Spring 2016 - SA 340 D100

Social Issues and Social Policy Analysis (SA) (4)

Class Number: 1996

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 5 – Apr 11, 2016: Wed, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Kyle Willmott
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of how sociological and anthropological theories and methods can be applied to the examination of social problems and issues which become the object of social policy. A central concern of the course is the question of how social issues are defined as problematic. Particular attention will be given to gender, ethnicity, class and generation. Substantive examples of social policy issues will be selected from a number of fields.


This course takes a broad approach to the definition of social policy, focusing on the politics of public policies that affect people’s lives. Readings and lectures will emphasize how social problems are made into objects of policy knowledge. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to critically examine policies, programs, and methods involved in the governance of populations, the solving of “problems”, and the re-fashioning of government and the state. The course is dedicated to exploring the methodological and epistemological grounds on which (social) policies are built, justified, and changed. In addition, the course includes a focus on the intersection between policies and knowledge production, and issues of gender, race, Indigeneity, and citizenship.


  • Presentation: 15%
  • Participation: 15%
  • Five Reading Responses: 15%
  • Test: 20%
  • Term Paper: 35%


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.



Readings available on Canvas.

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