Summer 2023 - SA 200W OL01

Power, Conflict and Change in Canadian Society (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3868

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:




Examines Canadian society from the perspective of the social sciences. Students apply sociological and anthropological concepts to analyze issues in modern societies, focusing on Canada as a case. Topics include class structure, the nature of Canada's population, regional variation, gender relations, multiculturalism, and colonialism. Students with credit for SA 100W are not eligible to take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Social Sci.


This course aims to introduce students to foundational assumptions about Canadian society. It also aims to prepare students to write essays for the social sciences. We will

begin with an introduction to how social scientists approach the study of society in general, and move through a series of questions particular to Canadian society, including: How is Canadian society infused with colonial legacy? How are social hierarchies shaped by deeply held ideas about Canada and rooted in Canadian law and policy? Topics include: state violence, citizenship, capitalism, welfare state, poverty, immigration, labour, education, health, media, and activism. We will consider several Canadian myths, including multiculturalism, a level playing field, and equal access to health and education.


It is my aim that upon completing this course, you will be able to:

• Compare two dominant theoretical approaches to the study of society

• Recognize and explain neo/liberal ideology in the framing of current affairs in Canada

• Critique representation of Canadian societal values in mainstream media using relevant sociological theory

• Challenge longstanding myths about Canadian fairness with reference to specific historical and contemporary evidence

• Identify significant challenges facing Canadian society with reference to course material

• Communicate in writing in a way that is creative, compelling, and legible to the discipline


  • TUBE audio/video presentation and discussion leadership 20%
  • Essay Proposal 15%
  • Essay Draft and Peer Review 15%
  • Final Essay 15%
  • Discussion Participation Dossier (submitted twice [at mid-term and end-of-term]) 25%
  • Completion and Timeliness of Discussion (calculated at the end of tern) 10%


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!



  • access to a computer and/or other electronic device that will allow you to write and upload assignments in Canvas and virtually attend your classes remotely through
  • Blackboard Collaborate and/or Zoom
  • access to an internet connection
  • Microsoft Word for all assignment submissions (available to all students for free


Naiman, Joanne. 2012. How Societies Work: Class, Power, and Change, 5th Edition. Winnipeg and Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

Vowel, Chelsea. 2016. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Issues in Canada. Portage & Main Press.


Gregory Younging on Elements of Indigenous Style:


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.