Sociology is the study of social life. Sociologists examine how society is created, maintained, and changed, and what the implications of social structures and social change are for people. Sociological research often provides challenges to common sense knowledge and helps us to understand that many of the things we perceive to be “natural” are in fact socially constructed and organized. It provides an opportunity to begin thinking critically about taken-for-granted assumptions, and in the process, understand the many ways personal experience is shaped by social processes and social institutions.
The Sociology Department at Wilfrid Laurier University is characterized by a strength in the area of Equity and Social Justice. In the 21st century, as Canada and the rest of the world face the challenges of globalization and privatization, studies in equity and social justice will focus on the effects of this movement on social institutions, populations, social policy, education, health, and family formation. Issues related to human rights, social inequality, and future patterns of growth and development will need to be addressed. The Sociology Department at Laurier aims to prepare students for informed and critical engagement with these issues. A course on Social Inequality is a requirement of the Honours Programme in Sociology. This, as well as the large number of upper-level course offerings (including, but not limited to, courses on poverty, social movements, human rights, inequality in Canada, race and ethnic relations, women and development, and gender) are designed to help students gain a better understanding of the causes and consequences of social inequality and injustice, and of the struggles to overcome them.
Laurier has a reputation for having a vibrant community in which student involvement in campus clubs and charities is high. Our focus on social justice and human rights provides students with knowledge and perspectives that will enhance their contribution to community life.
Within the overall area of Equity and Social Justice faculty research and departmental course offerings centre around two main streams of research:
- Globalization, Social Change, Human Rights
- Gender, Sexualities, Embodiment
Sociology is one of the largest undergraduate departments at Laurier with over 500 majors. We offer an Honours Programme that not only prepares students to enter graduate studies in sociology, but also provides them with a strong and reputable background for after-degree programmes in social work, education, criminal justice and law. The ultimate goal of the sociology program in Equity and Social Justice at Laurier is to produce concerned and engaged students and citizens who have an increased awareness of contemporary social issues in both Canadian and global society.