Sociology program description.

NOTE: See the beginning of Section H for abbreviations, course numbers and coding.

SOCI1503Sociological Perspectives3 ch [W]

Introduces the basic concepts, theories, perspectives, and approaches of sociology and their application to the study of society and the relationship between the individual and society. Specific topics used to illustrate these sociological perspectives will include some combination of issues concerning socialization, sex and gender, family, community, population and aging, urban life, religion, race and ethnicity, work and occupations, inequality, education, environment, globalization, politics and social movements, technology and social change. 

SOCI1513Picturing Society: Image, Meaning, and Memory in the Photographic Era3 ch [W]

How do photographs affect the way we think of ourselves (e.g., our body image) and of others (e.g., the "primitives" pictured in National Geographic)? How do photographs create desire (e.g., in advertising and pornography)? Why do people take photographs of friends and family but rarely photograph complete strangers? These questions explore the nature of a "picturing society", one where individuals are surrounded by photographic images and, as a result, the ability to capture realistic representations of the world around us influences image, meaning, and memory. The term "picturing society" also refers to the process of using visual information to understand the characteristics of society – social class and gender divisions, social structure, the process of social change, etc. Photographs from a wide variety of contexts – personal, commercial, scientific, artistic, and others – will be used to explore both aspects of picturing society.

SOCI1523Youth Culture and Society3 ch

This course provides an introduction to the sociological imagination by allowing you to make the sociological connections between your personal world and the social world. Sociological perspectives and approaches are introduced through examination of such aspects of youth in contemporary Western societies as identity and sub-cultures, sexual behaviour, music, consumerism, religion, in schools, employment, crime and violence, and other issues affecting youth and their transitions to adulthood.

SOCI1543Men and Women - Then and Now3 ch [W]

Life is gendered from the moment of birth. Throughout the various developmental stages, girls and boys are exposed to a variety of messages that in some ways are represented by the fairy tales read in childhood. Adolescents learn the price of deviating too far from the roles or expectations placed upon young men and women in our culture through formal and informal sanctions upon their behaviour. The choices, opportunities, and obstacles that we face as adults, are in large measure built upon the gender messages of childhood. Strategies for identifying the gendered nature of work, leisure, advertising, parenting, and aging will be amongst the topics discussed. 

SOCI1583Current Social Issues3 ch [W]

Focuses on selected social issues in such areas as Aboriginal/non-aboriginal relations, the environment, and gender; inequality and poverty; the media; racism, ethnic relations, and language; schooling and jobs; cities; urbanization; deviance and crime; as well as globalization. 

SOCI1593Hooked on Religion3 ch [W]

Whether it is a prayer said in times of sorrow, grace at a meal, a religious ritual to celebrate adolescence, fasting, advice from a faith leader, or a spiritual blessing for a long-term intimate relationship, contact with religion comes in many different forms. Some Canadians “believe without belonging” while others belong to religious organizations but are unsure of their beliefs. Topics include patterns of spirituality in Canadian society, new religious movements, gender and family issues within contemporary religions, violence, and the impact of immigration and multiculturalism on the journey of faith. The impact of changing socio-cultural conditions on religion in Canadian society will be highlighted. 

SOCI1603Introduction to Criminology3 ch [W]
This course explores the subject matter of criminology and its relationship to other academic disciplines. Examines different concepts and terms commonly used in criminology, the specificity of criminology, relationship between theory and practice, the history and evolution of criminological thought, and the methods of investigation into criminal behaviour. The practical applications of criminology and the foundations of a modern criminal justice policy will also be discussed. NOTE: Students may not obtain credit for both SOCI 1603 and SOCI 3603.
SOCI2022Introduction to Data in the Social Sciences3ch [W]

This course is open to students from all faculties and disciplines who are interested in learning the very basic language and techniques of understanding, analysing, and reporting data in the social sciences. This course is equally divided between qualitative and quantitative approaches to different types of social science data. NOTE: This course is not equivalent to SOCI 3103 Research Design or STAT 2263 Statistics for Non-Science Majors.

SOCI2223Introduction to Mass Communications and the Media3 ch

A critical overview of mass communications within Canadian society: media institutions and audiences; processes and the impact of the media; media control and policy; social problems and the media; and social issues in an information society.

SOCI2303Sociology of Families3 ch [W]

Examines sociological perspectives on marriage and family life: changing forms and functions of the family in the context of the growth of capitalism and industrialism in Western society, women, liberation and the family, patterns and ideologies of family formation and dissolution, changes in family law, and future prospects and alternatives.

SOCI2313Sociology of Women3 ch

Focuses on the role of women within a historical and contemporary context, including women’s position in the family, and in educational, political, and economic institutions. The nature, perpetuation, consequences, and the ideology of sexism in capitalist and non-capitalist societies will also be examined.

SOCI2345Sociology of Aging3 ch [W]

An introduction to the basic physical, psychological, and demographic changes which occur in aging. Emphasis is given to understanding the everyday world of the young old, their participation in family life, personal life style and community activities after retirement, and with the restrictions created by limited financial resources.

SOCI2365Sociology of Dying and Death3 ch

Examines the process of dying and death through a consideration of the cultural and institutional expectations and interpretations which surround this final stage in the human experience. The focus is on the North American context although other social and historical contexts will provide insights and background to the course work.

SOCI2375Sociology of Health and Illness3 ch [W]

Examines the social nature and consequences of health and illness and looks at medicine as an institution and a form of social control. Areas to be covered include the delivery of health care, the social construction of medical knowledge, social inequality and its impact on health and disease, the medical profession, the medical industrial complex, and sexism and patriarchy in the medical system.

SOCI2403Contemporary Canadian Issues3 ch

An introduction to current social issues in Canada such as social inequality, regionalism, unemployment, media concentration, the role of multinationals, and the state of the Canadian economy. The impact of these in shaping our everyday actions and beliefs will be examined.

SOCI2433Social Problems 3 ch [W]

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop an understanding of various sociological approaches to the study of social problems and to focus on a selection of substantive issues such as the role of social movements in the construction of social problems.

SOCI2503Social Movements and Social Revolutions3 ch [W]

An analysis of twentieth century social movements and revolutions from a sociological perspective. Emphasis is on a critical understanding of why they arise, why some fail, and why others succeed.

SOCI2533Information Society3 ch [W]

Investigates ‘the information society’ debate by focusing on the major contributors who argue that the information society is new and revolutionary. Other scholars accept the important role of information technologies in contemporary society but maintain that these technologies help broaden and extend existing social, cultural, economic, and political relations. 

SOCI2534Technology and Social Change3 ch [W]

Examines the relationship between technology and social change, such as the sources and effects of technical change, the control of technology, and the origin and nature of controversies involving modern technologies.

SOCI2563Violence and Society3 ch
Introduces a broad range of crimes of violence from sociological perspectives. Includes a survey of political violence such as genocide, holocaust, state and anti-state terrorism; analysis of hate crimes and different types of homicide such as serial murder, mass murder, and thrill killings; examination of various manifestations of violence against women such as mass and date rape; exploration of kinds of assault such as physical assault, spousal battery, and child abuse; and robbery. Note: Students cannot obtain credit for both SOCI 1563 and SOCI 2563.
SOCI2573Social Networks3 ch [W]
Social Network analysis is a research method that allows social scientists to understand patters of relations between various actors and organizations. Rather than focusing only on qualitative (i.e. Interviews) or quantitative (i.e. numbers) data, social network analysis examines relations, interactions, roles, and affiliations that influence the structure, behaviours, and outcomes of individuals and organizations using diverse methodologies. This course provides a conceptual introduction to the theories and methods related to the social scientific study of networks through an in-depth examinations of application(s) and insights related to issues such as health, crime/deviance, on-line social networks, corporations, social movements, terrorism, social support, and more.
SOCI2575Terrorism3 ch [W]
This course provides an introduction to the social - scientific study of terrorism, examining the theories, social dynamics, and historical contexts related to politically and ideologically - inspired violence.
SOCI2603Sociology of Deviance 3 ch [W]

Examines the elements and patterns of deviance, basic principles of both normative and deviant behaviour, and the institutionalization of each. Examples of specific areas and types of deviance are studied in some detail.

SOCI2613Delinquency3 ch

An examination of the history of juvenile delinquency, its incidence, its causes, and the methods of investigation. Also deals with agencies involved in the adjudication and treatment of the juvenile and youthful offender.

SOCI2663Social Perspectives on Victimology3 ch
This course is an introduction to the field of victimology. It is an opportunity to explore different forms of victimization in the Canadian context, examine various groups of victims and vulnerable populations, and define who victims are. While the course explores victimization through the criminal justice system which includes reporting to the police, the investigation, the court process, etc., a particular focus on various types of victims in society will also be discussed, such as aboriginal peoples of Canada and vulnerable populations.
SOCI2703Population and Health Studies3 ch

This course explores the how changing patterns of fertility, morality, and migration help explain why people are so much healthier in some populations than in others.

SOCI3004Theoretical Foundations of Sociology3 ch [W]

A critical review of the first and second generations of sociology in Europe and the United States, with special emphasis upon the ideas of thinkers such as Comte, Spencer, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mead, Cooley, Merton, and Parsons.

SOCI3006Intervention Strategies and Programs for People who Batter (Cross-Listed: FVI 3006)3 ch [W]

This course will examine the major theories related to violence in intimate relationships and explore the different intervention strategies and programs which have evolved from these theories. Credits cannot be obtained for both FVI 3006 and SOCI 3006.

SOCI3007Religion and Family Violence (Cross-Listed: FVI 3007)3 ch (3C) [W]
This course examines issues pertaining to violence in religious families and the role of faith communities (and their leaders) in responding to violence in the family context. It will consider relevant data, theories, and strategies for change. Normally taught online.
SOCI3014Major Developments in Contemporary Sociological Theory3 ch [W]

An overview of major developments in late 20th century sociological theory: the critique of functionalism and the rise of conflict theory; feminism and the critique of male-stream sociology; the revitalization of interpretive sociology; the emergence of neo-functionalism; and the debate over post-modernism.

Prerequisite: SOCI 3004

SOCI3103Research Design 3 ch

This course is designed to provide students with these skills to design a variety of research projects. The focus is on the components that make up a research project including access to data sets, recruitment of research participants, choosing methods of data analysis, and research ethics review. Note: This course is not equivalent SOCI 2022 Introduction to Data in the Social Sciences.

Prerequisite: At least 3 ch in Sociology.
SOCI3115What Works? Introduction to Program Evaluation3 ch
Approaches to the formative, process and outcome evaluation of programs, and initiative. Emphasis is on the development, design, practical and ethical programs and politics of evaluation research. Note: Students who received credit for SOCI 4115 my not receive credit for SOCI 3115.
SOCI3223Ethnic Relations in Canada 3 ch

Examines the interactional and institutional processes involved in ethnic and intercultural relations. Focuses on group experience, status and identity, communication and language, and the historical and contemporary conditions of social change, tension, and conflict.

SOCI3243Sociology of Culture3 ch

Studies cultures as idea and value systems. Examines how cultural meanings are interpreted and used by individuals and groups in the course of everyday living.

SOCI3253Sociology of Media3 ch

Examines the place of media (such as film, television, and newspapers) in contemporary social life. Analyzes how media have emerged and developed, the organizational forms they have taken, and how they reflect and influence shared social experience.

SOCI3312Political Sociology (Cross-Listed: POLS 3312)3 ch

Examines the relations between society and the state by comparing traditional political sociology with the contemporary approach. Issues include the nation state as the center of political activity, how power is exercised through institutions, social groups, class, the production of identity or subjectivity, how globalization and social movements decenter state political activity, the impact of these changes on citizenship and democracy.


SOCI3335Religion, Gender & Society3 ch [W]

An examination of the relationship between religion and gender in various interpersonal and societal contexts. Emphasis is placed upon understanding how modern religion both contributes to and challenges traditional notions of masculinity and femininity.

SOCI3371The Institution of Health Care3 ch [W]

Examines the institution of health care with particular emphasis on the Canadian health care system. Topics to be covered include: theoretical approaches to the sociological study of health care; the history and development of Canada's Medicare system; the pharmaceutical industry; alternative/complementary health care; the socialization and legitimation of health care professionals; and the patient/practitioner relationship. 

Prerequisite: 3 ch from any SOCI course.
SOCI3373Sociology of Science and Technology3 ch [W]

This course explores the complex interaction among science and technology in contemporary society.

SOCI3385Sociology of Policing and Security 3 ch [W]
This course approaches the field of policing and security studies from a critical interdisciplinary perspective. It examines key theoretical perspectives and debates about policing and security and their roles in shaping social, political, and economic relations. The course surveys the historical emergence, organization, and practices of the police institution in the context of nation-state formation and interlocking systems of capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, and racism.
SOCI3403Individual and Society3 ch

Examines social interaction and communication in society as it occurs in social encounters and gatherings. Explores the presentation and projection of self in everyday life.


SOCI3523Sociology of International Development3 ch [W]

Examines the process of social transformation in the third world. Includes discussion of ties between developed and under-developed countries, patterns of industrialization, urbanization, changing class structure including its relation to the state.

SOCI3533Social Inequality3 ch [W]

Examines the nature of social stratification from both a historical and a comparative perspective. Attention is given to current controversies in this area.

SOCI3543Sociology of Gender Relations3 ch [W]

Examines the social construction of masculinity, femininity, and changes in gender relations over time and in different societal contexts.

SOCI3553Sociology and the Environment 3 ch [W]

A sociological examination of the way humans perceive and relate to their physical environment. Potential topics include: environmentalism as a social movement, the social dynamics of environmental controversies, and public policy toward the environment.

SOCI3563Global Perspectives in Environmental Health3 ch [W]

Explores the broad conditions that shape environmental health, with special emphasis on both sociological analysis and political ecology.  We will examine questions of science, public policy and social justice.  This course will bridge the gap in understanding between policy and social perspectives and examine emerging strategies, from community-based monitoring to international negotiations concerning health and environment.

SOCI3605International Human Rights 3 ch [W]
This online course explores the theory, politics, and practice of international human rights. We examine the current power structures and the policies and practices of state and non-state actors in international arena. Some of the issues discussed include the effects of the globalization on human rights, feminist critiques of human rights theory and practice, human trafficking, indigenous peoples' human rights, environmental human rights, genocide, torture, racism, and the human right to revolution.
SOCI3613Theories and Perspectives in Criminology3 ch

An examination of the historical development of criminological theory and the causes of crime. Deals with criminal causation theories and with an evaluation of the theories and purposes of punishment. Note: Students who completed SOCI 3610 or its equivalent may not recieve credit for SOCI 3613. 

SOCI3623White Collar Crime3 ch

Emphasizes that organizations, not just individuals, act and therefore can commit deviant acts. An analysis of the organized abuses of institutionalized power, particularly on the part of corporations and governments. The problem of controlling corporate and governmental deviance will also be discussed, as organizations pose prevention and control problems differently from individual deviants.

SOCI3634Violence Against Women3 ch

Examines issues pertaining to violence against women in Western society, including gender socialization, gender dynamics in dating and family relationships, private versus public, the contributions of social institutions (e.g., sports; the media; schools; the workplace; the military; the medical, legal and criminal justice systems) and the special vulnerability of women in marginalized groups.

Prerequisite: 3 ch from any SOCI course.
SOCI3635Conflict Resolution3 ch

The course explores the nature of social and professional responses to conflict and conflict resolution. It critically assesses, contrasts, and compares theoretical literature and research studies on processes such as adjudication and arbitration, negotiation, restorative justice, circle sentencing, and mediation in the context of gender, culture and social-economic power. Students will have an opportunity to explore how conflict resolution processes, and the skills and techniques associated with them, affect how conflict is perceived and resolved.

SOCI3636Restorative Justice3 ch

This course examines the paradigms of both restorative and transformative justice. Reviews criminal justice systems in post-industrial societies with a focus on punishment as the principal response to crime. Contrasts restorative justice with the current paradigm of retributive justice. Discusses victims, offenders, and the community within the context of the failure of the retributive system in meeting its responsibilities towards them. Critically analyzes prisons, limitations of restorative justice models and programs, and aboriginal traditions in community justice.

SOCI3666Icons of Non-Violence I (Cross-Listed: CCS 3666)3ch[W]

Examines the religious, philosophical and ethical justifications from the perspectives of different religious traditions for non-violence as a tool for social change in the contemporary world. We will study the concepts and theories of non-violence that may include the selected writings of L.N. Tolstoy (Russia), M. Gandhi (India) and R. Menchu (Guatemala) within their cultural, social, historical and religious traditions course is offered in English.

Prerequisite: 30ch or permission of the instructor.
SOCI3667Icons of Non-Violence II (Cross-Listed: CCS 3667)3 ch [W]
Examines the religious, philosophical and ethical justifications for non-violence as a tool for social change in the contemporary world from perspectives of diverse religious traditions. We will study the concepts and theories of non-violence that may include selected writings of the 14th Dalai Lama, Cesar Chavez and Wangari Maathai in their religious, cultural, social and historical backgrounds. Prerequisite: 30 ch or permission of the instructor.
SOCI3801Food Studies in a Sociological Context (O)3 ch [W]

This course provides students with a general understanding of the role of food in contemporary societies by exploring the socio-cultural aspects of food production and consumption in a cross-cultural context. It also analyzes the economic and political landscape of farming in an international context by examining food politics over regulatory measures in food labelling and safety, genetically modified food, organic and sustainable agriculture, and the future of the world food system.

SOCI4004Pathways in Social Theory3 ch [W]

This course conducts a systematic analysis of important readings in social theory relevant to both the social sciences and the humanities. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, such areas as the historical development of social theory (e.g. the Ancient Greeks, the Enlightenment), the theoretical foundations of research methodologies (e.g. positivism and constructionism), key debates in sociology (e.g. subject/object, agency/practice/structure), or in-depth focus on the approaches of major social theorists.

Prerequisites: SOCI 3004 and SOCI 3014, or by the Instructor’s permission.
SOCI4011Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences3ch [W]

This course offers an in-depth learning experience with qualitative methodological approaches and qualitative research methods in the social sciences. It introduces students to qualitative methodology and its usage in the field, and highlights important ethical considerations and concerns. Students will explore how to develop qualitative research designs; how to define a research question and how to answer it by developing a research protocol. This course offers students the ability to learn how to choose analytical methods for their data and how to interpret the results obtained from it.

Prerequisite: Students must have passed an introductory research method course prior to enrolling in this course, or have the Instructor’s permission.
SOCI4022Quantitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences3ch [W]

This course offers an in-depth learning experience with quantitative methodological approaches and quantitative research methods in the social sciences. This course covers the foundations of research design, data collection, and data analysis. In this class, students will learn how to develop quantitative research designs to answer a research question. They will learn about sampling, primary data collection with standardized instruments, and data analysis with descriptive and inferential statistical methods. Students will be able to learn from this course how to prepare a standardized questionnaire and interviews, as well as to choose between statistical analytical methods for their primary and secondary data. Finally, students will learn and practice how to interpret and write about their results.

Prerequisite: It is required for students to have passed an introductory research method course prior to enrolling in this course, or by the Instructor’s permission.
SOCI4113Sociological Research3 ch

Discussion and evaluation of issues in contemporary sociological methods with exercises to develop skills in selected research procedures. Directed to the needs of individual students.

Prerequisite: At least 3 ch in methodology or approval of the Department.

SOCI4122Answering Questions with a Statistical Package for Social Sciences3 ch

SPSS and Stata are statistical software packages largely used in the social sciences. If applied to analyze large scale secondary data, they provide students and researchers with a powerful tool to answer critical questions on phenomena, trends, and relationships in a variety of disciplinary areas. Most textbooks and courses at the undergraduate and graduate level tend to combine the teaching of substantive topics in methodology and methods with practical applications of this software package. This course tries to contribute twofold. Practically, it aims at offering students and faculty an opportunity to learn about one software package (either SPSS or Stata), its tools, and its challenges independently from content coverage on methods and statistics. While maintaining a substantial coverage of analytical and statistical topics, the course will focus on how to design and implement data analysis with SPSS or Stata syntax commands rather than on teaching statistics.

SOCI4253Social Media and the Digital World3 ch [W]

Examines the social and cultural implications of communication via computer network, with particular emphasis upon the similarities to and differences from other forms of electronic communication (e.g., television, telephone, radio). 

SOCI4263Sociology of Body3 ch [W]
Using a variety of teaching methods, including lecture, seminar discussion, and video exercises, this course provides students with a sociological understanding of the body in both historical context and contemporary society.
SOCI4264Health Care in International Context3 ch [W]

Explores the nature and delivery of health care in a variety of international settings. Emphasis will be placed on comparative analysis of health care systems in relation to prevailing patterns of health and disease as well as the broader socio-cultural contexts in which they are delivered.


SOCI4301Topics in Criminology & Socio-legal Studies I3 ch
This seminar engages in an advanced in-depth analysis of topics in the field of criminology, and their social and political implications. The focus of the course will vary from year to year.
SOCI4323Religion and Culture3 ch

The sociological study of varied world religions at both societal and interpersonal levels. Topics may include new religious movements, conversion, gender issues, and the relations between Eastern and Western belief systems.

SOCI4334Education and Society3 ch

Studies critical social and educational processes and structures, and the rapport of educational institutions with other social institutions, using comparative concepts and theories of sociology.

SOCI4336Families, Law and Social Policy3 ch

A critical examination for advanced students of theoretical, legal and policy issues related to selected aspects of changing patterns of families and familial relationships in Canadian and other Western societies.

SOCI4337Legal Responses to Family Violence3 ch

This course explores the successes, challenges, and failures of legal responses to domestic violence. Why has the legal system had difficulty responding effectively to domestic violence? Does it have something to do with the nature of law; the nature of gender; the nature of social science and social change? What happens when law is confronted by changing social conceptions of gender, of children, of the roles of men and women? Does culture matter? Do new multi-disciplinary, collaborative judicial initiatives offer promise or peril? Students will review legal cases and socio-legal research in order to search for answers to such questions. 

SOCI4355Sociology of Law3 ch

A sociological analysis of law in modern society, including discussion of: legal theory, sociological and feminist criticisms of law, law as a means of social control and change, socio-legal research into the processes used by the legal system and its alternatives (such as mediation, restorative justice models, victim-offender reconciliation programs) to resolve disputes, and the abilities of the legal system and its alternatives to offer justice to the disadvantaged.

SOCI4513Inequality and Social Justice3 ch

A sociological examination of current perspectives, responses, and debates about the meaning of equality and the just society. Possible topics include the shift from individual rights to collective rights; competition and cooperation at a macro and a micro level.

SOCI4703Social Demography3 ch [W]
How will the world's next billion people differ from the previous billion? This course examines past, present, and future trends in population growth and change as both a reflection and influence of social change. The course also explores key demographic theories and measures and their relevance to contemporary public policy debates.
SOCI4803Independent Study in Sociology3 ch [W]

Course study to be of an advanced topic in sociology chosen jointly by student and instructor with the permission of the Department Chair.

SOCI5000Honours Thesis6 ch [W]

A reading and research course open only to Honours students in their fourth year and meant to produce an Honours Thesis. Permission to take this course must be sought from the Undergraduate Advisor in agreement with the supervisory professor in the desired area of study. The project will produce a 40-60 pp manuscript and must be approved by the Department. This course may be used as an alternative to two 3 ch honour courses or seminars at the 3000 or 4000 level and it requires a CGPA of at least 3.6 in Sociology courses for admission.