio-economic and socio-environmental development, and environmental history.


1)Mayumi FUKUNAGA, 2015, "Biodiversity Ethic," Onuma and Kuriyama eds., italic:An Ethic for Protecting Biodiversity, Iwanami:Tokyo.(in Japanese)
2)Mayumi FUKUNAGA, 2014,"Close to Home: Why Field Research Methods in Environmental Sociology and Sutstainability Still Matter," italic:Journal of Environmental Sociology, 20: 77-98.(in Japanese)
3)Mayumi FUKUNAGA, 2013, "Legitimacy and the Discursive Space Based on the Collective Memory of Salmon: A Case of the Mattole Watershed in California," International Journal of Japanese Sociology, No22. (as a 2008 article division award winner) :160-177.
4)Mayumi FUKUNAGA, 2010, italic:Environmental Ethics for Polyphony: Legitimacy and Watershed Management,Harvest: Tokyo.(winner of a young scholar award from the Japan Sociological Society)

Other Activities

Member of the Research Committe, Japanese Association of Environmental Sociology
Member of Young Academy, Science Council of Japan

Future Plan

Future research themes includes;
Watershed Ethic and Community Capabilities;
Territorial Fishing Rights and Experiences of Development and Pollution in Japan, and;
Socio-economic Development and Aquaculture