David Johnson, Faculty, Department of Sociology, UH Mānoa

David Johnson

Office: Saunders 217
Telephone: 1 (808) 956-8462
Email: davidjoh@hawaii.edu


In my last semester as an undergraduate at Bethel College in Minnesota, I encountered Professor Paul Wiebe in a Sociology of Religion class. Dr. Wiebe was raised in south India, and his teaching helped me see how distinctive and problematic some features of American society are. As a result of his class, when an opportunity arose to teach English in Japan, I took it, hoping that a year abroad would further develop my comparative perspective. While in Japan, a stranger in a train station gave me a leaflet which raised concerns about police interrogations and wrongful convictions in Japanese criminal justice. My interests in criminal justice and Japan and sushi took off from there.


  • Advanced Research Fellow, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 1997
  • PhD, Jurisprudence and Social Policy, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, 1996
  • MA, Sociology, University of Chicago, 1989
  • BA, (Summa Cum Laude) in Mathematics, Minor in Sociology, Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1983
  • Certificate, Intensive Program in Advanced Japanese, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama, Japan, 1988


  • SOC 218: Introduction to Social Problems
  • SOC 333: Survey of Criminology
  • SOC 336: Deviant Behavior and Social Control
  • SOC 357: Sociology of Japan
  • SOC 374: Law, Politics and Society
  • SOC 431: Analysis in Criminology/Juvenile Delinquency
  • SOC 432: Analysis in Corrections
  • SOC 632: Criminal Justice System


My teaching and research focus on criminal justice (police, prosecutors, and punishment, mainly in Japan and the US), comparative law and society, and the death penalty.