Spring 2023 - SA 321 D100

Social Movements (S) (4)

Class Number: 6670

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



A study of the sources, development and effects of social movements in transitional and modernized societies. Specific types of movements will be analysed.


In this course we apply a critical lens to explore in detail two contemporary social movements: 1) the feminist call for reproductive justice, and 2) climate change activism. The movement for reproductive justice section examines the intersecting impacts of racism, colonialism, classism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia on the right to not have children, the right to have children, and the right to parent chosen children in safety. The climate change activism section examines the power of disruptive mass movements to force governments to make change. One of the objectives of this course is to learn about democratic processes.  To this end, central to this course is designing and participating in a Forum for Social Justice simulation, through which you will have a practical opportunity to practice and observe democratic processes, while exploring the complexities and possibilities of participating in social change activism. Creativity and innovation is encouraged in all course work.


  1. Acquire an understanding of the nature of social movement activism in Canada.
  2. Explore methods used by social movements that advocate for reproductive and climate justice.
  3. Develop analytical skills for understanding how democratic processes operate across various settings related to social justice activism.
  4. Practice group work and presentation skills.


  • Midterm 30%
  • Critical Blogs (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Social Justice Forum:
  • - Group presentation and participation 15%
  • - Individual reflection/synthesis of Forums 25%


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.



Paynter, M. (2022) Abortion to abolition: Reproductive health and justice in Canada. Blackpoint, NS and Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing

Malm, A. (2021) How to blow up a pipeline: Learning to fight in a world on fire. London and New York: Verso Books Publishing Company

Additional readings posted in Canvas Library Reserves


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