Spring 2023 - SA 250 D100

Introduction to Sociological Theory (S) (4)

Class Number: 2637

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5039, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Lindsey Freeman
    Office: AQ 5060
    Office Hours: Mondays 1:15 – 2:15
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 150.



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


This course provides an overview in foundations of sociological theory. By focusing on key figures in the development of the discipline and dynamic thinkers of more recent vintage, this class gives students the tools to evaluate and to make lively sociological theories while expressing their ideas through discussion and writing. In the first part of the course, specific attention will be directed at major thinkers that constitute the foundations of sociological traditions, such as Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, W.E.B. DuBois, and others. We will then follow sociological thinking to read legacies of Marxism, structuralism, and post-structuralism, along with questions of value, space, and time. Along the way we will follow the development of the ideas of the sociological imagination, reflexivity, and critical histories of modernity.


  • Participation (includes: showing up, being a good citizen of the classroom and Canvas discussion space, active listening, reading your own work and responding to others) 10%
  • Responses in Canvas discussion page 40%
  • Longer paper of exactly 2,500 words 50%


A Covid-19 note: Students, we will meet in a very strange and unsettling time. Many of you have likely faced added challenges due to the global pandemic and may continue to face them. I promise to offer compassion and flexibility in our time together because I am invested in you, not only as students in my class, but as people in the world. This is a moment that requires thinking, generosity, and community building. This spring, we will think together about the ways in which theory can help us to understand our lives and societies in order to imagine something better. We will engage with theory, using both our minds and our hearts through close reading, regular writing practice, and radical listening.

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 texts and films/videos/podcasts assigned for the week should be read, watched, and listened to before our class meeting.
  • Students should attend all class meetings whenever possible.
  • Canvas responses: Exactly 500 words responding to assigned texts or films (adding an image or a song is okay, too)
    • Responses should be well-crafted and polished pieces of writing that demonstrate your understanding of texts, concepts and theories, and your ability to apply them to the world around you. Responses should not simply be summaries of the text.
    • Students must post 8 responses to the readings out of 9 possible: 6 should be written; 2 can be images or sounds/songs, and 1 can be skipped.
    • Only one response per week.
    • For an “A” all 6 written responses must be well executed by demonstrating clear writing and understanding of the text, theories, and concepts with very little grammatical, punctuation, or stylistic errors. For a “B” a student must write at least 5 well executed responses. For a “C,” at least 3 good responses. Students will receive individual, emailed feedback on their responses to improve their writing and theoretical knowledge. They will also be informed in writing if their responses are not satisfactory.
    • Please note that no ‘make-up’ or ‘extra’ responses are possible in light of doing poorly on any given response.
    • Students must read at least one response out loud during our class meetings for full participation points.
    • Students must be active participants of the Canvas discussion board by interacting with fellow student’s posts for full participation points.



All texts will be available online through SFU library or will be uploaded as pdfs 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