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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

As far as possible, the program provides a full range of core courses and electives. However, every course listed here is not available in every session or every year. Students are encouraged to consult the program/department to inquire about course offerings each year.

SY600: Theory and Practice

This course is designed to review some of the major directions and debates in classical and contemporary social thought, while also aiming to develop an understanding of the ways in which theory and methods interact. The ways in which epistemological, ontological, political, ethical, and This course is designed to review some of the major directions and debates in classical and contemporary social thought, while also aiming to develop an understanding of the ways in which theory and methods interact. The ways in which epistemological, ontological, political, ethical, and logical issues are imbricated with all research will be explored. Students will be given the opportunity to develop and defend a critical and self- reflexive theoretical position. The particular theoretical debates covered in this course will vary from year to year and will be informed by student research interests and by the particular elective topics covered in any given year. 

SY601: Advanced Qualitative Research

The methodological issues and strategies associated with a wide variety of qualitative sociological methods such as institutional ethnography, autoethnography, ethnomethodology, interviewing, participatory action research, historical sociological research, and critical discourse analysis, are explored. Students will be given the opportunity to develop and defend particular methodological positions and strategies.

SY602: Advanced Quantitative Research

An advanced overview of the design and analysis of social surveys and multivariate analytic techniques with a particular emphasis on multiple regression and its variants.

SY603: Professionalisation

This course is a student driven independent study based on 39 hours of attendance and participation in university and community pro-seminars and workshops. This course will also provide a forum for guest speakers and for presentation and discussion of matters students will encounter in future graduate studies or later work as professional sociologists. Topics covered will include grant writing, scholarship application processes and proposals, graduate school application policies, publishing, teaching, and career development. Graded on a pass/fail basis, the course will result in the creation of a professionalization portfolio demonstrating the learning competences the student acquired through the course.

SY610: Sociology of Globalization

Focusing on flows of temporary international labour migration, this course will examine the power relations in these temporary spaces and the impacts of these flows on communities of origin and destination. Through reference to particular forms of temporary international movements this course will provide an in-depth look at the power relations within these movements which are mediated by race, gender and class. Attention will be paid to the impact of globalization on these movements, and the effects of these movements in terms of development and social change.

SY612: Comparative Welfare State and Citizenship

The focus of this course is on international and national policy analysis and social regulation as it relates to poverty, human security and citizenship. Making use of Foucauldian studies in governmentality, critical scholarship on social welfare, anti-poverty programs, citizenship, gender and feminism, and particular case studies, the link between the international poverty agenda and concerns of human security and citizenship are explored.

SY614: Immigration and Migration

This course will explore issues related to diversity, oppression and marginalization as they relate to understanding reasons for human mobility and migration patterns. Cultural differences and the importance of organizational change in the face of diversity in host countries will also be examined as well as race relations, systemic discrimination and oppression. Issues will be explored through the examination of particular case studies in Canada or abroad.

SY616: Environmental Sociology

In this course, students will sociologically consider a number of the debates concerning scientific assessments of such things as global warming, resource depletion, and possible technological solutions to severe global environmental problems. The relationships between environmental problems and social inequality on a global scale will be highlighted. The social and ideological conceptions of environmental problems will be explored as will the predictions of global change emerging from various ideological positions. Students will be asked to conceive of ways in which things might be different and to envision possible socio-economic, cultural, and political policy solutions to some of our most serious problems.

SY617: Critical Race and Ethnic Studies: Global Perspectives

This seminar will focus on the understanding and application of critical race discourse and praxis. It will begin with a review of social science theories and perspectives on race, culture and ethnicity in pluralistic societies. The linkage between race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and social class in historical and contemporary social formations will be examined. In the analysis of dominant and racially marginalized groups, the emphasis is on how we can articulate existing theoretical perspectives to understand various forms of institutional racism in local and global contexts and the emerging responses from minoritized groups.

SY618: Themes in International Political Economy

This seminar course examines the international division of labour since WW II (or the first Oil Crisis), the re-alignment of goods and service production, circulation and consumption, international trade flows and the structures of inequality in international terms of trade, the changing role of nation-states in an increasingly globalized, neo-liberal world, the role of supra-national economic and political institutions, and the attendant issues of social resistance.

SY619: Education and Social Justice

This course examines the socially and politically transformative possibilities engendered through social justice education in local and global contexts. Transformative pedagogical frameworks such as critical pedagogy, anti-racism education, popular education, feminist pedagogy and global and peace education will be examined. The politics of educational theory and praxis from a social justice perspective will be examined by utilizing local and transnational case studies that make salient the ways that globalization, war and conflict, and the intersections of race, class, gender, religion, sexuality and ability impact various educational contexts, and highlight the possibilities for developing a critical cultural literacy to counter various forms of social injustice.

SY621: Social Constructions of Health, Illness and Medicine

This course will examine the social construction of health, illness, medical science and practice emphasizing critical social constructionist and critical discourse analytic strategies for understanding related texts including media. Attention will be paid to the individual and social implications of particular constructions of health, illness and medicine.

SY622: Sociology of Childhood

The social and historical constructions of childhood and children's needs are examined through the lens of twentieth century child psychology and child-rearing advice. The ways in which current conceptions of childhood interact with structural realities, neoliberal political sensibilities, and social policies are explored with the goal of illuminating the treatment and social position of children in society today.

SY624: Critical Perspectives in Mental Health

A detailed exploration of major theories and research in the sociology of mental health. Particular attention will be given to critical approaches including labelling theory, antipsychiatry, social constructionism, post-structuralism and feminist theory. Specific seminar topics may include, but are not limited to: selfhood and psychopathology, space and the asylum, the causes and consequences of deinstitutionalization, the rise and impact of psycho-pharmaceuticals, mental health and consumerism, and collective identity and group trauma.

SY625: Gender and Families

The focus in this course will be on the ways in which moral regulation, social constructions, and state policies set boundaries within which gender relations in families are played out. The implications of such social understandings and practices for family experience will be addressed as will the intersections of family gender relations with issues of race and class. Topics covered include parenting, caregiving, employment and family responsibilities, work/family balance, and family violence.

SY630: Directed Study

The study of a special topic under the guidance of a member of the department. Directed study topics must be approved by the department.

SY635: Special Topics in Sociology

Directed study in major topical areas of sociology.

SY635: Governing Bodies, Governing Subjectivities

This course examines how medicine/health institutions operate not merely as care-providers, but as powerful discursive and practical regulators of populations, behaviours and identifications (as legitimate or illegitimate). The course examines the ways in which medicine as an institution intersects with the mandates of education and the criminal justice system with potentially helpful, and potentially oppressive functions. The course introduces the problems of medical uncertainty and medical epistemologies with a view to the implications for how ordinary subjects identify themselves, and how our identifications can be altered through clinical encounters.

SY695: Major Research Paper

Under the supervision of a faculty member, students will complete a paper in which they engage in original research on an approved topic. Typically, papers will be between 50 and 60 pages in length, excluding bibliography.

Contact Us:

Jeffrey P. Aguinaldo, Graduate Coordinator

T: 519.884.0710 x3031

General Inquiries: Sandra Dalpe

T: 519.884.0710 x3402


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