Summer 2022 - SA 327 D100

Sociology of Knowledge (S) (4)

Class Number: 1496

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
    HCC 2540, Vancouver

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 10, 2022
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    . Travers
    1 778 782-6630
    Office: AQ 5100A
    Office Hours: TBD
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of sociological theories concerning the interaction of social structures, and meaning and belief systems.


The relationship between social power and privilege and the ability to say what counts as knowledge has been revealed to have a particularly damaging impact—historically and currently—for categories of people, animals, and global ecology. This course unsettles common sense frameworks of knowledge that normalize resource extraction and colonial state control of Indigenous territories. Colonialism functions in part because of the erasure of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis presence on and histories with the land. Students will have the opportunity to gain a much more nuanced understanding of B.C. and Canadian colonial history and issues relating to land and resource extraction as a result of this course

This course will emphasize a sociological examination of western and Indigenous knowledge systems with a special focus on conflict relating to major energy extraction projects in British Columbia. We will consider the circumstances under which specific sectors of western society have been successful in claiming legitimacy as the seekers and providers of knowledge. Debates about the possibilities for objectivity and truth within science have been extended and broadened by feminist, post-modern, post/de-colonial, and queer discourses that have been particularly powerful in challenging the singular legitimacy of the scientific discourse in providing appropriate criteria for knowledge production and social policy. Lectures on traditional western vs. alternative knowledge systems based in feminist science studies, ecological, and de-colonial perspectives will be augmented by audio-visual and documentary material.


Students will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with key sociological traditions with regard to knowledge in terms of core issues relating to the production, control and distribution of knowledge. The course is designed to foster critical capacity and improve students’ ability to communicate complex ideas verbally and in writing.



  • Midterm Examination 30%
  • Take-Home Final Exam 30%
  • 40% of final grade from the following (submit evaluation contract by June 1): 40%
  • 1. Midterm Examination
  • 2. 3000 Word Research Paper
  • 3. 20 Minute Video Research Presentation with list of 12 unassigned references
  • 4. 500 word Letter to the Professor about a week's reading or podcast
  • 5. 5 minute Class Presentation about a week's reading or podcast
  • 6. Alternative evaluation negotiated with professor


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.



All readings/podcasts are available via PDFs or links on the course outline (Canvas).

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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

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, online, or blended courses 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 ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.