Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies

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SOC300ZA(社会学 / Sociology 300)
Social Theory: Perspectives on Inequality


Class code etc
Faculty/Graduate school Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies
Attached documents
Year 2022
Class code A6318
Previous Class code
Previous Class title
Term 秋学期授業/Fall
Day/Period 金5/Fri.5
Class Type
Campus 市ヶ谷 / Ichigaya
Classroom name 各学部・研究科等の時間割等で確認
Grade 3~4
Credit(s) 2
Open Program
Open Program (Notes)
Global Open Program
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers (Notes) 制度ウェブサイトの3.科目別の注意事項 (1) GIS主催科目の履修上の注意を参照すること。
Class taught by instructors with practical experience
Urban Design CP
Diversity CP
Learning for the Future CP
Carbon Neutral CP
Chiyoda Campus Consortium
Duplicate Subjects Taken Under Previous Class Title
Category (commenced 2024 onwards)
Category (commenced 2020-2023)
Category (commenced 2016-2019)

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Outline and objectives

Social inequality has always been a part of human society, and social scientists have invested much effort into “figuring out” why there is social inequality and how social inequality is sustained and reproduced. Earlier efforts focused mostly on socioeconomic inequality, while later endeavors explored racial, gender, sexual inequalities and their interconnections. These efforts resulted in classical and contemporary social theories on inequality. In this course, students will learn these theories, which are interesting in and of themselves, but more importantly, they will learn to think about inequality deeply and sophisticatedly.


In mastering the social theories covered in this course, students will hone their critical thinking skills, develop their own theories of various aspects of society and the world and consider solutions to lessen inequality. Students will acquire the skills to engage with complex ideas and think systematically and logically, and remaining aware of social injustices and problems. By the end of the course, students should be able to form and support their opinions with ease.

Which item of the diploma policy will be obtained by taking this class?

Will be able to gain “DP 1”, “DP 2”, “DP 3”, and “DP 4”.

Default language used in class

英語 / English

Method(s)(学期の途中で変更になる場合には、別途提示します。 /If the Method(s) is changed, we will announce the details of any changes. )

This course is taught through a combination of lectures interwoven with short discussions, student presentations based on readings, and post-presentation discussions.
After the active learning section, the instructor will give feedback to each student personally in verbal or written form.

Active learning in class (Group discussion, Debate.etc.)

あり / Yes

Fieldwork in class

なし / No


授業形態/methods of teaching:対面/face to face



Overview of theories to be covered. Nature of the class. Course requirements.

2[対面/face to face]:The Trio in Classical Theories (1)

Karl Marx on social class

3[対面/face to face]:The Trio in Classical Theories (2)

Max Weber on social stratification

4[対面/face to face]:The Trio in Classical Theories (3)
Yet Another View? Norms and Inequality

Emile Durkehim on the division of labor in society
Ralph Dahrendorf's theory of the origin of inequality

5[対面/face to face]:The Cultural Turn in Social Theory?

Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinctions and the significance of taste and lifestyle

6[対面/face to face]:Presentation and Discussion: A "Common Sense" Theory and its Critique

Student presentation and discussion on Davis and Moore's structural-functionalist theory and Tumin's critique

7[対面/face to face]:Race, Ethnicity and Inequality (1)

Theories related to racial inequality: The work of W.E.B. Du Bois, Michael Omi & Howard Winant, Joe Feagin

8[対面/face to face]:Race, Ethnicity and Inequality (2)

Theories related to racial inequality: Critical Race theories (CRT)

9[対面/face to face]:Student Presentation and Discussion

Student presentation and discussion of CRT

10[対面/face to face]:The "F" word: "Classic" Feminist Theories on Gender Inequality

What is feminism? Liberal Feminism: the feminist theory? Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart & Harriet Taylor Mill, and Betty Friedan

11[対面/face to face]:It's All Together Now: Race, Class and Gender

Black Feminist Standpoint Theory: Patricia Hill Collins
Intersectional Theories: understanding multiple inequalities

12[対面/face to face]:Global Inequality

Dependency Theory and World-Systems Theory:
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Enzo Faletto and Immanuel Wallerstein

13[対面/face to face]:Basic Concepts and Theories

Student presentation based on theories introduced in class.

14[対面/face to face]:Theories on Inequality: One More Time

What have we learned? Where to go from here?
Short presentation and discussions of "favorite concepts"

Work to be done outside of class (preparation, etc.)

Since the class is centered on reading and discussion, students are expected to do the readings before class and also review materials after each class. Every effort will be made to keep the amount of readings reasonable and enjoyable. Preparatory study and review time for this class are 2 hours each.


The instructor will prepare materials to be distributed in class or downloaded from the university portal.


Grabb, Edward G. 2007. Theories of Social Inequality. 5th edition. Toronto, Canada:Thomson Nelson.

Grading criteria

Presentations (22%), reading assignments (40%), take-home examination (30%), class participation (8%).

Changes following student comments

Students were positive about the course, despite the rather heavy workload. However, to encourage students to engage more with the class materials, short discussions have been integrated into the lectures from 2017.


If you like to read, think and discuss, this is the course for you. If you have taken and liked courses in political theory, philosophy, cultural anthropology or other sociology courses, it's likely that you find this course enjoyable as well.

Aslo, students who have passed Introduction to Sociology will be given admission priority. All students who intend to enroll in this class have to attend the first class.