Summer 2021 - SA 260 D100

Individual and Society (S) (4)

Class Number: 1975

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 12 – Jun 21, 2021: Mon, Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Amanda Watson
    Office Hours: Th 12:00 via Zoom



An examination of how self and identity (e.g. race, class, gender, sexual orientation) are socially derived within contemporary western culture, and of the ways that individuals shape their social environment.


How are self and identity derived in contemporary Western culture, particularly in the context of the global pandemic? How are individuals shaping societal norms and structures in this context? This course explores individual identity in the context of complex systems of power. How do individuals make sense of and shape societal norms and structures? How do individuals understand and present their own identifications? What tools do social scientists use to understand individuals in society? With a particular focus on power, we will examine how race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, indigeneity, citizenship, religion, location, and other modes of identity construct and are constructed by both individuals and broader society. We will also reflect on our own sense of self and identity presentation in local and global contexts and the impact these have on our relation to power.


  • Critical reading response portfolio (3 x 10%) 30%
  • Asynchronous voice recording project (in pairs) 35%
  • Reflection and memoir response essay 35%
  • Note: The assessment for this course is subject to change slightly by the start of the course.


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.


Student projects will be posted “asynchronously,” meaning you can listen to this content outside of the scheduled course hours. However, there are two weekly 75-minute synchronous/live components of this course. Please take a look at the schedule in advance and contact the instructor if you foresee any issues with time zones or caregiving responsibilities.




Required Supplies:

  • Access to a computer and/or other electronic device that will allow you to write and upload assignments in Canvas, record and upload audio files, and virtually attend your classes remotely through Zoom
  • Access to an internet connection
  • Microsoft Word for all assignment submissions (available to all students for free)
  • Artifacts (e.g. film, fiction, poetry, memoir, autobiography) required for memoir assignment to be announced the week before classes start so that you can acquire these.


Readings available on Canvas or from the SFU Library.

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).