Sociology

Code Course Description
SOCI 1125

Social Processes

Social Processes provides a general introduction to the subject matter of sociology and to the various theoretical and methodological approaches sociologists adopt in studying it. In particular, it aims to develop students’ ability to employ a sociological imagination – that is,
to look at features of everyday life in the way that a sociologist does. The course investigates the relations of the individual to society, and the processes by which groups and institutions change in response to a dynamic social structure. The areas of stability, change, inequality and power are examined within the context of current social, political and economic conditions. The course attempts to stimulate thought and discussion on contemporary social issues.

SOCI 1145

Canadian Society

This course examines the developmental processes that have brought Canadian Society and its peoples to the present state. Social, legal, political and economic consideration will be developed to analyze both the background and emergent directions of Canadian society.

SOCI 1155

Social Issues

This course introduces students to the concepts, methods, and theories of sociology through the examination of social problems. It examines the social conditions and processes related to defining, responding to, and resolving social problems. Social problems to be examined range from personal to institutional issues and include historical as well as contemporary examples.

SOCI 2220

Social Movements

Understanding the processes of social change in any society requires an examination of the role of social movements. Social movements can be broadly defined as groups in civil society organizing to bring about social change. It is often commented that such movements are distinctly modern phenomena, made possible by social, economic, and political changes occurring in the contemporary era. In the first part of the course, we will undertake a brief survey of the historical roots of the rise of social movements in the Western world, and then undertake an examination of classical and contemporary social movement theory. Following this, drawing on social movement theories, we will examine some social movements that have had an impact in North America and other parts of the world since the 1960s.

SOCI 2225

Sociology of Globalization

This course introduces the process of globalization and its consequences on the lives of people at the local, national, and international levels. It provides students with a critical sociological understanding of the economic, social, cultural, technological, and political aspects of globalization. It demonstrates how politics, power structures, cultural expectations, and agency influence the manner in which we define and explain globalization.

SOCI 2230

Race and Ethnicity

This course involves an introductory examination of racial and ethnic relations in Canadian society. Sociological analysis of minority group issues and problems constitutes a main focus of interest. The course will broadly consider such topics as governance models for managing race and ethnic relations, the nature of racial stratification, the social construction of race and ethnicity, various types of racism and ethnic chauvinism, (neo)colonialism, immigration, and multiculturalism. The course also examines relationships between minorities and institutional structures such as government, employment, and justice.

SOCI 2235

Introduction to Social Theory

This course introduces classical and contemporary social theories by examining their social and historical development. The connection between sociological research and the development of sociological theories is emphasized as well as the relevance of theory to the critical examination of current social issues.

SOCI 2240

Women in Society

This course investigates women's status in contemporary society, noting how this has changed drastically over time, with significant progress towards gender equality in many societies. While the course focuses primarily on understanding the experience of women in Canada today, it does so with reference to the historical and contemporary diversity in the situation of women both here and elsewhere in the world. The course examines how women's lives in any society are shaped by a variety of socio-cultural institutions such as the family, the educational system, the mass media and the workplace, and assesses the extent to which their socialization experiences continue to differ from those of men. The course explores the various different feminist analyses of women's oppression and their implications, and concludes by assessing how close we have come to completing the so-called 'gender revolution' that was initiated through twentieth century women's activism.

Note: This course can count towards an Associate of Arts specialization in Gender, Sexualities and Women's Studies.

SOCI 2245

Education and Society

This course explores sociocultural issues affecting education. It provides a sociological analysis of the educational system and its relationship to major social institutions. Aspects examined may include classroom and student culture, education and socialization, the bureaucratization of education, the politics of teaching, education and social inequality, education and labour markets, and the social context of educational policy.

SOCI 2250

Families & Social Change

This course introduces students to sociological theories and research related to families in society, with emphasis on the dynamic and diverse nature of family forms. The course examines the relationship of families to other social, economic and political institutions, and considers the impact of societal ideologies and social policies on family life.

SOCI 2255

The Sociology of Popular Culture

This course uses various sociological perspectives to analyze the role of popular culture in society. The course examines the development and social significance of various forms of popular culture in the context of recent theories and debates about the relationship of culture to society. Representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality in popular culture will be analyzed. The course will also examine the role of popular culture in the maintenance of social inequality as well as its utility as a medium for challenging inequality.

SOCI 2260

Introduction to Sociological Research

A practical introduction to the range of methods employed by sociologists in the collection and analysis of empirical data. Includes critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

SOCI 2270

Society and Environment

This course examines the relations between human society and the natural environment. It investigates the ways in which institutions shape and are shaped by natural environments. The ways in which culture, social organization, and social inequality are related to natural environments will be discussed. A range of sociological perspectives will be used to explore contemporary concerns of sustainability, distributive justice and environmental crisis.

SOCI 2280

Sociology of Health and Illness

This course reviews various topics pertinent to the social organization of health, illness and medicine. Through application of the sociological perspective to the Canadian context, important social issues relating to health outcomes are critically examined.

SOCI 2290

Society and Technology

This course examines the impact of technology on the social relations of people in contemporary industrial societies. It investigates the social bases of technological innovation and examines the forces associated with the institutionalized uses of technology, as well as the consequences of those uses. Critical evaluation of a range of important questions and issues will be undertaken in relation to the social uses and impacts of technology at micro- (e.g., experiential, identity, subjective interpretation) and macro- (e.g., workplace, institutional, economic) sociological levels.

SOCI 3345

Aging, Death, & Capitalism

This course examines aging and death as a social process as it relates to the rise of capitalism and its related institutions. The rise of capitalist societies in the 19th century profoundly shaped the experience of aging and dying. Modern medicine and technologies have dramatically extended life spans while enabling us to avoid dying and death as a reality until old age. Culturally, capitalist societies stigmatize old age while idealizing youthfulness as exhibited in mass media and the lucrative multi-billion dollar beauty products industry. Today, aging is often considered a “disease” that can be “cured” with technologies provided by our capitalist economy, transforming our sense of self as we move through different stages of life. Drawing on the insights of classical and contemporary sociological theory, the course considers individual experiences of aging and dying, wider patterns of stratification and inequality related to old age, as well as demographic shifts in the aging population in Canada and across the globe. Finally, this course critically examines various socio-cultural and historical attitudes and practices concerning dying and death.

SOCI 3385

Social Control & Surveillance

This course will involve an advanced examination of social control and surveillance. Course materials will cover key fields of scholarship, such as governmentality, risk, globalization, citizenship and subjectivity, modernity and late-modernity, private and public space, and surveillance (for example CCTV, drones, and big data). The course will draw on foundational themes of sociological analysis to examine key forms of social inequality, including race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, as well as health and well-being. Readings, lectures and assignments will examine power and resistance in everyday life, social movements, globalization, and technology, to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary issues relating to social control and surveillance.