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Department of Sociology and Anthropology | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2024

Social Policy Issues

Post Baccalaureate Diploma

This program, for those with a bachelor’s degree, may be completed through a combination of courses offered through distance education, at the Burnaby and the downtown campuses. The program applies recent developments in social theory and research methods to the investigation of social programs and social policy issues. Courses examine substantive social policy issues. The program provides critical perspectives to understand processes by which social problems are defined, understood, and acted upon.

Acceptance of general Simon Fraser University admission does not automatically guarantee program admission. Students must apply for entry directly to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Program Requirements

Students must successfully complete an approved program comprised of 30 units of upper division courses. At least 16 are to be chosen from the set of core courses described below.

Core Courses

Students complete a total of 16 units, including

SA 340 - Social Issues and Social Policy Analysis (SA) (4)

How do environmental challenges, the contradictions of capitalism, and histories of violence shape contemporary life? How do social issues affect our identities, communities, and sense of belonging? Students learn how to wield sociological and anthropological concepts and theories through clear and analytical communication and writing. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

and at least three of

SA 316 - Tourism and Social Policy (S) (4)

An examination of tourism from the perspectives of sociology and anthropology, focusing primarily upon the social and cultural impacts of tourism and the social policy implications of tourism development in different societies. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201w.

SA 319 - Transnational Aging (A) (4)

Explores how mobility and migration across borders influence the lives of older people, with attention to how multigenerational transnational families mutually negotiate care and support. Political and socio-cultural factors will be examined through case studies from around the world in order to assess how we age in a transnational world. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 331 - Politics of the Family (S) (4)

A sociological examination of the contested nature of contemporary domestic and intimate relations. The course will focus on debates arising from equality movement politics (e.g. gender, sexuality, race). Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 335 - Gender Relations and Social Issues (S) (4)

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. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 337 - Sexuality and Society (S) (4)

The categories that organize our understandings of sex, gender and sexuality have powerful histories and roles in organizing social relations in western society. Social activists and academics contest the naturalness of these categories, particularly that of the binary opposition between male and female, and related assumptions about sexuality and sexual orientation. This course encompasses a range of perspectives on sex/gender identity, sexuality, and the relationship between the two. These perspectives include feminist, lesbian and gay, and queer and transgender challenges to traditional understandings of sex/gender identity and sexuality. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Elle Walks
May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.
SA 345 - Race, Immigration and the Canadian State (S) (4)

An introduction to critical perspectives on the social construction of race, nation building and transnational migration, with an emphasis on state policies and the experiences of immigrants. The course will cover a review of colonialism and the construction of racialized labour market. Core topics may include: racialization of space, anti-racist feminist thought, immigration policy, settlement services, multiculturalism, citizenship, racial profiling, diasporas, and refugees. Comparative material will be used to complement the Canadian focus. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 363 - Process of Development and Underdevelopment (S) (4)

An examination of sociological and anthropological theories of development and underdevelopment as applied to the Third World. The nature and consequences of world system linkages; colonialism and decolonization; patterns of social change in selected societies and regions. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 386 - The Ethnography of Politics (SA) (4)

An examination of the ways in which ethnographers seek to understand a world experiencing profound changes in the relationships between governments and the societies they govern. Topics to be considered may include: relations between indigenous peoples and governments; the social and cultural dynamics of public policy making; the articulation of human rights issues. The focus of the course will vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 418 - Global Health: Humanitarian Encounters (A) (4)

An investigation of the social, cultural, and political issues that contribute to problems of ill-health in resource-poor countries and the major efforts in international public health to address these problems. It explores the application of knowledge about social, and especially gender relations in international health, with particular attention to local perspectives and grassroots initiatives. Institutional frameworks intended to promote health development are examined in historical and contemporary perspective through case studies on topics such as: malaria, population control, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Prerequisite: 72 units, which must include SA 101 or 150 or 201W. Breadth-Social Sciences.

SA 420 - Sociology of Aging (S) (4)

The structural and behavioral implications of aging. Topics included will be: demographic aspects of aging; the relationship of aging to political, economic, familial and other social institutions; the psychological significance of aging. Prerequisite: 72 units including SA 101 or 150 or SA 201W, or acceptance into the diploma program in gerontology, or by consent of instructor. This course is identical to GERO 420 and students cannot take both courses for credit. Students may use GERO 420 to fulfil their major or minor requirements in lieu of SA 420.

Optional Courses

Students complete a total of 16 units, chosen from

LBST 301W - Labour, Social Media, and the News (3)

Provides a comprehensive understanding of the contemporary structure, issues, and perceptions of labour unions and other forms of working-class organization and social movements. The treatment of labour in the media and popular culture will provide an understanding of how labour is viewed in society, how labour views itself, and how working-class culture informs and is informed by the larger culture. Prerequisite: LBST 100 or LBST 101 or on permission of instructor. Students with credit for LBST 301 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 John-Henry Harter
May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.
LBST 310 - The Politics of Labour (3)

Explores working class politics and the labour movement in the context of neoliberal economic and public policy, recurring economic crises, the changing nature of work, and declining union membership. Explores electoral politics and organized labour's relationship to political parties. Examines community unionism and workers' roles in social movements focused on civil rights, gender, and the environment, among others. Prerequisite: 30 units. Strongly Recommended: LBST 101. Breadth-Social Sciences.

POL 321 - The Canadian Federal System (4)

Development of the federal system including topics such as the division of powers, parties, federal-provincial relations and theories of federalism. Prerequisite: Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.

SA 300 - Canadian Social Structure (S) (4)

An analysis of the social institutions and structure of Canadian society. The focus of the course will vary from semester to semester, but typically it will examine different theoretical approaches to the study of Canada and, from these, develop a framework for the analysis of Canadian social institutions and class structure. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 304 - Social Control (S) (4)

This course examines how the organization of control (formal and informal) affects both individuals and society. It will investigate how control takes form, how it functions, the ideologies supporting it, and the resistance it produces. We will ask the following questions: who are the agents of social control; who or what do they control; and how do they control? Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 318 - Technologies of Health and Expectation (A) (4)

Investigates how medical technologies are altering ways we perceive our bodies, frame moral questions about health, and imagine human possibilities. Case studies from around the world are used to examine the social, ethical, and political dilemmas that surface when people interact with biomedical objects under different conditions. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Stacy Pigg
May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.
SA 321 - Social Movements (S) (4)

A study of the sources, development and effects of social movements in transitional and modernized societies. Specific types of movements will be analysed. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Baran (Abu) Fakhri
May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
SA 325 - Political Sociology (S) (4)

An examination of the relations of power and authority. This course will analyze the interrelations of family, church, class, interest groups, etc., particularly as they influence and are influenced by the state. The relations of law and ideology to the structures of government will form the context for this analysis. The course may also focus on broad theoretical questions of contemporary political interest. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 332 - The Anthropology of Childhood (A) (4)

A cross-cultural examination of the social and cultural relations that shape childhood in different settings. Topics to be considered could include: the social definition of childhood and child rearing; the institutional arrangements established for children and youth and the impact that these have on children, families, and society; the social construction of child and youth cultures. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 201W.

SA 362 - Society and the Changing Global Division of Labour (S) (4)

An examination of the social and political implications of the global economy. Topics to be considered include the influence of neo-liberal economics, the decline of the national welfare state, transnational political agencies and public policy, the internationalization of culture, the global labour market, the 'world city' hypothesis, ethnic resurgence and alternatives to these developments. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

SA 364 - Urban Communities and Cultures (SA) (4)

Anthropological approaches to urbanization, the nature of the city as a social system, and urban cultures and lifestyles. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W. Students with credit for SA 464 are not eligible to take SA 364 for further credit.

SA 371 - The Environment and Society (SA) (4)

An examination of environmental issues in their social context. Environmental issues are on the leading edge of contemporary public concern and public policy debates. This course will examine such issues as the relationship between social organization and mode of subsistence, the politics of hunger, and the way in which human societies in their particular social, historical, and cultural contexts view and interact with the natural world. Prerequisite: SA 101 or 150 or 201W.

To fulfil the optional course requirement, students may instead complete additional core courses, or upon the program steering committee’s recommendation, select a course not included among listed options, but with appropriate content.