Introduction to Sociology (SILS) 2020 Friday 3rd period


A very important annuncement to students (2020.4.4)

As you may have known, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the spring semester of 2020 starts on May 11th. All classes will be conducted online, including this course.
This is an unexpected huge change in the course, and so I am planning how to conduct this lecture course.
Anyway, this class will be conducted online. The details of this course will be announced here. If you are going to join this class, please prepare the textbook mentioned below. In the syllabus, I wrote that the grading was based on two examinations. However, in this emergent situation, it is very difficult to conduct exams. Therefore, let me change the grading policy. The grading will be based on the final essay.


The Final Essay

Choose one topic from concepts and ideas explained in the textbook, and write an essay about it in around 1,000 words. Notes: This course is an introduction to sociology. In university courses, the ability for critical thinking is essential. However, because this course is to offer the foundation for critical thinking, critical thinking is not a criterion of grading. The criterion of grading is that students have learned the textbook concepts and use them in correct ways. 

The deadline: July 31 

Send your essay to ab@sakurai.jp as an attached file. 




1. About this course

This course is an introduction to contemporary sociology for beginners. In this course, the instructor will explain the basic concepts in sociology. The knowledge of the basic concepts in sociology will enable students to study more advanced topics in sociology.


2. Textbook

Anthony Giddens and Philip Sutton, 2017, Essential Concepts in Sociology, second edition, Polity Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-5095-1667-4 (pb)

The textbook is necessary. This book is available at the university coop bookstore or other stores.
If you do not have the textbook, you should not take this course.

The presentation video by the instructor will be posted here by the scheduled time. The PDF file of the same contents (without narration) will be posted at the same time. Please study these materials carefully.

Please submit your essay by July 31st. Pick up some topic or topics explained in the course and make your own research about them in about 1,000 words. Please send your final essay as an attached file to my mail address (ab@sakurai.jp).




3. Schedule

5/15 Orientation

5/22 1. Thinking Sociologically
Discourse, globalization, modernity, postmodernity, rationalization, society, structure/agency.
(Notes: 'Thinking Sociologically' is the first chapter of the textbook. In this chapter, concepts listed above are explained. Students read the text carefully during 5/16-21. The lecture will be uploaded on 5/22. In the same way, the lecture video will be uploaded on 5/29, 6/05,12, 19, 26, 7/03, 10, 17, 24, 31)

5/29 2. Doing Sociology
Ideal type, qualitative/quantitative methods, realism, reflexivity, science., social constructionism.

6/05 3. Environment and Urbanism
Alienation, environment, industrialization, migration, risk, sustainable development, urbanism.

6/12 4. Structures of Society
Bureaucracy, capitalism, consumerism, division of labor, education, organization.

6/19 5. Unequal Life Chances
Religion, class, gender, intersectionality, patriarchy, poverty.

6/26 6. Relationship and the Life Course
'Race' and ethnicity, social mobility, status, community, family, life course

7/03 7. Interaction and Communication
Network, sexuality, socialization, culture, identity, ideology.

7/10 8. Health, Illness and the Body
Interaction, mass media, public sphere, biomedicine, medicalization, sick role.

7/17 9. Crime and Social Control
Social model of disability, social self, stigma, anomie, deviance, labeling.

7/24 10. Poiltical Sociology
Moral panic, restorative justice, social control, authority, citizenship, civil society.

7/31 Political Sociology Continued
Conflict, democracy, nation state, power, social movement

Grading: Final essay 100%.