Spring 2020 - SA 100W J100

Perspectives on Canadian Society (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3128

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 9, 2020: Mon, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Deborah Dergousoff
    Office Hours: Th 16:00-17:00 (by appointment)



An examination of Canadian society from the perspective of the social sciences -- an introduction both to the nature of Canadian society and to the use of sociological and anthropological concepts applied to the analysis of modern societies in general. This course is meant to appeal to those who specifically wish to expand their knowledge of Canadian Society, and also to those who may be considering further work in sociology and anthropology. Topics to be considered include class structure, the nature of Canada's population, regional variation, gender relations, multiculturalism, native issues. Writing/Breadth-Social Sci.


What does it mean to be Canadian in a country characterized by increasingly diverse cultural and ethnic origins? How is citizenship defined, negotiated and contested in Canada? Whose interests are represented, exploited and/or silenced by the Canadian nation-state? What forces shape our understandings of what it means to be Canadian, and how has our understanding changed over time? This course will apply a critical sociological lens to examine some of the social processes and institutions that shape and characterize Canadian society, including: inequality (race/class/gender/sexuality), capitalism, colonialism, activism, and the media to challenge students to think critically about what it means to be Canadian. We will examine perspectives on Canadian life through case studies and media portrayals to identify and question dominant ways of thinking about, understanding and explaining Canadian society. Students will come away from this course with a greater appreciation of the diversity that characterizes Canadian life and a fuller understanding of what it means to be Canadian. This is a writing intensive course - assignments are specifically designed to encourage good critical thinking while developing good academic writing skills. Creativity and innovation is encouraged in all course work.


  • Critical annotations ( 1 x 5%, 1 x 10%) 15%
  • Analytical reflections (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Group presentation/newspaper research 5%
  • Exam 1 25%
  • Exam 2 25%


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 Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology & 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.

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.



All readings will be available on Canvas or through Library reserves.

Registrar Notes:

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