Message from the Head

Succeeding to the Headship of a department where I was once an undergraduate student is an enormous privilege and a responsibility which I have accepted with humility. This is where I was exposed to the disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology and encountered inspiring educators and researchers.

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Succeeding to the Headship of a department where I was once an undergraduate student is an enormous privilege and a responsibility which I have accepted with humility. This is where I was exposed to the disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology and encountered inspiring educators and researchers. This is where I now practice my craft – teaching and doing ethnographic research – with great personal satisfaction. This disciplinary ‘joint-ness' and the institutional co-location of these disciplines began in 1965 when the ‘Department of Sociology' was first founded at the then University of Singapore – and persists firmly into the present. Through the decades this dual disciplinary grounding has continued to be reflected in the intellectual tenor of the department.

The department offers a range of engaging undergraduate and graduate modules that speak to the complexities of everyday living that unfold in diverse socio-cultural and political settings. Examples include the following fields: comparative historical sociology; financial and economic sociology; urban studies; cultural studies; research on religion; family, health and demography studies; work, class, mobility and inequalities; politics, power and violence; law, justice, human rights, social movements and deviance; kinship, gender and sexuality; visual and popular culture, media and communication studies. The department strives to equip students with core theoretical and methodological skill sets with which to critically analyse any societal domain, comparatively and historically. The effort is to produce skilled researchers – theoreticians and methodologists – who are trained to ask critical questions, formulate research problems, design and execute a research agenda effectively – skills that they can further translate into any context, and certainly beyond academic settings.

The department is a diverse, dynamic and innovative research and teaching unit with strong expertise in research on Southeast Asia, East Asia and South Asia as well as on Singapore society. One of the largest Sociology departments in the world, it offers comprehensive undergraduate, honours and graduate programmes, led by a group of dedicated and creative researchers and educators. The strength and vitality of the department are rooted in its teaching capacity fronted by excellent educators not to mention its stellar research and publication profile given a strong core of accomplished researchers and intellectuals. The classrooms, departmental seminars, graduate workshops and conferences organized through department initiatives afford opportunities for debating and debunking ideas and perspectives on culture, politics and society, challenging students to problematize everything - in the spirit of refusing to take anything for granted.

Professor Vineeta Sinha
Head of Department

Recent Publications

The Sensible Life of Return: Collaborative Experiments in Art and Anthropology in Palestine/Israel
Kiven Strohm
American Anthropologist, 2019 Vol. 121, No. 1, pp. 243–255, 2019

Southeast Asian Anthropologies: National Traditions and Transnational Practices
Eric C. Thompson and Vineeta Sinha
NUS Press, 2019

Marrying for a Future: Transnational Sri Lankan Tamil Marriages in the Shadow of War
Sidharthan Maunaguru
University of Washington Press, 2019

Family and Population Changes in Singapore: A Unique Case in Global Familyt Change.
Yeung, W.J and Hu S.
Routledge: London and New York

Families in Southeast and South Asia
Yeung, W.J, S. Desai and G. Jones
Annual Review of Sociology, 44: 469-495, 2018

A Foreign Affairs “Book of the Year” 2018
Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore

Chua Beng Huat
Cornell University Press, 2017

Seeing like Borders: Convergence Zone as a Post-Zomian Model
Jinba Tenzin
Current Anthropology 58, no. 5 (October 2017): 551-575.

The Ecology of Chinese Academia: A Third-eye Perspective
Jinba Tenzin
The China Quarterly, 231 (September 2017): 775-796.

Neither Reform nor Regime Change: Labor Politics in China and India’s Automobile Industries
Manjusha Nair and Eli Friedman
Sociology Working Paper Series,no. 195,2017

Globalization and its Countermovements: Marxian Contention or Polanyian Resistance?
Kurtulus Gemici and Manjusha Nair
Sociology Compass,vol.10 no.7, 2016

Paradox in Marriage Value and Behavior in Contemporary China
Wei-Jun Jean Yeung and Shu Hu
Chinese Journal of Sociology,vol.2 no.3, 2016

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Latest News and Announcements


Meet the Dean on FB Live!


Visit our Zoom room.

Our students and professors will be online from 10am to 5.30pm to answer your questions.


Our alumni, Ms A. Aarthi co-founded Women of Shakti - Singapore’s first empowerment group set up by and for South Asian domestic workers (India and Sri Lanka).

It is supported by Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics and Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda).

Find out more about the group at


Congratulations to our graduate student for winning the Graduate Students' Teaching Award:

  • Radhika Mathrani Chakraborty

You have done us proud!



We are pleased to announce that A/P Feng Qiushi has been awarded the Faculty Research Award under the Excellent Research category for 2018.


We are pleased to announce that four of our dedicated staff have been awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for AY2018/2019.

This award is for faculty members who have displayed a high level of commitment to their teaching. Each year, a select few colleagues are recognised for their teaching based on peer reviews, student feedback and exposition of their teaching philosophy.

Congratulations to:

  • A/P Feng Qiushi
  • Dr Noorman Abdullah
  • Dr Ivan Kwek
  • Dr George Radics