Spring 2022 - SA 321 D100

Social Movements (S) (4)

Class Number: 2744

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



A study of the sources, development and effects of social movements in transitional and modernized societies. Specific types of movements will be analysed.


Social movements are defined as groups in society organizing to bring about social change related to economic, political, religious, cultural and identity changes. Classical and contemporary theories about social movements and collective action will guide our explorations. First, we will undertake a brief survey of the historical roots of the rise of social movements in the Western world, from soldiers’ rebellions in antiquity and peasant movements in mediaeval Europe to religious sects’  indigenous populations’ and slaves’ actions in North America. Following this, we will examine some social movements that have had an impact in North America and other parts of the world since the American Revolution till today with topics of independence, Anglo-French conflicts, 1848 European Revolutions, women’s movement, communist movements, Civil Rights and Gay Rights movements, the end of the Soviet system, and more. Through course readings, active observations, and research you will be applying the theoretical concepts we learn in class to better understand the context and outcome of social movements.


The objective of this Social Movements course is to further build students’ knowledge about sociological topics:

  • Learn the analytic tools necessary to examine and critically assess the role of social movements in our society
  • Understand the contextual links between social historical events, social problems and social movements and their actors
  • Apply the theories and concepts learned in class to better understand historical and modern social movement causes and campaigns
  • Design a research project that incorporates a clear hypothesis, literature review, and data analysis on the topic of social movements
  • Deepen clear critical reading, thinking, and analytical skills


  • Participation 10%
  • Reading Responses (3 x 5%) 15%
  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Pair presentation 15%
  • Final Research Paper 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 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.



You will need access to a computer for additional online/remote learning and uploading assignments on CANVAS and ZOOM.


Goodwin, Jeff. (2019). Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts. 3rd Wiley.

Print ISBN: 978-1-118729793
VitalSource eText ISBN: 978-1-118729823

Additional texts will be available via 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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.