Spring 2020 - SA 335 J100

Gender Relations and Social Issues (S) (4)

Class Number: 3066

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

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

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



Together we will think about how gender influences and suffuses social interaction, in both historical and contemporary contexts: consider how assumptions and expectations about gender shape identity, the things people do, and how they do them; and discuss gender inequality and equality across society. Students with credit for GSWS 308 may not take SA 335 for further credit.


The concept of gender, and issue of inequality, has long been central to feminist thought. Although feminists agree that gender relations need not correspond to anatomy, little consensus exist on how to engage, disrupt and unsettle relations of domination. This course begins with the basic premise that gender is an organizing principle of society, evidenced by the different social positions occupied by men and women. Using a sociological approach, the course will examine how gender is socially constructed and identify social structures, institutions and cultural producers that reinforce the social boundaries that define gender. Because gender does not operate in a vacuum, gender will be discussed in relation to its intersection with other social locations such as race, social class, sexuality, age, nationality and ethnicity. We will examine how differences based on gender are created and sustained, with particular attention to how other important basis of personal identity – race, class, ethnicity, nationality, migration status – interact with patterns of gender relations. Since gender relations are inevitably relations of domination, the course relies heavily on various feminist theories and their analysis of gender, as it intersects with race, social class, ethnicity, nationality and immigrant status. To hone understanding of the effects of gender and other forms of difference, particular focus will be paid to the migration/work nexus as a social issue, a gendered institution and policy framework indispensable for the formation and development of a transnational neoliberal Canada. While the course looks at differences between men and women overall, it also focuses on women’s experiences from multiple angles with the objective of generating unasked questions and interpretations, as well as broadening and complicating feminist analysis of the historical, political, social and economic relations that shape and gender women’s lives differently.


  • Attendance and participation 10%
  • Group presentation 15%
  • Midterm exam (take-home) 25%
  • Conference presentation 15%
  • Major research project 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 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.



Readings will be available through the SFU Library. Additional material may be available on Canvas.

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