2019 Society and Economy

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Industrial Engineering and Economics
Yamamuro Kyoko 
Course component(s)
Lecture / Exercise
Mode of instruction
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(W935)  Fri1-2(W935)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

This is an interactive course in which students gain an understanding of the foundations of economics and how such methodology can be applied to actual society while at the same time engaging in group work and discussion and developing the reading and critical thinking skills that are the foundations of such activities.
The two specific goals of the course are as follows:
1. Develop a deep understanding of society and economy and cultivate the ability to think critically and convey thoughts to others (achieved through in-class group work and presentations).
2. Develop reading ability, especially the ability to read extensively across a wide range of texts about contemporary society and economics (achieved through independent readings outside class time, which are shared with other members of the class on the class website).

Student learning outcomes

Consistent with the course goals, the learning outcomes consist of the following:
1. Become able to refine relevant points, develop concepts, and create persuasive presentations in a limited time.
2. Master reading and research skills, recognizing one’s own tendencies, to select information in a systematic, rather than scattered, way.


Reading, Group work, Logic

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Classes comprise the following two types of activities:
1. Activities in class: Students split into groups composed of approximately four members (group members change each session) and hold group discussions based on the provided materials and any additional information that the students have found for themselves on the Internet. The groups then present their conclusions to the entire class and evaluate each other. The objective of this component of the course is to provide training in reaching a conclusion within a limited time.
2. Activities outside class: Students borrow as many books as they like from the lending library and read them outside class time. They then provide feedback using a star rating system and comments on the special reading website for the course. This is a special system designed to enable students to share their independent reading with all students in the course.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Guidance How to participate in the course, overview of course materials, distribution of course ID, etc.
Class 2 Improving communication skills The keyword is SUCCESs! It is important is to focus on your target.
Class 3 Freedom? Equality? Self-diagnosing your thinking type. Into which of the four quadrants do you fit?
Class 4 Learning justice from Michael Sandel Would you sacrifice one person to save five?
Class 5 Would you buy that with money? What logic can you use in saying no to a commercial that has gone too far?
Class 6 The brutal economist Is human life more important than the earth? Is my body my own property? Economic reasoning.
Class 7 Drafting public policy Random prohibitions can have many harmful effects.
Class 8 The value of money depends on people Anchoring, framing, and the many traps that deceive us.
Class 9 Life plans and economics What is the relationship between one’s height and one’s lifetime earnings?
Class 10 What can medical statistics tell us? Life span and health are more important than economic power.
Class 11 Whichi is the winner, United States or China? Where does the President Trump go?
Class 12 History and game theory How did pepper traders prevent their agents from cheating them?
Class 13 Tokyo R estate Customize your living space yourself!
Class 14 Eight things you should know before starting work How the world works. Get this down before heading out into the world.
Class 15 Recap Have you become an expert in reading and group discussion?


There is no textbook. Instead, photocopied materials will be provided for each session.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

A reading list of over 70 books has been prepared. Multiple copies of each publication are available. All publications can be borrowed on a one-week loan. Please read to your heart’s and mind’s content.

Assessment criteria and methods

Contribution to group work and presentations: 50%
Accumulation of experience through commenting on the reading website: 50%

Related courses

  • None required

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

As needed.

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