Spring 2023 - SA 260 D100

Individual and Society (S) (4)

Class Number: 6655

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 10655, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2023
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Abu Fakhri
    Office: AQ 5073
    Office Hours: Thursday, 10am-12pm



An examination of how self and identity (e.g. race, class, gender, sexual orientation) are socially derived within contemporary western culture, and of the ways that individuals shape their social environment.


How are self and identity constructed in the contemporary western context? How do we know who we are? How do we present who we are? What is the relationship between self and identities, and social institutions and hierarchies? How do individuals understand and shape social norms and structures? How are self and identity approached in social theory? In this course, we explore these questions seeing how identities and self are socially derived and the ways the social construction of identity is bound up with complex systems of power and privilege. In the first half of the course, we follow a brief history of (modern) identities. We engage with general theories and concepts on self and identity from different lines of thought. In the second half of the course, we will examine how the categories of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, ability, citizenship, and other modes of identity are constructed in relation to social institutions and hierarchies of power.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand major theories and concepts in investigating self and identity
  • Analyze the social construction of identity in relation to social institutions for different cases
  • Critically investigate the relationship between categories of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, ability, and citizenship in relation to the systems of power and privilege in the contemporary society
  • Critically reflect on your own sense of self and identity in local and global contexts


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Online Tutorial 5%
  • Five Critical Responses (each 5%) 25%
  • Group Presentation (presentation and discussion facilitation) 15%
  • Long Essay 20%
  • Final Exam (open book/take home) 25%


The Structure of the Course: this course consists of two main components: I) 3-hour in-person class on Thursday and II) 1-hour asynchronous tutorial on Canvas. In class, we may have 2 to 3 mini-lectures (on key theories, concepts, and context), discussion sessions on assigned material (or other in-class activities), and student-led seminars (a.k.a. Group Presentation). In asynchronous tutorial, students will reflect and post a response to general questions, assigned films or documentaries, videos, podcasts, or news relevant to themes of that week. Aside from the lectures, discussions, and student-led seminars, there would be a set of short workshops on critical reading and independent secondary search for essay and student-led seminar assignments.

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 required texts and material are listed below in the weekly course schedule. These readings and assigned material will be available on Canvas, the SFU Library, and online as otherwise indicated.


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