Given that the “sociological imagination” involves making the connections between the problems that individuals encounter in their everyday lives (“personal troubles”) and the social conditions that contribute to the genesis and reproduction of those problems (“public issues”)—and given that many of our Sociology faculty have built their research programs around the themes of social inequality and social justice—there are a numerous opportunities for students to explore human rights issues in our courses.
Teaching and research interestes in the sociology department are organized into distinct ‘clusters,’ all of which have direct relevance to human rights and social justice:
Criminology and Social Justice: Includes the themes of law and society, the criminal justice system, and criminal justice research and policy.
Power, Privilege, and Resistance: Includes the themes of class and stratification, violence/genocide, social movements, racializationand ethnic studies, Aboriginal peoples, and gender and sexuality.
Social Policy and Practice: Includes themes of politics and the welfare state, multicultural policy, immigration policy, family and childcare, health care policy, and education.
Global Sociology: Themes include globalization, global criminology, human rights, consumer culture, immigration and refugee studies, and global inequality.
Population Health and Wellness: Themes include health care systems, social determinants of health, health and illness behavior and experience, and mental health and wellbeing.
Culture and Social Relations: Themes include religion, gender relations, and consumer culture.
The Criminology Major
The Sociology Department also offers a major in Criminology, through which students can explore issues of human rights and social justice, especially as these pertain to the operation of the law and the criminal justice system. This is a large program (as there are typically twice as many Criminology majors as there are Sociology majors).
For more information, including registration details, contact the Sociology department.
A form-specific, content variable course especially designed for Honours students. The intent of this course is to develop critical thinking and improve students’ oral, writing and research skills. It is also designed to facilitate the creation of a cohesive cohort of Honours students through the use of group work and assignments.
An examination of one or more contemporary social problems, other than crime and delinquency. Issues that might be addressed include poverty, war, environment, licit and illicit drugs, and death and dying.
The analysis of various forms of collective behaviour, such as crowds, mobs, and social movements. The underlying social conditions, action processes, and consequences of such behaviour will be considered.
Introduction to the social and social psychological aspects of ethnic relations in Canada.
A general introduction to health sociology. The course examines health and illness as social concepts by exploring the personal and structural determinants of health status, and everyday health care practices in which people engage to maintain their health and to manage illness.
Major trends of social changes in society, revolutionary and evolutionary change; problems in the measurement and prediction of social change patterns, consequences and problems of future change.
A critical evaluation of sociological theory and research focusing on power and politics in society. Topics covered include: the dimensions of power (economic, political, ideological), classes and class conflict, political socialization, the origin and nature of the state, and the welfare state.
A critical evaluation of sociological theory and research focusing on power and politics in society. This year’s topic is “feeding the world”, and focuses on global food security.
The aim of this course is to gain an understanding of the law-society relationship. Different theoretical approaches will be used to investigate substantive issues that pertain to the role of law in (re)producing social inequalities and its potential for alleviating them.
This course offers an examination of the controversial legal-historical foundations of the colonial settler state, the sociological and criminological costs colonialism has imposed upon Indigenous peoples, and the efforts courts have made to resolve or avert these crises rooted in colonial dispossession. Given the vast and multi-faceted nature of the law, the course delves into criminal law, constitutional and Aboriginal law (treaties, rights, title), parliamentary legislation, transitional justice (the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as other commissions and inquiries), and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This course will focus on the growing public awareness of the prevalence of interpersonal violence in Canada, examining studies of prevalence from victimization surveys and criminal justice statistics. We examine various criminological and sociological theories of the causes, dynamics and interventions in family and interpersonal violence, legislation and policy and assess these changes from the perspective of victims and accusers.
The course examines gender differences in crime, theories of women`s crime and the treatment of women offenders by the criminal justice system.
Examines changing patterns of social organizations of civilizations, the resultant social constructions of the human/nature interface, the human social contribution to the global ecological crisis, and possible strategies to create sustainable societies. Consideration of topics: such as population, consumption, capitalism, and agricultural practices.
A general introduction to the social theory and practice of restorative justice.
A critical sociological and criminological examination of comparative genocide studies. Emphasis is placed on the utility of sociological and criminological theoretical frameworks for understanding and explaining genocide, as well as the conceptual and moral failings of criminology and sociology in the face of genocide.
This 6 credit hour course is designed to develop students’ research skills and experience through placement in a criminal justice or other social service agency having a mandate relevant to the study of sociology (and could therefore include a focus on human rights and social justice). The course consists of supervised work within the agency and classroom instruction, culminating in the production of a research report.
This course examines current developments and issues in the field of global criminology and criminal justice. Topics include: crime and globalization; transnational policing and security; world criminal justice systems; global criminal justice policy transfer; and international criminal justice.
This course will analyze the strategies and forms of resistance social movements use in their efforts to effect social, economic and political change in various countries.
May include Carceral Spaces, Genocide and War Crimes, Restorative Justice, and Truth and Reconciliation