Fall 2020 - POL 310 D100

Identity Politics (4)

Class Number: 7179

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2020
    3:29 PM – 3:29 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Eline de Rooij
    1 778 782-5858
  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.



Examines the impact of identity politics on the dynamics and organization of political systems. Topics include the impact of ethnic, racial and/or religious diversity on modes of political representation, the formation of public policy, and the quest for political stability and national identity. Student with credit for POL 481 may not take this course for further credit.


During this course we will examine the role that identity plays in politics in the context of advanced democracies. The course is divided into three parts. The first part will function as an introduction in which we will discuss the meaning and importance of identities for politics. In the second part, we will examine how and why social identities are so central in motivating individuals’ political behavior through a discussion of the basic social-psychological theories of group relations, as well as theories on group mobilization. In the final part of the course, we will apply these theories to understand how different identity categories, among which those based on gender, race, ethnicity, and partisanship, play a role in the dynamics and organization of political systems, in the formation of public policy, and in political attitudes and chosen ways of participating in politics. We will draw on relevant current examples throughout the course.

There will be a 2‐hour lecture/large seminar component each week, of which 1-hour will be synchronous, and a 1‐hour tutorial starting in week 2.


  • Participation in discussions 11%
  • Short quizzes (3) 12%
  • Presentation 12%
  • Short papers (2) 35%
  • Take home final exam - due Dec. 11th at 3:29 pm 30%


* Note: Students are required to submit their papers to Turnitin.com in order to get credit for the assignment.



Materials for this course will be made available through Canvas or the SFU library.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).