Summer 2021 - SA 150 D100

Introduction to Sociology (S) (4)

Class Number: 1924

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 12 – Aug 9, 2021: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 11, 2021
    Wed, 8:30–10:30 a.m.

  • Instructor:

    Ataman Avdan
    Office Hours: By appointment only



Explores how sociologists study, describe, and explain social life. Introduces the sociological perspective and applies it to fundamental social process and everyday issues. As we consider phenomena ranging from interactions among individuals to societal and global inequalities, students critically examine social issues to build their understanding of the world. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Sociology is an exciting way of understanding the world we live in. It encourages us to think critically about the people around us, our interactions with each other, and the institutions we create. It also requires questioning the things we take for granted. When “doing sociology,” first we ask questions: Why do certain things happen differently to individuals depending on their class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation? How do societies develop? How and why do they change? How do we learn and internalize the norms and values of our society? What happens when we violate them? How does culture shape the way we see the world? Who has power, who exercises authority? What are the main conflicts in society and what are the sources of these conflicts? What do people do when they are upset or angry about certain aspects of their society? What is the role of institutions? Why do we create them and how do we change them? How do they function and what consequences do they produce? When answering these questions, we emphasize social structures and explore how social forces and power relations mediate these structures and patterns. We notice how predictable patterns of social relationships among people influence their behaviour, enhance or constrain their life chances, and shape the way they view or construct reality. 


Through lectures, readings, short videos, and discussions we will discuss several topics such as culture, socialization, economic inequality and class, gender inequality, racialization, globalization, the digital divide, the world of work, the environment, and social movements and collective action. By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. discover the discipline of sociology and develop a "Sociological Imagination" through which to examine ourselves, others, groups, and society;
  2. learn major theoretical models, core concepts and the diverse subject matter within sociology;
  3. construct a critical understanding of how social institutions shape lives and society;
  4. identify patterns of social behaviour and social arrangements influence people's behaviour and choices;
  5. apply sociological concepts and theories to everyday life and develop their own questions about society.


  • Tutorial participation 15%
  • Short paper 1 15%
  • Midterm exam 25%
  • Short paper 2 15%
  • Final exam 30%


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.



Please see SFU Bookstore website for information on textbook purchase options.


Quan-Haase, A. & Tepperman, L. (2021). Real-Life Sociology: A Canadian Approach, 2nd Ed. Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
ISBN: 978-0-199037223

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).