Zachary Seguin

SOC Courses

SOC 101 – Introduction to Sociology

An introduction to the basic concepts and frames of reference of sociological investigation and interpretation. Topics for analysis will include communities, associations and institutions, classes and status groups, crowds and publics, social processes, and social change. Special attention is given to Canadian society.

SOC 101R – Introduction to Sociology

An introduction to the basic concepts and frames of reference of sociological investigation and interpretation. Topics for analysis will include communities, associations and institutions, classes and status groups, crowds and publics, social processes, and social change. Special attention is given to Canadian society.

SOC 102 – Social Problems

The specific social problems discussed will vary but will include problems of well-being, problems of inequality and power, and problems related to modernization.

SOC 120R – Fundamentals of Sociology

An examination of the fundamental concepts of Sociology and their application in seeking to understand the changing patterns and life-styles taking place specifically in Canada, and in general, within North American society.

SOC 200 – Sociology of Marriage and Family

An introduction to the sociological perspectives on marriage and the family in urban-industrial societies. Special attention is given to marriage and the family in Canada. Comparisons with U.S. and Britain will be undertaken.

SOC 201 – Victims and Society

This course will examine the substance of victimization: the scientific study of victims, the process, etiology, and consequences of victimization. Topics will include victims and politics, the victims' movement, "victim-precipitation", the victimization of women, and family violence.

SOC 202 – Classical Sociological Theory

An examination of the nature and function of sociological theory and the types of theory that founded the discipline in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

SOC 204 – Sociology of Adolescence

The social definitions of adolescence in cross-cultural and historical perspective. Social roles of adolescents in the institutional structures of urban-industrial societies with special emphasis on the family, education, and the economy. The relationship of adolescents' social roles to processes of social change and stability.

SOC 204R – Sociology of Adolescence

The social definitions of adolescence in cross-cultural and historical perspective. Social roles of adolescents in the institutional structures of urban-industrial societies with special emphasis on the family, education, and the economy. The relationship of adolescents' social roles to processes of social change and stability.

SOC 205 – Social Problems

The specific social problems discussed will vary but will include problems of well-being, problems of inequality and power, and problems related to modernization.

SOC 206 – Gender Relations

An examination of gender relations in Canadian society, including historical changes and the contemporary situation. Emphasis is placed on a consideration of the social construction of gender, the gender structure of institutions, and gender inequality. This course also examines selected issues in contemporary gender relations.

SOC 207 – Sociology of Education

Attention will be focused on the concepts and theories of sociology as they apply especially to the educational system. This course is designed for co-op and regular students who plan to enter the teaching field.

SOC 207R – Sociology of Education

Attention will be focused on the concepts and theories of sociology as they apply especially to the educational system. This course is designed for co-op and regular students who plan to enter the teaching field.

SOC 209 – Ancestry, History and Personal Identity

In this course each student analyses his or her own family history in light of social, cultural, and economic trends over the past century as a means of understanding the basis of his or her own identity. The analysis is reported in an essay of about 25 pages.

SOC 210 – Sociology of Sport

This course examines sport in modern societies and the distinctive features of Canadian sport. Attention is directed to the relationship between sport and other institutions, including the economy and political system. Contemporary issues, including racial and gender inequality and controversies over violence and drugs are also considered.

SOC 221 – Research Methods

An introductory survey of the research techniques commonly employed by sociologists, criminologists, and legal studies researchers. The formulation of research designs appropriate to various kinds of intellectual problems in social science is stressed.

SOC 222 – Juvenile Delinquency

A systematic analysis and criticism is presented of biological, psychological, psychoanalytical, and sociological theories of juvenile delinquency. Attention is given to statistics and contemporary research with special emphasis on the distribution and types of delinquent subcultures.

SOC 223 – Deviance: Perspectives and Processes

The deviance-making process is examined in a variety of social contexts. This course examines the emergence of rules and control agencies, the processes by which people become involved in deviant activities, and the contingencies affecting their careers as deviants.

SOC 223R – Deviance: Perspectives and Processes

The deviance-making process is examined in a variety of social contexts. This course examines the emergence of rules and control agencies, the processes by which people become involved in deviant activities, and the contingencies affecting their careers as deviants.

SOC 224R – Poverty in Canada and its Social Consequences

A sociological analysis of poverty in contemporary Canada as it underlies a multiplicity of interlocking social problems.

SOC 225 – Games and Gamers

This course examines games, gamers, and gaming culture as entry points to understanding the social implications of digital media technologies.

SOC 226 – Juvenile Justice

An examination of theories of juvenile justice, juvenile law, and the structure and operations of juvenile systems, especially in Canada.

SOC 227 – Criminology

An examination of the major theories of crime causation and their implications for the development of social policy. Both historical and contemporary theories will be discussed.

SOC 228 – Sociology of Criminal Justice

Decisions to process offenders and the role of social factors in the Canadian criminal justice system are critically examined. Focal issues include police discretion, the legal profession, and prison systems.

SOC 229 – Selected Topics in Criminology

Sociological analysis of research and theory on selected criminal activities. Motivation, modus operandi, and the social characteristics of offenders will be examined in relation to such specific crimes as drug and sexual offenses, theft, robbery, murder, organized crime, and/or other criminal activities.

SOC 230 – Special Topics in Sociology

An in-depth analysis of research in selected topics in Sociology.

SOC 232 – Technology and Social Change

This course examines how forms of society influence technological developments and, reciprocally, how society is influenced by technology. It covers such topics as the de-skilling of work, technocracy, communications technology, and cyberspace, from an historical perspective, looking for the unifying features of technologies ranging from Stone Age tools to the microprocessor.

SOC 234 – Social Psychology and Everyday Life

Introducing students to symbolic interaction, a sociological social psychology, this course examines: the impact of culture on socialization experiences; the development of self-identities and social reputations; and interaction patterns in a variety of casual, occupational and deviance contexts.

SOC 235 – Individual and Society

Introduction to social psychology through selected topics in the study of the self, social interaction, groups and intergroup relations, and social organization.

SOC 237 – Collective Behaviour

The sociological analysis of the behaviour of crowds, mobs, publics and related phenomena and their relationships to social organization and social change.

SOC 240 – Terrorism

This course offers an introduction to the study of terrorism, with a primary focus on sociological approaches. The course examines the history, causes, and diversity of forms of terrorist groups and the process of radicalization, suicide terrorism, and some aspects of the counter-terrorism response of states.

SOC 241 – Sociology of Work and Occupations

This course is an introduction to the study of work and occupations including: labour market trends, professions and the professionalization process, how work is experienced, balancing work and family, and the impact of work on lifestyles, leisure, and retirement.

SOC 243 – Occupational Sociology

An introduction to the study of work and occupations; the problems of occupational choice, occupational socialization and identification; the concepts of career and career mobility; the professionalization process, the nature of professions; the impact of occupation on life styles, leisure and retirement.

SOC 246 – Mass Communication

This course provides an introduction to the social processes and functions of mass media communication -- with particular reference to the Canadian context. Emphasis is focused on the relationship between mass communication and the ongoing reconstruction of social reality.

SOC 247 – Death and Society

The course deals with the current literature on death and dying. Patterns of mortality as affecting different social groups and as reflecting differential life chances of individuals in society are described. North American issues of death and dying are considered against an historical background.

SOC 248 – Health, Illness and Society

This course discusses health, illness and the distribution of disease in society. It introduces concepts such as social determinants of health, population health and culturally competent care. The strength and the limitations of the Canadian health care system will be examined through a sociological lens.

SOC 249 – Sociology of Mental Disorder

An examination of sociological research and theory in the field of mental disorder particularly as they apply to issues of law and social control. Topics include mental health legislation, the medical model of mental "illness," the epidemiology of mental disorder, family processes and psychiatric hospitalization, public attitudes and social stigma, and specific forms of mental disorder.

SOC 250 – Contemporary Japanese Society

An introduction to the basic institutions and cultural values in contemporary Japanese society. Topics will include family, community, religion, education, work, social stratification, ethos, and the economic behaviour of Japan overseas.

SOC 252 – The Culture of Cities

Through the analysis of multiple aspects of city life, this course examines the larger question of a city's uniqueness, identity, and culture. Approaches may include case studies, comparative analyses, and theoretical accounts of city life.

SOC 253 – Demographic Change in Canada

An introduction to the study of human population, with a focus on mortality, fertility, migration and spatial distribution in Canada. Methods and measures used in demographic research, sources of demographic data, and the health and social implications of the major demographic trends are discussed.

SOC 256 – Ethnic and Racial Relations

Relations between different racial and cultural groups, analysis of majority-minority group status with special reference to Canada.

SOC 258 – Millennialism & Violence

An examination of the nature and causes of episodes of mass violence inspired by apocalyptic beliefs. This course will use historical and contemporary case studies and theoretical discussions of the social and psychological factors precipitating violence.

SOC 260 – Religion in Sociological Perspective

An examination of the nature of religious experience, the elements of religious group life, the ways in which religions are a source of social stability and peace as well as of social change and conflict.

SOC 261 – Religion in America

The course examines religion in the American context regarding issues like secularization, the nature and the influence of sects (e.g., Mormonism, Pentecostalism), Protestant revivalism and televangelism, and the impact of non-Christian traditions (e.g., Buddhism, Islam).

SOC 262 – Cults and New Religious Movements

This course examines various cults and new religious movements (e.g., Scientology, Krishna Consciousness, Neo-paganism) and places them within the context of our sociological knowledge of their emergence, who joins and why, and other issues.

SOC 263 – Organized Crime

An examination of select criminal organizations in North America. Particular attention will be given to the social history of 'the mafia' and the development of legal tools for policing criminal organizations. Additional themes for discussion include enterprise and economic crimes, corruption, and the role of women in organized crime.

SOC 265 – Political Sociology

The sociological analysis of the institutionalization of power, political movements, parties, conflict and its accommodation.

SOC 270 – International Migration

This course examines different international migration flows, including irregular immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, and low and high-skilled labourers. Drawing on migration theories, it critically examines why people move, how states respond to different flows, and how migration controls intersect with gender, race, class, and nationality.

SOC 275 – Mennonites as a Sociological Community

An analysis of the Mennonites as a social movement, their transition to a sectarian community, transformation to a religious-ethnic society, and present pluralistic profile. Case studies of/and field visits to area Mennonites included.

SOC 280 – Social Statistics

A basic course in statistics used in social science research including sampling, central tendency, probability, covariance, as illustrated in specifically sociological and criminological data.

SOC 286 – Environment and Behaviour

A study of the interaction between social organization and ecological factors such as pollution, energy and land resources.

SOC 302 – Contemporary Sociological Theory

An examination of the nature and functioning of sociological theory in the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on selected types of theory that have been influential in shaping the discipline.

SOC 304 – Media and Crime

This course explores the complex interactions between media and crime. Topics to be addressed may include news reporting of crime; moral panics; signal crimes; media constructions of crime, offenders, and victims; "reality" crime shows; citizen journalism and the new media; surveillance and social control.

SOC 306 – Juvenile Justice

An examination of theories of juvenile justice, juvenile law, and the structure and operations of juvenile systems, especially in Canada.

SOC 307 – Problems in Contemporary Education

A study of problems arising from the interplay between institutionalized education and the forces of rapid social change in the contemporary society. It emphasizes the changing roles of the learners and instructors and social dimensions of newer learning theories and programs.

SOC 310 – Social Networks

A survey of applications of the concept of the network in studying social structures. Examples will be drawn from diverse areas, such as interpersonal relations, community studies, social support, interorganizational relations, elites, deviant groups, etc.

SOC 312 – Sociology of Science

An examination of the social character of the development of science and the production of scientific knowledge. Specific topics will include defining science, cultural influences on the rise of science, the social nature of scientific institutions, selective bias in scientific procedures, and the social construction of scientific facts.

SOC 315 – Class, Status and Power

Analysis of social classes in society including their basis for development, composition and consequences for society. Special attention is given to social stratification in Canada.

SOC 320 – Social Problems in a Global Context

This course examines causes of and responses to critical social problems in different world regions with a focus on how these problems intersect with processes of globalisation. Topics include global economic inequality, global health, gender inequality, the environment, and war.

SOC 321 – Introduction to Research Methods

An introductory survey of the research techniques commonly employed by sociologists, criminologists, and legal studies researchers. The formulation of research designs appropriate to various kinds of intellectual problems in social science is stressed.

SOC 322 – Field Research Methods

This course provides a critical evaluation of research techniques in sociology, criminology, and legal studies with an emphasis on learning and applying qualitative fieldwork approaches.

SOC 324 – Digital Cultures

This course examines how digital 'play' represents and structures social interaction and how games develop social norms, influence social consensus, and respond to deviance.

SOC 325 – Sexuality and the Law

Despite the commonly held belief that sexuality is nothing more than "doing what comes naturally," cultural definitions, including prohibitions against specific forms of conduct, impinge upon the most private or intimate of acts. This course examines the social construction and control of sexuality through law.

SOC 326 – Punishment and Society

A critical criminological and sociological examination of theories and practices of punishment. This course will examine transformations in penal theory, penal management, and penal institutions and their social and policy implications.

SOC 327 – Policing in a Democratic Society

A critical examination of the police as social control agents in contemporary democratic societies. Topics include the historical evolution of policing; police recruitment, training, and education; police/community relations; the occupational subculture of the police; police authority and discretion; private policing; and police deviance and criminality.

SOC 328 – Trafficking and Financial Crime

An examination of the causes and impact of the illegal traffic in goods and services in Canada and internationally. Topics may include human trafficking, trade in illicit drugs and weapons, money laundering and financing of terror, and the relationship between trafficking and state political violence.

SOC 330 – Special Topics in Sociology

An in-depth analysis of research in selected topics in Sociology.

SOC 334 – Public Policy

An examination of the policy-making process in liberal democratic societies, and an evaluation of the tools employed by policy analysts to understand that process.

SOC 336 – Sociology of Professions

An examination of the distinctive nature of professions; professional recruitment, socialization and identification; professional careers; the professionalization of occupations; relationship to government; professional specialization; status, power and mobility of professionals.

SOC 339 – The Knowledge Society and Waterloo Region

Examines the theory and the practice of the "knowledge society", the form of social and economic organization which has largely replaced industrial society. Along with examining sociological works on the knowledge society, the Region of Waterloo is used as a case study. This is both to better understand the concept of knowledge society from the case study, and to assess the ambitions of Waterloo Region to become a "knowledge capital."

SOC 340 – Sociology of Organizations

This course examines the evolution and characteristics of the modern organization, focusing on changing approaches to corporate strategy and management in the context of the new economy. Using case studies, we will examine how networks, gender, technological innovations and environmental pressures shape organizational practices.

SOC 342 – Migration and Legality

This course introduces students to key concepts and case study research on the regulation of human migration and its exclusionary practices. It examines how state policies, laws, and international organizations control the mobility of migrants and refugees across regions and borders.

SOC 345 – Cyberspace and Social Life

A critical investigation of the new theoretical and empirical research into the nature and social significance of computer-mediated communication. The Internet will be examined as a multi-mediated arena of performance for the negotiation, expression, and transformation of our conceptions of identity, community, spirituality, power and authority.

SOC 346 – Social Movements

The analysis of varieties of social movements and their relationships to social organization and social change.

SOC 347 – Sociology of Leisure

This seminar style course focuses on recent research on relationships between leisure and the social, cultural, political, and technological aspects of society. The course will use sociological literature to examine leisure in the lives of individuals, groups, and society. Topics will include leisure and multiculturalism, social stratification, gender, popular culture, consumption, tourism, religion, and the family.

SOC 349 – Migration and Development

This course explores theoretical perspectives and empirical studies on development and the related field of migration studies. Specific themes may include history and colonialism, seasonal and labour migration, forced migration, immigration policies and their social and economic implications, and transnationalism and diasporas.

SOC 352 – Sociology of Aging

An introduction to individual and population aging. Topics discussed include: aging from a historical and comparative perspective; aging in subcultures; aging and the social structure; aging and social processes; aging and the environment; work and retirement; and aging and leisure patterns.

SOC 354 – Comparative Health Care Systems

This course discusses health care systems around the world with sociological perspectives and introduces health care system evaluation criteria to examine different nations' health care models, including health care delivery and financing. Some basic research methods for health care systems studies will be introduced.

SOC 355J – Power and Parenting

An examination of contemporary parent-child relations in terms of a reconceptualization of power. Special attention will be given to contemporary interpretive (e.g. hermeneutic) approaches to a reformulation of the relation between power and action.

SOC 362 – Canadian Society: Special Topics

A critical examination of special issues and topics bearing on the nature of Canadian society and/or the interrelationship of Canada with other aspects of the international community. Topics will vary according to the instructor's interests, but may include such issues as multiculturalism, immigration, national unity, globalization, poverty, and industrial development and policy.

SOC 365 – Urban Life and Culture

Using a symbolic interactionist approach, this course examines central features of urban community life. Particular attention is given to the corporate, commercial, consumptive and communications aspects of urban society as well as residential practices and street life.

SOC 366 – Entertainment Motifs: An Interactionist Analysis

Approaching entertainment from a symbolic interactionist perspective, this course examines entertainment as a set of socially constituted and engaged processes. Building primarily on analytical and ethnographic materials from the classic Greek era to the present time, this course considers the roles (viewpoints, activities, and interchanges) of people involved in producing, promoting, accessing, experiencing, and critiquing, an assortment of commercial and noncommercial entertainment venues.

SOC 368 – Custodial and Rehabilitative Institutions

Total institutions are concerned with resocialization of inmates. This course considers the structure of maximum security prisons, mental hospitals, isolated work environments and concentration camps, emphasizing their philosophies, their organization, their goals, and their effectiveness in modifying and controlling behaviour.

SOC 369J – The Sociology of Community

This course examines how our contemporary concern with community is connected with the rise of modern society and the development of the urban-rural debate. Our anxieties about community will be shown to be connected to our anxieties about family. Special attention will be given to the interpretive approach to these issues.

SOC 370 – Sociology of Law

Examines the social construction of law and its administration as a social process. Topics will include law as an instrument of social control and social change; legal culture; the identification and evaluation of criminal suspects; the trial process and the rights of special groups. The specific laws highlighted will vary.

SOC 371 – Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Problems about the fundamental methods and aims of the social sciences generally, and problems specific to Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, etc., and their relations to one another will be considered.

SOC 372 – Good and Evil in Social Relations

In the tradition of sociology as a moral science, this course asks how, if at all, good and evil can be empirically distinguished and accounted for. Both current and historical issues are addressed, with particular attention to the Holocaust.

SOC 375R – Studies in Sociology

This course will deal with selected topics in sociology. Subjects will be dependent upon the research and/or instructional interests of faculty.

SOC 377 – Studies in the Sociology of the Mennonites

This seminar will devote attention to research methods, sociological theory, and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Mennonite communities and culture.

SOC 378 – Sociology of Women

An examination of the growing sociological literature on women's roles, experiences, realities, problems and challenges. Particular emphasis is placed on critiques of traditional sociological theory and methodology and the emergence of new theories and methodologies which better reflect women's experiences.

SOC 382 – Survey Methodology

The design of sample surveys. Survey procedures from the conceptual level through sampling, measurement, questionnaire design, administration and analysis of responses are illustrated within the context of practical examples and student projects.

SOC 383 – Ethnomethodology in Theory and Practice

Ethnomethodology is a study of the methods and practices people use to produce and recognize social actions. Topics may include greetings, the sex/gender distinction, science and common sense, breaching experiments, and jury deliberation.

SOC 387 – Criminal Justice Institutions

The societal context of policing, courts, and corrections is examined to understand how social control and the law are used in the criminal justice system. Special emphasis is placed on the socio-economic, legal, political, and situational environment that shapes responses to different categories of offenders and offences.

SOC 398R – Independent Study

An independent in-depth study of a selected area of concern to the student within the discipline of sociology. Available to individuals or small groups of third- or fourth-year Social Development Studies majors and arranged with one of the faculty members from the program.

SOC 399R – Independent Study

An independent in-depth study of a selected area of concern to the student within the discipline of sociology. Available to individuals or small groups of third or fourth-year Social Development Studies majors and arranged with one of the faculty members from the program.

SOC 401 – Theoretical Perspectives on Gender

An examination of sociological theories of gender and gender relations. Emphasis is placed on tracing historical changes in interpretations of gender, with a particular consideration of contemporary theoretical debates. Approaches to be considered include feminist theories as well as political economy and cultural studies.

SOC 402 – Sociology of Religion

This course examines key substantive, theoretical, and methodological issues of the sociology of religion through the detailed study of important classical and contemporary works in the field.

SOC 404 – Sociology of Knowledge

This seminar undertakes to develop a general theory of the relation of social thought to social action, comparative value systems and the role of the scientist, artist and intellectual in society.

SOC 405 – Seminar in Classical Sociological Theory

An analysis of selected original writings by the major figures in the classical sociological tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries and selected critical literature.

SOC 406 – Seminar in Contemporary Sociological Theory

An analysis of selected original writings by influential figures in contemporary theory (i.e., mid-20th century onwards) and selected critical literature.

SOC 407 – Canadian Social Thought

We examine the development of sociological theory in Canada by focusing on major historical and contemporary figures and theories representative of English-language sociology. We examine, in addition, sociologically important scholars and schools of thought in history and political economy as well as selected developments in French-language Canadian sociology.

SOC 408 – Contemporary Debates in Sociological Theory

Deals with recent controversies in sociological theory; e.g., Giddens' theories of structuration and the state; critical theory, including the works of Habermas on communicative action; postmodernist theory; the positivist/interpretive debate and varieties of psychoanalytic theory.

SOC 409 – Knowing and Acting: Social Theory from the Early Greeks to the Present

Using a symbolic interactionist frame, this course examines the enduring problem of connecting social theory and human activity. Building on some of the works of the early Greeks and others (hermeneutic scholars, pragmatists) who addressed matters of intersubjectivity and human accomplishment, the emphasis is on developing theory that is informed centrally by an ethnographic examination of community life in the making.

SOC 410 – Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research

An application of symbolic interactionist theory, this course examines the contingencies affecting data collection and analysis of ongoing group life. While doing field work, students have an opportunity to examine basic features of interactionist thought.

SOC 411 – Sociology of the Body

This seminar examines social influences on bodily practices, including practices of regulation and control. Examples of topics examined include the body in consumer culture; exercise, dieting and fitness as social practice; professional dominance, regulation of bodies, and forms of cultural embodiment in gender, race and social class.

SOC 412 – Social Identities in Canadian Society

This seminar course examines the multiple identities of individuals at the beginning of the 21st century. The conceptual approach mixes a structural and quantitatively empirical form of social psychology (e.g., Stryker, Tajfel) with macro-theoretical thought by figures such as Giddens and Parkin. We examine types of identity, their measurement, and ideas about their functions and consequences. Throughout the course, identification with Canadian society is a central point of reference.

SOC 413 – Surveillance and Society

An examination of the way monitoring technologies alter and shape social life in terms of security, fear, control, and vulnerability.

SOC 414 – Power, Persuasion, and Management

This course studies influence work (and resistance) from a symbolic interactionist perspective. Building on materials that focus on tactical interchange from classical, interim, and contemporary sources, this course considers the ways that people attempt to shape one another's activities and experiences in various social situations. The material introduced covers the fuller range of persuasive interchange in community life from dyadic encounters to international relations.

SOC 415 – Social Networks

A survey of applications of the concept of the network in studying social structures. Examples will be drawn from diverse areas, such as interpersonal relations, community studies, social support, interorganizational relations, elites, deviant groups, etc.

SOC 416 – Educational Theory and Practice

An examination of the major theoretical explanations and practices in education. Topics include an analysis of the various social processes that have been developed to define and transmit knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and power relations from one generation to the next. The role of state-sponsored formal education systems in the context of world economic systems will be explored.

SOC 417 – Sociology of Higher Education

This course examines the relationship between higher education and society. Topics include: major trends, student culture, how and why students are stratified across fields of study and various kinds of postsecondary institutions, and the relationship between education and the labour market.

SOC 418 – Social Theory and Popular Culture

This course will critically assess contemporary approaches to the study of culture and media in sociology and related fields. The course will examine the production, mediation, and consumption of cultural artifacts, images, and spaces, and the problems of culture as ideology, reproduction, and resistance.

SOC 419 – Police Systems and Practices

This course examines contemporary issues in policing. Topics may include police response strategies in different models of policing, economics of policing, use of discretion, police accountability, and the changing functions and activities of the police.

SOC 420 – Seminar in Social Inequality

Analysis of social stratification and inequality in industrial societies, with emphasis on Canada. Issues of class, power, wealth and occupational structure will be examined.

SOC 421 – Quantitative Methods

Design and data analysis in contemporary sociological research, with an emphasis on the analysis of secondary data and computer applications.

SOC 422 – Violent Extremism and Terrorism

This course examines contemporary issues in terrorism studies. Topics may include the history and comparative analysis of political and religious forms of violent extremism, the process of radicalization and recruitment, the analysis of different forms of terrorist activity, and the counter-terrorism policies and practices.

SOC 423 – Peers and Crime

This seminar examines the peer influence perspective in criminology. Key theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues and challenges are addressed.

SOC 424 – Seminar in Sociology of Health

Current issues and debates within health care, including the social organization of the health care system and the socio-cultural determinants of health and illness, are examined from a sociological perspective.

SOC 425 – Crossing Borders: Law & Global Deviance

This seminar-style course, positioned at the intersection of sociology and law, examines illicit cross border activity such as terrorism, piracy, drugs, trafficking, and illegal immigration. Each cross-border activity will be examined, along with the way states respond to it politically and legally at a national and international level. Ethnographic research on the activity will provide for rich descriptions of how and why people participate in such activities.

SOC 428 – Sentencing as a Social Process

Examines in depth the process and results of criminal sentencing. Topics include types of sentences for criminal and quasi-criminal offences; objectives of sentences; factors affecting sentences; the process of sentencing; the administration and effectiveness of sentences; and unresolved debates in sentencing.

SOC 430 – Special Topics in Sociology

An in-depth analysis of research in selected topics in Sociology.

SOC 431 – Science as Practice and Culture

An examination of science as being constituted by practices which are inevitably social and cultural, as well as of scientific expertise in contemporary issues of new technology, biomedicine, and environmental conflict.

SOC 434 – Sociology of At-Risk Youth

This course examines the social attributes and surrounding conditions associated with at-risk youth. It will focus on the development of youth in three major institutions - education, criminal justice, and mental healthcare. This course will focus on the attributes of youth themselves, but also to changing institutional definitions and practices. This course will include an experiential learning component outside regular classroom hours.

SOC 435 – Environmental Sociology

Inquiry into the relationship between the natural environment and society. Review of issues relating to technology, social change, politics of environmental reform, factors that contribute to environmental-resource conflict and policy.

SOC 440 – Computational Social Science

The explosion of digital data is revolutionizing the way we learn about the world. This course focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary for doing high-quality social scientific research with digital data. Students will be introduced to the programming language Python, and will learn to collect and analyze digital data using computational methods.

SOC 450R – Senior Seminar in Special Topics

Senior seminars may include weekly readings, individual and/or group projects, class presentations and discussions, research proposals, essay/literature reviews, assignments, midterms, and final exams. Consult departmental listings for topics and prerequisites for the current year.

SOC 451 – Global Development

This course explores theoretical perspectives on development through an examination of the social and cultural consequences of development efforts across the globe. It offers an approach through cases and themes that may include conflict and inequalities, cultural constructions of peoples and places, global aid governance, and alternative approaches to development.

SOC 452 – Humanitarianism

This course explores the theoretical and historical background of humanitarianism, and offers an approach to this field through specific cases and themes that may include: the paradoxes of humanitarian intervention, war and humanitarianism, genocide and refugees, gendered bodies, and social justice activism.

SOC 459 – Sociology of Work and Occupations

This seminar examines major theoretical perspectives and issues in the sociology of work.

SOC 461 – Transnational Organized Crime

This seminar course examines contemporary legal regimes surrounding transnational organized crime, terrorism and organized crime, and international money laundering.

SOC 490R – Special Studies

An independent, in-depth study, based on empirical research and/or extensive reading in sociology under the direction of individual instructors in sociology. Available to individuals or small groups of fourth-year Social Development Studies majors and arranged with one of the faculty members from the plan. The project must be approved by the academic supervisor of the course prior to registration.

SOC 497 – Honours Research Practicum

Denoting a preprofessionalization experience, this course provides selected students with an opportunity to work [to a maximum of 8 hours per week over one term] as an apprentice with a specific instructor on a research project in which the instructor is currently engaged.

SOC 498 – Directed Studies

Selected study and assignments under the direction of a faculty member.

SOC 499A – Senior Honours Essay

Directed reading and research in a selected area of sociology inquiry.

SOC 499B – Senior Honours Essay

Directed reading and research in a selected area of sociology inquiry.

SOC 696 – Sociology of the Life Course

In sociology, the life course has been used to understand a wide range of social issues and phenomena, including health, social inequality, crime and deviance, and many others. This course will explore the history of the life course tradition in sociology, its theoretical and conceptual components, and various qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches used in life course research, as well as particular applications of the life course to contemporary issues in sociology.

SOC 697 – Practicum in Survey Administration

A practicum giving training in the administration of social survey research. Normally this will be in conjunction with the K-W Metropolitan Area Survey (KWMAS), an annual area survey administered by the Department of Sociology. Weekly seminars will combine examination of the scholarly literature on issues in survey research with case materials from the KWMAS. Students will gain practical experience in such issues as dealing with clients, working out a production schedule for the survey, assembling a questionnaire, writing an OHR (ethics) brief, making sampling design decision, and conducting pretest fieldwork. The course requires a paper on some aspect of survey administration.

SOC 700 – Sociological Theory

A critical overview of selected original writings of major sociological theorists from the 19th and 20th centuries (including, among others, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mead, Schutz, Wollstonecraft, Martineau, D. Smith, Giddens, and Habermas). Attention is paid throughout to issues in the philosophy of social science and sociology of knowledge.

SOC 703 – Social Theory and Enacted Realities: From the Early Greeks to the Present Time

Using a symbolic interactionist/social constructionist frame as the integrating mechanism, this course examines the enduring problem of connecting social theory with human activity. Building on the works of early Greeks (e.g., Protagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides) and others (e.g., hermeneutic scholars, pragmatists, and contemporary social scientists) who have addressed matters of intersubjectivity and human accomplishment, the emphasis is on articulating theory that is attentive to community life in the making. Focusing on the interlinkages of speech, objects, and activity, particular attention is given to the development of pragmatist thought within rhetoric, poetics, philosophy, history, and the social sciences.

SOC 704 – Key Theoretical Debates

This course examines the conflicting views of six to ten pairs of theorists, from Hegel and Comte to major thinkers in our time. The study of the materials will allow students to become conscious of their personal locations in the history of social thought, and develop coherent theoretical positions of their own.

SOC 705 – Theory and Research in Social Organization

A survey of current theories of social organization, which examines social institutions and their interconnections. Social structure is treated as a predictor of behaviour.

SOC 706 – Theory and Research in Social Psychology

A survey of the field of social psychology. Major theoretical approaches are examined and compared in the context of course readings, discussion and student presentations. Topics address the processes of socialization, communication, attribution, social influence, identity, group structure, cognition, deviance, the life cycle, and social structure and personality.

SOC 707 – Canadian Sociological Thought

An overview of the development of sociological theory in Canada. Focusing on English-language sociology, the course deals with major figures (Dawson, Hughes, Marsh, Porter, Clement) and theories in the discipline (human ecology, Fabianism, functionalism, elite studies). It examines as well scholars and schools of thought in closely related disciplines (Innis, the "new political economy", feminist scholarship) and related developments in Quebecois sociology.

SOC 708 – Contemporary Debates in Sociological Theory

Deals with recent controversies in sociological theory; e.g. Giddens' theories of structuration and the state; critical theory, including the works of Habermas on communicative action; postmodernist theory and varieties of psychoanalytic theory.

SOC 709 – Selected Problems in Sociological Theory

Relation of sociological theory to specific problems of sociological analysis.

SOC 710 – Intermediate Social Statistics

Applied multiple regression/correlation, with emphasis on data processing/computing, model construction and interpretation and underlying statistical assumptions.

SOC 711 – Techniques in Longitudinal Analysis

This course will cover topics related to the analysis of longitudinal and repeated-measures data in the social sciences, mainly using large multivariate datasets. Topics covered will include popular techniques including analysis of various duration measures, including event history and related models, growth-curve or latent trajectory models, and will also expose participants to newer approaches including sequence analytic methods. Open to all students, this course may be of particular interest to students planning research in connection with the Statistics Canada longitudinal surveys housed in the university's South Western Ontario Research Data Centre.

SOC 712 – Elements of Social Research

The social science research process is examined within quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches.

SOC 713 – Design and Data Analysis in Quantitative Research

Continuation of SOC 712 and 710 at a more advanced level. Philosophical and theoretical issues in quantitative research. Experimental and non-experimental research designs and procedures. Causal modelling and inference. Measurement theory. Latent variables. Longitudinal designs and data analysis. Use of computer software.

SOC 714 – Ethnographic Research in the Social Sciences

Attending to the ways in which group life is (socially) constructed, this course provides (1) greater linkage of theory and method; (2) grounding in the interactionist literature; and (3) experience in data collection and analysis.

SOC 715 – Mixed Methods Research

Strategies are introduced to design, implement and critically assess the appropriateness of mixed methods different designs integration, interpretation, logistics, benefits and the challenges involved in conducting mixed methods research.

SOC 716 – Qualitative Methods

This course covers the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. The course will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on understanding the relationship between theory, methods and data, the other focused on practical techniques such as identifying informants, and coding and analyzing data.

SOC 717 – Reflexive Research Methodologies: Contemporary Interpretive Traditions

Drawing on the intimate intertwining of theory and methodology in such areas as phenomenology, ethnomethodology, hermeneutics and analysis, this course takes a practical approach to the reflexive research strategies these methodologies employ. Students will be encouraged to develop research proposals in line with their exposure to these methodologies.

SOC 719 – Elements of Social Research Design

An instructor will teach in their area of specialization.

SOC 720 – Social Inequality

This course will deal with class, status and power groups in an industrial society as they strive to maximize their share of wealth, prestige and power. Occupational structures of modern societies will be examined.

SOC 725 – Sociology of Health

An overview of sociological approaches - theoretical and methodological - to the study of health, illness, and health care. Both the social organization of the health care system and the socio-cultural determinants of health and illness are considered.

SOC 730 – Sociology of Religion

The course examines key substantive, theoretical and methodological issues of the sociology of religion through the detailed study of important classical and contemporary works in the field. Representative issues addressed are: the social and psychological nature and function of religious experience, the character of conversion processes, the social and political implications of religious ideologies and organizations, the status of religious beliefs and practices in an age of seeming secularization. Attention will be given to both western and non-western religious traditions as well as to both established and newer forms of religious life.

SOC 735 – Environmental Sociology

Inquiry into the relationship between the natural environment and society. Review of the theoretical and paradigmatic approaches used to study society-environmental interactions, and analysis of issues relating to technology, social change, distributional impacts, politics of environmental reform and factors that contribute to environmental-resource conflict, and policy decisions as they relate to the larger ecological complex.

SOC 740 – Sociology of Deviance

The seminar undertakes a critical examination of the major theoretical perspectives in the sociology of deviance.

SOC 744 – Sociology of Crime and Justice

An overview of current sociological theories and research in the areas of crime and delinquency, and juvenile and criminal justice. The focus of the course is on recent developments in theory and research that have received widespread attention from sociological criminologists.

SOC 745 – Deviance: An Interactionist Perspective

Viewing deviance as an emergent social phenomenon, this course considers: the social construction of norms and deviance definitions; the emergence of deviance in the context of social movements and work situations; and the reputations and career contingencies of persons involved in deviant activities.

SOC 750 – Sociology of Gender Roles

An examination of women's and men's changing gender roles with particular emphasis on theoretical explanations of gender relations. Topics discussed include gender roles in the family, politics and the economy, socialization, health care, violence and reproduction.

SOC 751 – Theories of Gender Relations

A critical examination of theories concerning the origin of sex inequality and an attempt to identify indicators of changing status of the sexes as well as factors which account for such changes.

SOC 759 – Sociology of Work and Occupations

The seminar examines extant theoretical perspectives on the study of work. Current theories of work, critical issues in the field, and changes in the roles of occupations in the social structure are examined with the view towards new perceptions of work in our society.

SOC 760 – Social Networks

An examination of the use of the concept "social network" in studying social structure; including the applicability of the concept to social theories, methods of operationalizing and analyzing social networks, and examples of substantive research employing the concept.

SOC 765 – Political Sociology

A critical examination of political and governmental strategies for identifying social problems and managing the conduct of individuals, groups, and populations.

SOC 766 – Participatory Action Research

This course is designed to introduce students to the history, theoretical background and application of Participatory Action Research as it is used within the social sciences. Participatory Action Research (PAR) represents an alternative and collaborative approach to the design implementation and outcomes of a community-based research project whereby democratic processes of social and organizational change are priority. A PAR approach is both a method for conducting research and a framework for the ongoing encouraging and/or facilitating social change and social action. The use of various methodologies including peer researchers, mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative), knowledge translation, mobilization strategies for the purpose of needs assessment, program evaluation and policy research, will be explored. Examples of PAR in Canada will be examined as well as examples from international practice. Both the benefits and challenges of a PAR approach will be discussed throughout the course.

SOC 768 – Community Engagement and Social Development

This course highlights the importance of participation by community members in matters related to their well-being and with methods to encourage their involvement. Community based research (CBR) as a method to engage communities towards social development will be explored. Processes of community entry and community engagement, particularly with disenfranchised and/or marginalized communities, will be examined, whereby methods for enhancing community capacity, inclusion, and empowerment will be given special attention. The role of effective leadership toward creating and sustaining social innovation will be discussed and examples of innovative social development practices in Canada will be assessed as well as examples from international practice. The theoretical and historical background of Social development will be covered, included social capital theory, and political economy perspectives of urban sustainability.

SOC 770 – Comparative Social Structure

The course is devoted to the comparative study of selected western and non-western societies in relation to their institutions, structures, value systems, changes and interactions.

SOC 774 – Family and Kinship

Family and kinship are viewed as the rudimentary structures of society from which other structures differentiate. They are shown to persist in modern society as a reinforcement structure beneath the specialized institutions.

SOC 776 – Sociology of Knowledge

The seminar undertakes to develop a general theory of the relation of social thought to social action, comparative value systems and the role of the scientist, artist and intellectual in society.

SOC 778 – Theorizing Discourses of Health, Illness and Disease in Everyday Life

This course will focus on identifying areas of strain or conflict in public health and everyday life in relation to medical, literary, philosophical and everyday discourses of health and sickness. It will examine contested representations of the relations of health and life, healing and cure, pleasure and pain, self-governance and negligence, body and mind, and policy and polity. Core texts will span a wide variety of fields, eras and authors (e.g., Beckett, Benjamin, Descartes, Foucault, Freud, Gadamer, Goffman, Garfinkel, Parsons, Plato).

SOC 780 – Theories of Social Change

A systematic review and analysis of major theories of social change. Theoretical problems are examined within a specific context such as social organization, economic institutions, social stratification, and urban structures.

SOC 781 – Global Development Governance

The course explores theoretical perspectives on the global governance of development, with critical attention to how processes of global development shape local environments and their inhabitants, challenge notions of state sovereignty and territory, and engender diverse responses to regimes of control. Cross-disciplinary perspectives will enable students to engage with a wide range of sociological, ethnographic, and political analyses of development through case studies and themes.

SOC 782 – Law, Globalization and Women's Empowerment

The course will explore the theoretical debates within feminist scholarship surrounding the use of Western liberal legal approaches to prosecute gender violence and improve the socio-economic status of women globally. The course readings will draw from various literatures, including liberal and transnational feminist, postcolonial, and socio-legal and governmentality literatures, to analyse and critically evaluate the concept and deployment of women's empowerment in global contexts.

SOC 783 – Security and Regulation

An examination of criminological and sociological theory and research on the problem of security and related regulatory agencies. Various forms of regulation will be examined (e.g. discipline, surveillance, control, security detention, security intelligence, risk management) as they apply to particular bodies, mobilities, borders, and private and public spaces.

SOC 784 – International Migration: Practice, Theory & Regulation

This course explores theoretical perspectives on migration and critically examines how states deter or facilitate migration flows, including irregular immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, and low and high-skilled labourers. A multidisciplinary approach allows students to investigate the ubiquitous rise of border controls as a state tool to control migration, and how their implementation intersects with gender, race, class and nationality.

SOC 785 – Cities and Security

An examination of the urban aspects of security, surveillance, war and terrorism. Particular attention will be given to the contemporary embrace of resilience as a rationality of urban security. Additional themes include the militarization of policing, the role of 'big data' in the intensification of urban surveillance, and the relationship between security and urban environments.

SOC 786 – Interdisciplinary Seminar in Aging

Faculty members and students from the disciplines of Biology, Sociology, Psychology and Statistics meet to develop an integrated view of aging and death in their biological and social aspects. Topics examined include evolutionary and genetic factors, demography of aging, social attitudes, and human aging patterns.

SOC 789 – Graduate Readings in Sociology

Selected readings in a specific topic including the preparation of a research paper under the supervision of a faculty member.