Social Geography

Humanities & Social Sciences
Geography and the Environment
Course Code
GEOG 2213
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered


Course Description
Social geographers study the ways that space and place mediate the production and reproduction of social categories such as class, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality, and disability. Social geography is the study of how society and space are mutually constituted. This course will discuss issues such as homelessness, sexualities, youth mobilities, and inclusion/exclusion, and key social institutions and places like the home, street, public park, internet, school, and nation that (re)produce social norms and inequalities in our everyday lives. The course is grounded in feminist critiques and theories of intersectionality and examines how feminist geographers have engaged with queer theory, Marxism, anti-racist practices, anarchical thinking, more-than-human geographies, and other frameworks.
Course Content
  1. Introduction
  • Traditions in social geography
  • Different social geography theories
  • Social geography and everyday life
  • Restructuring society and space
  • The body
    • "The geography closest in” (Rich, 1986)
    • Body as surface
    • Body as project
    • Cartesian dualism
    • Marked bodies: gender, sexualities, race, and disabilities
  • Geography of identity and difference
    • Definitions and classifications
    • Social construction of place
    • Social meanings of the built environment
    • In place/out of place
  • Public/Private Space
    • Urban morphology and the social arrangement of cities
    • Public space, private space, quasi-public space, and the public realm
    • Homelessness and housing
    • Regulating sex work
  • Urban life
    • Urban life in Western places
    • The neoliberal city and social life
    • Patterns of socio-economic inequality
    • Social interaction and community
    • Online-offline geographies
  • Place and power
    • Theories of power and control
    • Public institutions and private life
    • Governance structures
    • Places of exception
    • Social justice
  • Fear, crime, and disorder
    • Geographies of fear and crime
    • Role of the built environment
    • Neoliberalism and the carceral state
  • Race, ethnicity, and ‘the Other’
    • Race vs. ethnicity
    • Spatial discrimination of racialized groups
    • Colonies, enclaves, congregations, and ‘ghettos’
    • Nationalism and internal Orientalism
    • Colonialism and Indigeneity
  • Identity and struggles for place
    • Defining agency
    • Conflict and transgression
    • Place and resistance
    • Speaking from the margins
  • Spaces of hope
    • Social activism and civic responsibility
    • Transnational activism
    • Online and offline social networks
    • ‘The Power of Place’
    Learning Activities

    This course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of

    the following:

    • Lecture
    • In-class activities, such as mental maps
    • Fieldwork and/or field trips
    • Videos/DVDs/digital media
    • Individual and/or team projects
    • Small groups discussions
    • Map analysis
    Means of Assessment

    The evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College Evaluation Policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria during the first week of classes.


    An example of an evaluation scheme would be:

    Quizzes  30%
    Poster presentation  25%
    Project  15%
    Preparation & participation   10%
    Final exam  20%
    Total 100%
    Learning Outcomes
    1. Synthesize the concepts, techniques, and theories of social geography.
    2. Communicate effectively orally, graphically, in writing, and using quantitative methods.
    3. Describe the development of social geography and explain the alternative paradigms of social geography.
    4. Explain the concept of the spatial structuring of social differences and inequalities.
    5. Apply the concepts, methods, and theories to different scales of geographic analysis.
    6. Describe and analyze the arrangements and patterns of different types of groups within a given society.
    7. Evaluate the most relevant issues and needs confronting different groups within a given society.
    8. Describe and analyze the concepts and spatial patterns of social transformation through the collection, interpretation and presentation of relevant geographic data.
    Textbook Materials

    A text or custom course reader may be used. Texts will be updated periodically. A typical example of a text would be:

    Del Casino, V. J., Thomas, M.E., Cloke P., and Panelli, R. (Editors) (2011). A Companion to Social Geography. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 


    Supplemental course materials may include:


    Anderson, J. (2015). Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces, 2nd Edition. London, UK: Routledge. 

    Del Casino, V. J. (2009). Social Geography: A Critical Introduction. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.  

    Enos, R. D., & Cambridge Core EBA eBooks Complete Collection. (2017). The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics. New York, NY; Cambridge.

    Kitchin, R. (2007). Mapping Worlds: International Perspectives on Social and Cultural Geographies. London, UK: Routledge.

    Knox, P. and Pinch, S. (2009). Urban Social Geography: An Introduction. Toronto, Canada: Prentice-Hall.

    Moss, P. and K. Falconer, eds. (2008). Feminisms in Geography: Rethinking Space, Place and Knowledges. Lanham, Maryland: Rowan and Littlefield.

    Panelli, R, (2004). Social Geographies: From Difference to Action. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

    Smith, S. (2010). The Sage Handbook on Social Geographies. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

    Turley, B. (2018). Feminist Spaces: Gender and Geography in a Global Context. London, UK: Routledge. 

    Valentine, G. (2001). Social Geography: Space and Society. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall.



    Jhally, S. (2009). The Codes of Gender?: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture. Media Education Foundation.

    Marx, F. (director, producer, editor) (2004). Boys to Men [video recording]. Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation.

    Morris, S. (writer, director, & producer), Wise, T. (writer), Earp, J, (writer) (2014). White Like Me: Race, Racism, and White Privilege in America [video recording]. Northampton, MA: Media Education Foundation.

    Newsom, J.S. (writer, director, & producer) (2014). The Mask You Live In [video recording]. New York, NY: Virgil Films.




    No corequisite courses.


    No equivalent courses.

    Course Guidelines

    Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

    Course Transfers

    These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

    Institution Transfer Details for GEOG 2213
    Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX ARTS 2XX (3)
    Athabasca University (AU) AU GEOG 3XX (3)
    Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU GEOG 2XX (3)
    Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN GEOG 2XX (3)
    College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR GEOG 2XX (3)
    Coquitlam College (COQU) COQU GEOG 204 (3)
    Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 2XXX (3)
    Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 2270 (3)
    North Island College (NIC) NIC GEO 2XX (3)
    Northern Lights College (NLC) NLC GEOG 240 (3)
    Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GEOG 241 (3)
    Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 2XXX (3)
    Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GEOG 2XX (3)
    University Canada West (UCW) UCW GEOG 2XX (3)
    University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GEOG 2nd (3)
    University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GEOG 2nd (3)
    University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC GEOG 206 (3)
    University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 241 (3)
    University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GEOG 2XX (1.5)
    Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC GEOG 2241 (3)
    Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 344 (3)

    Course Offerings

    Summer 2023