Daniel Burnier and colleagues have just published a cartoon to introduce sociology as a discipline using a cartoon. The cartoon is available in French.
The cartoon is both a personal account of the main author, and a general introduction to the discipline. Contrary to PhD Comics, this book isn’t about academia, but much more a reflection about what sociology can contribute to the world — the usefulness of the discipline. This introspective focus on what the discipline can do for society more broadly may be something sociologists like doing, but the book doesn’t stop there.
We get an introduction to several (male) key thinkers and many sociological topics like gender roles, social movements, or poverty. I was happy to see the key thinkers banished to the appendix because I’m still struggling with any presentation of a discipline by individuals rather than their thoughts.
Given that the story is told by a male protagonist, I was glad to see an explicit section on female sociologists — but honestly it felt a bit like an afterthought. Perhaps the (personal) storyline made it difficult to do otherwise?
The kind of sociology presented is sociological theory and qualitative research. While this is certainly part of sociology, many of us use experimental and quantitative approaches — and do not struggle that much to see usefulness in what we do (perhaps the occasional reflexivity would do no harm in those quarters…).
Despite these comments, I did enjoy this cartoon and honestly, there’s potential for an English version…