Summer 2024 - SA 321 D100

Social Movements (S) (4)

Class Number: 3140

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 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 look into the history and theory of contemporary social movements. We start by asking why, where and how protests, social change and collective action occur and then explore sociological scholarship on social movement. We investigate different contemporary social movements from the Global North and South, from Black Lives Matter and Indigenous movements in North America to the Arab Spring and Jin, Jiyan, Azadî in the Middle East. Specific questions guide our exploration: Under what conditions do social movements arise? How are social movements organized and mobilized? Who would and can participate? What strategies and tactics are used? What is the role of (new) media, the public, and the government? How do social movements respond to repression and violence? Where are bodies, emotions, and affect in social movements? 


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

  • Gain a broad grasp of contemporary social movements, and critically see what they can entail
  • Develop a critical approach to understanding different strategies and tactics, participants, and organizations existing in various social movements
  • Identify influential theories in the field and develop a conceptual and theoretical toolkit to investigate social movements
  • Practice and sharpen skills in group presentation, discussion facilitation, and film analysis


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • CINE/RESISTANCE (Online Tutorial) 10%
  • Five Critical Responses (each 5%) 25%
  • Student-led Seminars (presentation and discussion facilitation) 20%
  • Final Paper: Case Study 35%


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 in the weekly course schedule. These readings and assigned material will be available on Canvas, through SFU Library, or online as otherwise indicated. There are a number of films and documentaries to watch that will be available via Canvas.

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.