Spring 2016 - SA 250 D100

Introduction to Sociological Theory (S) (4)

Class Number: 5570

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 5 – Apr 11, 2016: Fri, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Ataman Avdan
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 150.



An account of sociological theory, outlining the main ideas and concepts of the principal schools of thought.


Sociological theories attempt to make the social world understandable and to examine the complexity of social life. This course will provide you with conceptual frameworks and analytical tools to explore social forces, patterns, and historical processes underlying a wide range of social phenomena that characterize our world(s), institutions, relationships, and daily practices. In the first part of this course, we will explore the classical works of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Gramsci who tried to make sense of the enormous social, economic, and political transformations during the 19th and early 20th centuries. We will place these authors’ contributions in their historical context and discuss how their works have shaped the discipline. In the second part, our focus will be on the contemporary developments in sociological theory; we will read and discuss some representative texts of symbolic interactionism, world-systems analysis, feminist theory, Foucault, and Bourdieu. Our goals are three-fold: a) to have a good understanding of the key arguments the theorists make, b) to explore their contributions to the development of sociology as a discipline, c) to understand how these theories apply to real social processes, problems, contradictions, and events in our own (global) society.


  • Nine weekly annotations (300-400 words): 36%
  • Current-news article presentation: 4%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Test 1 (in-class, February 19) 25%
  • Test 2 (in-class, April 8) 25%


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy:  
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐ S10.04).  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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.    



Dillon, Michele (2014) Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and Their Applicability to the Twenty-First Century. Wiley Blackwell, second edition.

Additional required readings are available through Canvas, the SFU Library, or online.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/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