Fall 2023 - SA 335 D900

Gender Relations and Social Issues (S) (4)

Class Number: 2858

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM  2023-09-06  2023-12-05
    SRYC 3250, Surrey

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



Together we will think about how gender influences and suffuses social interaction, in both historical and contemporary contexts: consider how assumptions and expectations about gender shape identity, the things people do, and how they do them; and discuss gender inequality and equality across society.


The concept of gender, and issue of inequality, has long been central to feminist thought. Although feminists agree that gender relations are not limited to physical anatomy, little consensus exist on how to meaningfully engage and unsettle relations of domination organized around social concept of gender as a structural system. This course begins with the basic premise that gender is an organizing principle of society, evidenced by the different social positions occupied by men and women. Using a sociological approach, the course will examine how gender is socially constructed and identify social structures, institutions and cultural producers that reinforce the boundaries that dictate social life based on gender. Because gender does not operate in a vacuum, it will be discussed in relation to intersecting axes and social locations based on race, social class, sexuality, age, nationality, and ethnicity. In essence, we will examine how differences based on gender are created and sustained, with particular attention to how other important basis of personal identity – race, class, ethnicity, nationality, migration status – interact with patterns of gender relations. Since gender relations are inevitably relations of domination and oppression, the course relies heavily on various feminist theories and their analysis of gender, as it intersects with race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, and immigrant status. To hone understanding of the effects of gender and other forms of social difference, particular focus will be paid to the migration/work nexus as a social issue, a gendered institution and policy framework indispensable for the formation and development of a transnational neoliberal Canada. While the course looks at differences between men and women overall, it also focuses on women’s experiences from multiple angles with the objective of generating unasked questions and interpretations, as well as broadening and complicating feminist analysis of the historical, political, social, and economic relations that shape and gender lives differently.


Students will:
1. Critically analyze how gender and intersecting social relations shape lived experience
2. Assess conceptualizations of feminisms and the struggles represented by a range of feminist thought in the fight for equality, over time
3. Engage and hone skills in conducting, sorting, presenting, and writing research projects


  • Weekly student led discussions 15%
  • Take Home Mid-Term Exam 25%
  • Research Project 35%
  • Course Participation 10%
  • Conference Presentation 15%


This syllabus is provisional and may be subject to minor changes. Students will be notified in advance should these arise.

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!



Readings will be available through the library.
Additional material may be available on Canvas.


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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.