Sociology Courses

Click here to see outlines for Sociology Courses

Note: 400-level courses require at least 12 credits in sociology below the 400 level as a prerequisite, or the permission of the instructor. SOCI 101, 102 counts as six of these credits.  SOCI 101 and 102 are prerequisites for all 200-400 level courses. 

100 Level

101 Introduction to Sociology I 
This course introduces students to the origins and development of sociological thinking and research, beginning with the foundations of the discipline in the 19th century. Students are then introduced to the concepts and methods within sociology. The objective is to explore the extent and limits of our capacity to change the social world by reference to sociological research in both a Canadian and global context. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 101 and SOCI 100. Three credits.

102 Introduction to Sociology II 
This course builds on the foundations of sociological theory, methods and historic considerations established in SOCI 101. Students will explore a range of topics dealing with various aspects of social inequality, culture, integration, and ideological conflict in both a Canadian and global context. Together with SOCI 101, this course provides the prerequisite for all other sociology courses. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 102 and SOCI 100. Prerequisite: SOCI 101.Three credits.

200 Level

202 Research Principles and Practices
This course addresses how various philosophic assumptions shape the aims and practices of research in sociology. It provides students with empirical research design principles and an introduction to methods of collecting and recording data, assessing reliability and validity, and conducting data analysis. Different research strategies are introduced. The ethical implications of research will be discussed. Three credits. Note: SOCI 202 is a prerequisite for entry into higher-level methods courses.

203 Gender 
This course is about gender differences and gender inequality. The main objective of the course is not only to examine differences in women’s and men’s social positions, but also to stimulate critical and informed thinking about the sources of gender inequality in our society. More generally, the course aims to explore the many ways in which this society is organized around gender differences and divisions. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 203 and SOCI/WMGS 310. Cross-listed as WMGS 203. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

212 Social Dissent
Social dissent has been a persistent, perhaps necessary, feature of modern (capitalist, bureaucratic, technocratic, patriarchal) societies. Students will explore ways in which dissent has been voiced and alternatives have been envisioned in the 20th century, including new organizational forms and tactics of dissent, and new technologies and international networks. Students may use the course as a basis for advanced social scientific research. Three credits.

216 Canadian Society
This course presents an analysis of Canadian Society and its development from a sociological perspective. Particular attention is given to political/economic institutions, ideology, class structure, regionalism, cultural forms and national identities. Three credits.

217 Race and Identities 
This course discusses the interconnected realities of race, class, gender and sex from various sociological perspectives. Substantive topics will include the socially constructed nature of these concepts in places like media, and the experiences of classism, sexism and racism in the workplace, schools, and everyday life. Three credits. will be granted for only one of SOCI 217 or SOCI 215. Cross-listed as WMGS 217. Three credits.

221 Marriage and Family Life ​
This course analyzes the marriage and family life from a sociological perspective. It provides an overview of social changes over the past century, such as the falling birth rate, the rise in cohabitation and the legalization of same-sex marriage. Topics include marriage and fertility trends, the rise of intensive parenting and the dual earner family, the normalization of separation and divorce, the social cost of family violence, and how technology is influencing parenting. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 221, SOCI 210, or WMGS 210. Cross-listed as WMGS 221. Three credits.

227 Sociology of Religion
An introduction to the sociological study of religion. Topics include social factors that in uence religion at individual and communal levels; religion as agent of social cohesion and social con ict; religion and power structures; the impact of pluralism and globalization on religion today. Cross-listed as RELS 215. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

242 Technology and Society
This course is designed to introduce students to core sociological issues and debates pertaining to technology. Topics covered include the nature of technological artifacts and systems, technology and social change, the relationship between technological innovation and scientific knowledge, technology and inequality, the social shaping of technology, and the role of digital media in relation to new
forms of cultural identity and social control. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 242 or SOCI 496 completed between 2012-2014. Three credits.

243 Consumer Society
This course explores classical to contemporary theories of consumer society beginning with Marx’s conception of the commodity as fetish. Themes discussed include conspicuous consumption, gender and consumption, social class, environment, identity, advertising and marketing. Three credits.

244 Cultures and Societies
This course will focus on exploring how society shapes culture and culture shapes society. Drawing on local, national and global practices of culture and cultural objects, students will learn how meaning-making is critical to understanding everyday life. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 244 or SOCI 298 offered in 2015-2016. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

247 Environmental Social Science I:  Problems and Paradigms
This course introduces students to the major environmental challenges of the 21st century from a social science perspective. Modern societies that have sought to conquer natural limits have now conjured up unanticipated “environmental” consequences. Students will explore how human understandings of environmental “problems” as well as action towards environmental solutions are shaped by ways of thinking, social contexts and institutional power relations. Cross-listed as PSCI 247. Three credits.

248 Environmental Social Science II: Power and Change
A continuation of SOCI 247, this course addresses the same conceptual problems but focuses more on understanding the societal and political response to environmental issues. Students will critically examine both proposed ecological futures, as well as means of environmental problem solving and societal change: state policy, intergovernmental treaties, environmental movements, and market solutions. Cross-listed as PSCI 248. Prerequisite: SOCI 247 or PSCI 247. Three credits.

251 Theories of Deviance and Social Control
This course offers students a theoretical foundation for understanding social processes of deviance and social control. Using various theoretical devices, students will critically examine the social category of deviance and its use in social institutions and daily social practices. Topics could include mental illness, drug and alcohol use, alternative sexualities, social violence and disability. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 251, SOCI 250 or SOCI 298 completed in 2016-2017. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits.

252 Topics in Deviance and Social Control
This course draws upon the theoretical preparation provided in Sociology 251 to critically assess various topics in deviance and social control, and their power relations. Students will for instance, consider the complex relations of power and control associated with sex and sexuality, contemporary notions of tness and health, white versus blue collar crime, as well as ‘natural’ disasters. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 252 or SOCI 250. Prerequisite: SOCI 251. Three credits. 

254 Experiencing Social Class 
This course explores social class as a lived experience - one in which everyday life both reveals and denies the structural advantages and disadvantages that perpetuate class differences. By way of ethnographic and theoretical literatures, students will study how stages of life and encounters with institutions (school, state, family, etc) shape social class experiences. Prerequisite: SOCI 100 or SOCI 101/102. Three credits.

297 Selected Topics 
The topic in 2018-2019 is Social Policy. This course provides an overview of social policy in Canada. Students will examine the relationship be-tween policy and practice, exploring both the impact of policies on social supports and services, and the in uence of service deliverers and users on how policies are implemented. Topics covered include: what social policy is, who makes policy, how political behaviour is shaped by policy environments, what policy instruments are, and what is involved in policy implementation and evaluation. Students will learn theories of public policy, policy-making models, the policy-making and practice process, and the role of citizen participation. Credits will be granted for only one of SOCI 297 and SOCI 360. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

298 Selected Topics
The topic for 2018-2019 is Sociology of Health. In this class, students will approach the study of human health from a critical sociological perspective. Beginning with an understanding of the distinction between a biomedicine and the social determinants of health, the class will explore some of t-he dominant social causes of health and illness. In addition, we will gain a brief history of health care in Canada and come to understand how our publicly-funded health system can be contrasted with other national models. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

300 Level

301 Classical Social Theory
Explores the development and diversity of sociology’s foundational perspectives through the study of selected original works by such authors as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Restricted to major, advanced major and honours students. Three credits.

302 Topics in Contemporary Theory
This seminar course on contemporary theory varies from year to year. While a survey approach to contemporary theory may be part of the course, it is probable that the professor will choose specific interests for in-depth analysis. Potential perspectives include feminist theory, anti-racist theory, postmodernism, and neo-Marxist theory. Restricted to major, advanced major and honours students. Three credits.

303 Early Modern Social Thought
This course examines early modern ways of thinking about the social world. These include theories of social contract, liberalism, political economy, positivistic science, evolution and progressive history. Students will discuss these intellectual influences in terms of how they either provided assumptions and authority for the emergence of the discipline of sociology in the 19th century or were questioned and challenged by sociologists. Three credits.

304 Feminist Theory
This course examines various directions feminists have taken in studying women’s experiences and the construction of gender. Students will learn how these theoretical approaches have in uenced feminist research and critical practice. The course will include early feminist thought as well as contemporary feminist theory. Cross-listed as WMGS 303. Prerequisite: WMGS 100. Three credits. 

307 Qualitative Research Methods
The course introduces students to the qualitative research methods used by sociologists. The course introduces the philosophical, theoretical, and ethical aspects of qualitative research as well as qualitative approaches to data collection, data analysis, presentation of results, and methods of evaluating qualitative research. The various aspects of qualitative research are illustrated with classical and contemporary studies. Prerequisite: SOCI 202. 70 average recommended. Three credits.

311 Men and Masculinities
A critical review of the science of masculinity and recent theoretical developments on the social construction of men’s lives and masculinities. Topics include male gender role socialization; the role social institutions play in shaping masculinities; masculinity politics, men’s movement, and social change. Cross-listed as WMGS 311. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

312 Social Movements
This course provides students with the tools for analyzing popular movements for social change. Students will survey the best examples of social movement analysis in the neo-Marxist, new social movement, social constructionist, and resource mobilization traditions. Movements covered may include: labour, environmental, student, peace, anti-racist, women’s. Prerequisite: SOCI 212. Three credits.

313 Conceptions of Disability
An introduction to the eld of disability studies, this course examines the ways in which disabled people and disability issues are de ned and treated in contemporary society. Social and political conceptions of disability are contrasted with medical and individualistic de nitions of disability with the aim of developing a critique of taken-for-granted conceptions of normal bodies, minds, and senses. Community- based contributions and responses to disability knowledge are emphasized and common ideas and assumptions about disability are situated historically to illustrate changing relations to disability over time, and to the role of disability knowledge in social change. The experience of disability will be stressed. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

322 The Antigonish Movement as Change and Development
Explores both social change and economic development through the history, philosophy, and practice of the Antigonish Movement as experienced at home and abroad. This movement will be used to examine political systems, labour relations, class conflict, education, co-operative strategies, religion, and ethnicity in the context of social transformation. Cross-listed as DEVS 322. Three credits.

327 Canadian Families and Parenting
This course explores the impact of social, political, economic and cultural changes on families and parents. Topics include the diversity of family relations, work-life balance, family time, the ‘parenting expert industry’, ‘intensive parenting,’ the ‘boomerang generations’ and ‘grand’ relations. Across this range of topics, we consider how gender, race, sexuality, social class, and health in uence families and parents. Cross-listed as WMGS 328. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits.

328 Social Inequality
Students will explore the distribution of social, political and economic resources in Canadian society, and the unequal access to these resources based on social class, race, ethnicity, gender, age and region. Using a central theme based upon concepts of class and power, the course examines speci c issues such as the socio-economic bases of social inequality, ascription and the consequences of poverty. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

331 Media Effects
This course considers a broad array of issues and controversies pertaining to the study of media effects. Topics covered include the development of propaganda theory, the social significance of advertising, and debates concerning the influence of media content on behavior and popular understandings of social reality. Attention is given to both traditional and holistic approaches to media effects in terms of the strengths and limitations of each. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 331or SOCI 325. Three credits.

332 Media Forms
“The medium is the message.” – Marshall McLuhan. This course introduces students to various media technologies as shaping societies across time, with a focus on media forms rather than content. The course will discuss oral aboriginal culture (and western literate contact), the phonetic alphabet, monuments, papyrus, print, photography, film, TV, and digital media. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 332 or SOCI 325. Three credits.

334 Sociology of Anne of Green Gables
Using the iconic Canadian classic Anne of Green Gables this course sets out to explore the variety of theoretical perspectives used by those in the cultural Sociology. Through the use of the books in the Anne series, films, television, and the author’s journals, students will learn how to think about and apply theorists such as Bourdieu, the Frankfurt School, and Barthes. Prerequisites: SOCI 100 or SOCI 101/102 and 6 additional credits. Three credits.

335 Sociology of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples
This course examines how the contemporary situation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of Canada is related to historical interactions among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal societies and indigenous cultural traditions. This will include consideration of how concerns of cultural identity, class, and gender are complicated by Canada’s colonial legacy as developed with the aid of recent post-colonial/ sociological theory. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 335, SOCI 317, SOCI 330 or SOCI 397 offered in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits.

337 Black/African Diaspora: Culture, Religion and Society
This course critically examines structural and sociocultural factors that operate and/or reproduce powerlessness among Black people in the Diaspora. Attention will be given to Black/African culture, experience and contributions, especially in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. Attention will also be given to the intersection of religion and cultural expressions in the African Diaspora. The importance of religion in the Black Diaspora’s experience of both oppression and liberation will be a key component of our analytic framework. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 337 and SOCI 395 offered in 2016-2017. Cross-listed as RELS 334. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits.

341 Global Agriculture
This course begins with an interdisciplinary survey of the scienti c, philosophical, political, social and cultural aspects of global agriculture and food production. Topics examined include the green revolution, the relations between agricultural and social sustainability, local food versus export economies, food security, food sovereignty and justice, as well as biotechnology, soil science and climate framing. At least one farm visit is included. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 341 and SOCI 398 offered from 2016-2018. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits.

356 Power, Culture and Identity
This course explores the rapidly shifting contexts within which individuals and groups from diverse cultural backgrounds interact, often forming new social and political identities in the process. Questions of identity are considered at the levels of individual subjectivity, localized community, national identity, and de-localized networks. Contemporary aspects of intercultural relations are viewed considering enduring political processes and related social upheavals rooted in colonialism, nationalism and the global spread of capitalist markets. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

364 Food and Society
This course emphasizes linkages between food production and consumption in the changing global political economy. The social organisation of food production and consumption will be assessed from the standpoint of comparative research on global food chains and recent insights surrounding the social construction of food risks and benefits. Case studies will change on an annual basis but will always involve some consideration of the interrelations between countries from the ‘North’ and the ‘South’. Three credits.

366 Coastal Communities
This course introduces students to social research on coastal communities. Emphasis is given to the social transformation of common property fisheries, the rise of industrial aquaculture, demographic transitions in coastal communities and recent moves towards integrated coastal resource management. Comparative case materials from North Atlantic coastal communities in Atlantic Canada, Britain, Ireland, and the Nordic Countries will be used in this course. Three credits.

373 Irish Society
This course emphasizes the major factors that contributed to the making of modern Ireland. The topics to be covered include: the role of the Great Famine in altering both the social structure of Ireland and claims to Irish identity, the Irish diaspora and Irish emigrants to Atlantic Canada, social and political changes in the Republic of Ireland from independence to the ‘Celtic Tiger’ phenomenon and continuity and change in the conflict in Northern Ireland. Three credits.

374 Islam in Canada 
Focusing primarily on the Canadian context, this course explores the variety of Muslim identities in North American society. After a brief historical survey of Islam and Muslims in North America, including immigrant and African-American Islam, the course examines the diverse perspectives of North American Muslim and non- Muslim scholars on questions and debates around integration, identity, authority, youth, education, gender, shariah in Canada (Muslim religious arbitration in civil law), media representation, discrimination, and surveillance post-9/11. Cross-listed as RELS 375. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

380 Urban Sociology
This course covers the major themes and empirical research issues in urban sociology in the 20th- and 21st-century. This includes the rise of the ‘urban’ as a social science phenomenon, the Canadian city in comparative and historical perspective, major theoretical debates in urban social science, the intersection of class, gender and racial forms of inequality in cities, the shifting nature of social and spatial relations, and urban planning, sustainability and globalization. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 380 or SOCI 398 completed from 2014-2016. Three credits.

387 Hockey and Canadian Culture
This course sets out to explore the intersection between ice hockey and Canada’s socio-cultural identity. The course will have students immerse themselves in contemporary literature to understand the social, cultural, political and economic nuances of hockey in the Canadian context. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 

391 Junior Seminar
This seminar will assist honours students in their third-year and their thesis planning and provide an environment in which to learn with senior students working on their thesis. Students will choose an advisor with whom they will develop a proposal, collect materials, and consider methodological and ethical issues relevant to their research. Students are expected to attend colloquia, guest lectures and public
talks relevant to the discipline. Highly recommended for and restricted to honours students. Three credits.

395 Selected Topics
The topic for 2018-2019 is Family Policy in Canada. Students gain knowledge about federal and provincial social policies that in uence family formation (e.g., pre- and perinatal health care, fertility assistance, adoption), care of infants, children and family members (family leave, child care, domestic worker programs, elder care), family dissolution (separation, divorce), and family trauma (violence prevention). Students learn to critically appraise policy, while examining how social policy intersects with cultural and structural aspects of gender, sexuality, Indigenous status, race and ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Prerequisites: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits. 


400 Level

400 Honours Thesis Research
A required course for all senior honours students. Six credits. 417 Social Difference: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Class, Sex, and Disability Explores current theories of social difference and the personal, social, economic, and political effects of these differences in Canadian, western, and international contexts. Topics include oppression, resistance, identity politics, and discourse theory. Starting with the question, “What differences do some differences make?” Students will examine how issues of difference become relations of dominance. Prerequisite: SOCI 215. Cross-listed as WMGS 417. Three credits.

417 Social Difference: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Class, Sex, and Disability
Explores current theories of social difference and the personal, social, economic, and political effects of these differences in Canadian, western, and international contexts. Topics include oppression, resistance, identity politics, and discourse theory. Starting with the question, “What differences do some differences make?” Students will examine how issues of difference become relations of dominance. Prerequisite: SOCI 215. Cross-listed as WMGS 417. Prerequisite: 12 credits of SOCI. Three credits. 

421 Ancestry, Society, and Personal Identity
This course attempts to locate personal biography in the context of social history. Students’ genealogies provide the starting point for explorations of family, social history, and personal identity. Students will apply sociological ideas to the historical periods that helped shape their personal and family histories. Three credits.

427 Friendship and Personal Life
Is friendship only personal and private, or does it have broader public, social, and political significance? This seminar addresses contemporary scholarship on the sociology of friendship as well as classic accounts of friendship by philosophers and social theorists. Through studying beliefs and practices of friendship we will address themes such as the self and personhood, gifts and exchange, trust and intimacy, sexuality and gender, social capital and networks, and the relation of friends to strangers and enemies. Three credits.

433 Advanced Problems in Environment and Society
The course allows students to pursue issues raised in SOCI 247 and 248 in greater depth. It also exposes them to new developments in social theory. Each year will have a different thematic focus which could include: the ways in which social conceptions of “natural” and “unnatural” have changed over time; the social implications of new biotechnologies; the global environmental movement; or ideals of an ecological future. Prerequisites: SOCI 247, 248 or PSCI 247, 248. Three credits.

451 Selected Topics in Social and Criminal Justice
This course examines current theoretical and research issues in crime and social justice. Using qualitative, quantitative, and historical methodologies, students will explore topics such as gender, class, minorities, and criminal justice; police community relations; carceral and non-carceral forms of punishment; criminal and regulatory legal procedures. Prerequisite: SOCI 350 or 352. Three credits.

491 Senior Seminar
A forum in which students gain scholarly experience by presenting and discussing their research; and taking part in colloquia, guest lectures, and public talks relevant to sociology. Required for honours students in their senior year. No credit.

499 Directed Study
Under the direction of a professor, students will work in an area of sociology not available in other course offerings. Students must consult with the faculty member by March 31 of the academic year in which they wish to take the course. See section
3.5. Three or six credits.