Summer 2020 - SA 250 D100

Introduction to Sociological Theory (S) (4)

Class Number: 4471

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 1:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Deborah Dergousoff
    Office Hours: Online by appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 150.



An account of sociological theory, outlining the main ideas and concepts of the principal schools of thought.


In this course we will reflect on the relationship between social theories and empirical reality, i.e. the world of experience and everyday life. Our primary focus will be theoretical debate between social order and conflict models of theory as an entry point to examine theoretical thinking about contemporary social and political issues.  We will think through theory by applying it in small group activities, reflective writing, and problem-solving activities in the classroom.  The goal is for students to develop perspectives through which they can frame their own theoretical insights into what is going on in the world around them.  The course will explore debates related to facts and assumptions, frames for knowing, issues of gender and race, human nature, and the relationship between theory and method.  Students will get the most out of this course by attending class and taking part in group work and discussions.  Creativity and innovation is encouraged in all course work.


  • Online discussion (5 x 5%) 25%
  • Blog posts (5 x 5%) 25%
  • Analytical reflections (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Midterm exam 20%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.



Universal Access Remote learning for this semester requires a computer or tablet, camera, and internet access. Most laptops and desktops are running OSX and Windows. Tablets may be Android, iOS or Windows based. Headsets are advised but not necessary. Note that students have access to free Office 365 or Adobe Creative Cloud found here.


Sears, A., & Cairns, J. (2015). A good book, in theory: Making sense through inquiry (3rd ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

This title is available online through the SFU Library here.
ISBN: 978-1-442600775

Additional readings will be available through Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course 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.

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 ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion