Spring 2021 - SA 150 J100

Introduction to Sociology (S) (4)

Class Number: 3239

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Agnes MacDonald
    Office Hours: By appointment



Explores how sociologists study, describe, and explain social life. Introduces the sociological perspective and applies it to fundamental social process and everyday issues. As we consider phenomena ranging from interactions among individuals to societal and global inequalities, students critically examine social issues to build their understanding of the world. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Introduction to Sociology explores how sociologists study, describe, and explain social life. The course introduces the sociological perspective and applies it to fundamental social processes and everyday issues. As we consider phenomena ranging from interactions among individuals to societal and global inequalities, we will examine social issues to build our understanding of the world. Sociology will become familiar to us as we see its concerns about society and people, like our own lives in the world, sociology illuminates the taken-for-granted elements in our understandings about the world and us in it. We will challenge ourselves to think critically about the world around us by asking questions such as: how do we become the persons we are? How do society and culture influence our interactions and worldviews? How do institutions like education, family, and media shape our lives, construct sameness and difference among us? Why and how do people and structures of society intersect? By developing sociological imaginations, we will embark on conceptualizing society, the relationship between individuals, groups, social structures, and more. We will look at some of the key subjects of sociological thought and research from society, culture, institutions, family, social processes, identity, race, globalization, deviance, and more.


  • The objective of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of sociology and the “sociological imagination.”
  • Students will gain working knowledge of sociological theories and concepts so that they will be able to employ them analytically and creatively.
  • By learning the various sociological perspectives students will be able to apply those to large societal events in the world and to everyday human interactions.
  • Lecture material, selected chapters in the textbook, articles, video clips, and discussions will help students to gain foundational sociological knowledge and in turn demonstrate their understanding of the material in assignments and examinations.
  • The course is delivered online and therefore the traditional  components of teaching and learning, such as readings, lectures, class discussion, in-class exercises, and audio-visual materials will be designed in a way that enables students achieve the educational goals of this first-year sociology class.


  • Participation/discussion activities 10%
  • Midterm exam #1 25%
  • Midterm exam #2 25%
  • Final exam (non-cumulative) 40%


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 Labour Studies Program 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.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



You will need access to a computer for online/remote learning, writing exams and uploading assignments on SFU Email, CANVAS and ZOOM, along with access to mobile phone apps, eg. Messenger, WhatsApp for in person communication. I will be providing you with links to these various platforms.


Little, William. (2016). Introduction to Sociology: 2nd Canadian Edition. (ONLINE textbook)

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 spring 2021 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).