Japanese Scholar Talks to Doctoral Students

Prof. Youichi Ito of Keio University in Japan told a gathering of graduate students at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication that it is possible to develop research strategies to compare the degree of political development in countries around the world and avoid the pitfalls of simplistic comparisons.

Prof. Ito recommended that comparisons be made based on the degree of rationalization in the country, that is, the extent to which political decision are made based on laws and procedures, and the degree of polarization, that is the extent to which power is shared in the society.

Research that does not focus on these two dimensions of development and attempts to compare countries is flawed, Prof. Ito said, because it will be impossible to make meaningful comparisons between western and nonwestern countries on simple dimensions of political development.

Prof. Ito made his comments in a lecture in November in the Grady College sponsored by the Cox Center and the Graduate Caucus, an association of graduate students studying in the Grady College. Prof. Ito had been invited to the University of Georgia by Cox Center Director Lee B. Becker.

"This is the second year we've been able to bring in a distinguished international scholar from abroad to give a lecture to the graduate students here in the Grady College," Cox Center Director Lee B. Becker said. "We're most appreciative of the time Prof. Ito gave and his helpful thoughts on international comparative mass communication research."

Prof. Klaus Schoenbach from Hannover gave a Cox Center sponsored lecture to the Grady College Graduate students in the spring of 1998.

Prof. Ito is a member of the faculty of the Department of Policy Management at the Shonan Fujisawa campus of Keio University and a researcher in the Institute for Communication Research at Keio. He did his graduate work at Boston University and Tufts University in the United States.

Prof. Ito is a distinguished scholar of mass communication who has written extensively on the role of the media and public opinion in governmental decision making and on the role of information in the modernization process.