Fall 2022 - SA 340 D100

Social Issues and Social Policy Analysis (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3531

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 2205, Vancouver

  • Instructor:

    Lindsey Freeman
    Office: AQ 5060 (Burnaby Campus)
    Office Hours: Mondays, 1:15 – 2:15pm [or by appointment Wednesdays downtown before class]
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



How do environmental challenges, the contradictions of capitalism, and histories of violence shape contemporary life? How do social issues affect our identities, communities, and sense of belonging? Students learn how to wield sociological and anthropological concepts and theories through clear and analytical communication and writing.


In this course we will grapple with social issues by thinking with the affects and effects that truck along with the vicissitudes of belonging, exclusion, visibility, and invisibility that categorize our social relationships. Beginning with W.E.B. Du Bois, we will ask the often “unasked questions” such as “How does it feel to be a problem? Through our questioning we will consider contradictions of capitalism, institutional challenges, and bureaucratic fatigue. We will pay close attention to hierarchies of power and the variances of ableism, colonialism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism they produce.


The aim of the course is for students to sharpen their understanding, imagination, and critical thinking with respect to social issues and analysis. With this focus, students should be able to wield sociological and anthropological concepts and theories, and to communicate and write clearly and analytically about social issues.



  • Participation 10%
  • Responses in Canvas discussion page 40%
  • Longer paper of exactly 3000 words 50%



As we meet each Monday, this will be my approach, poached from Roland Barthes:

“What I hope to be able to renew, each of the years it is given me to teach here, is the manner of presentation of the course or seminar, in short, of 'presenting' a discourse without imposing it: that would be the methodological stake, the quaestio, the point to be debated. For what can be oppressive in our teaching is not finally the knowledge or the culture it conveys, but the discursive forms through which we propose them. Since, as I have tried to suggest, this teaching has as its objective discourse taken in the inevitability of power, method can really bear only on the means of loosening, baffling, or at the very least, of lightening this power. And I am increasingly convinced, both in writing and in teaching, that the fundamental operation of this loosening method is, if one writes, fragmentation, and if one teaches, digression, or, to put it in a preciously ambiguous word, excursion.” (p.15)

From “Lecture in Inauguration of the Chair of Literary Semiology,” College of France, January 7, 1977, October 8, 1979 (p. 3 - 16)

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 Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). 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.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.


  • All texts and course materials assigned for the week should be read, watched, and listened to before our class meeting.
  • Students should attend class meetings whenever possible.
  • Canvas responses: Exactly 500 words responding to assigned texts (adding an image or a song is okay, too)
    • Responses should be well-crafted and polished pieces of writing that demonstrate your understanding of texts, concepts and theories, and your ability to apply them to the world around you. Responses should not simply be summaries of the text.

      * Students should try to post 9 responses to the readings out of 10 possible: 6 should be written; 3 can be images or sounds/songs. Only one response per week in advance of our meetings.

    • For an “A” all 6 written responses must be well executed by demonstrating clear writing and understanding of the text, theories, and concepts with very little grammatical, punctuation, or stylistic errors. For a “B” a student must write at least 5 well executed responses. For a “C,” at least 4 good responses. Students will receive feedback on their responses to improve their writing and sociological and anthropological analysis. They will also be informed in writing if their responses are not satisfactory.

      * Responses must be posted 1 hour in advance of class and correspond to the issues and concepts we are studying for each week.
      * Students must read at least one response out loud during our class meetings for full participation points.
      * Students must be active participants of the Canvas discussion board by interacting with fellow student’s posts for full participation points.



All texts will be available online through SFU library or will be uploaded as pdfs on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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