Fall 2022 - SA 250 D100

Introduction to Sociological Theory (S) (4)

Class Number: 3505

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3533, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 150.



An account of sociological theory, outlining the main ideas and concepts of the principal schools of thought.


In this course we will reflect on the relationship between social theories and empirical reality, i.e. the world of experience and everyday life. Our primary focus will be theoretical debate between social order and conflict models of theory as an entry point to examine theoretical thinking about contemporary social and political issues. We will think through theory by applying it in small group activities, reflective writing, and problem-solving activities in the classroom. The goal is for students to develop perspectives through which they can frame their own theoretical insights into what is going on in the world around them. Beginning with a brief overview of the historical development of social theory, the course will explore debates related to facts and assumptions, frames for knowing, issues of gender and race, human nature, and the relationship between theory and method. Students will come away from this course with knowledge of how to apply theories to explain and understand social life, and an understanding of what Indigenous knowledge pathways can contribute to contemporary social theorizing and explanation. Students will get the most out of this course by attending class and taking part in group work and discussions. Creativity and innovation is encouraged in all course work.


1. Acquire an understanding of the historical development of social theory.
2. Develop skills for applying theoretical thinking to understand contemporary social and political issues
3. Explore various models used in theoretical thinking and explanation.
4. Examine what Indigenous pathways can contribute to social theorizing and explanation.
5. Develop active reading skills.


  • Midterm exam 40%
  • Blog posts (2 x 20%) 40%
  • Discussion/Participation 20%


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 Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). 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.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



A. Sears & J. Cairns. (2015). A good book, in theory: Making sense through inquiry, 3rd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Additional readings in Canvas Library Reserves


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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