Fall 2017 - SA 345 E100

Race, Immigration and the Canadian State (SA) (4)

Class Number: 2509

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 5 – Dec 4, 2017: Mon, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An introduction to critical perspectives on the social construction of race, nation building and transnational migration, with an emphasis on state policies and the experiences of immigrants. The course will cover a review of colonialism and the construction of racialized labour market. Core topics may include: racialization of space, anti-racist feminist thought, immigration policy, settlement services, multiculturalism, citizenship, racial profiling, diasporas, and refugees. Comparative material will be used to complement the Canadian focus.


While considered as upholding principles of inclusivity and equality, little is understood of how immigration, race, and racism operate in the construction of citizenship and the formation of the Canadian nation state. Despite open immigration and welcoming multicultural policies, the decision on who is allowed into Canada and the treatment they are accorded is determined by histories of colonization and the politics of imperialism. Race along with other makers of difference such as ethnicity, religion, gender, class, and sexuality are determined by immigration policies, mainstream media, and political ideologies. Although the value of race as an analytical category remains debatable, its social effects as a fundamental organizing principle of everyday life are certain. Race is used as an indicator distinguishing between who is granted entry and who is denied, who ‘belongs’ and does not. Using critical readings of course material, media pieces, documentary films, and experiential reflections, this course invites students to interrogate and debate the ways in which the concept of race, and other socially constructed differences, gain meaning and importance as social constructs. We will also investigate how processes, ideas, and institutions associated with race - and other markers of difference - act upon each other to (re)produce inequality and exploitation in neoliberal capitalist Canadian society.


  • Two (2) critical experiential reflections (10% ea.) 20%
  • Group presentation 10%
  • Panel facilitation 10%
  • Mid-term exam 20%
  • Major research project 30%
  • Class participation 10%


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 a 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.



  • Courseware
  • SFU online journals and websites to be accessed by students independently

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