Western University SociologyFaculty of Social Science

Course Information

In August or September of each year, our Graduate Chair meets with students to discuss their course selections and other program requirements for the upcoming academic year.  Students will receive an email about one month prior to each term indicating that they may self-register into Sociology courses.  This will be considered a preliminary registration, to be confirmed with the Graduate Chair.  Specifc course requirements may be satisfied by taking courses in other departments. Students are encouraged to explore the possibilities that are available. 

Course Schedule & Descriptions

Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 Tentative Schedule

Fall 2017

Classes begin on September 11

Course Instructor Day/Time/Location
9003A Quantitative Research Methodology Andrea Willson Mon 9:30-12:30 SSC 5406
9005A Contemporary Social Theory Michael Gardiner Mon 1:30-4:30 SSC 5406
9331A Death, Fertility, and Migration: Demographic Analysis of Social Change Rachel Margolis Tues 1:30-4:30 SSC 5406
9147A Social Inequality Sean Waite Wed 9:30-12:30 SSC 5427
9001A Introduction to Multivariate Statistics Kate Choi Wed 1:30-4:30 SSC 5406
9258A Sociology of the Life Course Kim Shuey Thurs 1:30-4:30 SSC 5427
9373A Migration Teresa Abada Thurs 9:30-12:30 SSC 5428

Winter 2018

Classes begin on January 8

Course Instructor Day/Time/Location
9130B Criminological Theory & Research Dale Ballucci Mon 9:30-12:30 SSC 5406
9002B Classical Theory Scott Schaffer Mon 1:30-4:30 SSC 5230
9153B Sociology of Work Tracey Adams Tues 9:30-12:30 SSC 5230
9009B Evidence Based Policy Laura Huey Tues 9:30-12:30 SSC5427
9263B Select Topic in Health Andrea Willson Fri 9:30-12:30 SSC 5427
9375B Immigration Policy Development and Evaluation Strategies Michael Haan Wed 9:30-12:30 SSC 5428
9007B Advanced Multivariate Statistical Analysis Rachel Margolis Wed 1:30-4:30 SSC 5235
9021B Qualitative Methods Laura Huey Thurs 1:30-4:30 SSC 5230
9008B Select Topic in Statistics Anders Holm Thurs 1:30-4:30 SSC 5428
 MA Sociological Research Practicum Tracey Adams Fri 1:30-4:30

9001 Introduction to Multivariate Statistics     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

The course will provide an introduction to statistical concepts and techniques used in social science research.   It is designed to provide you insights about how quantitative data is collected and how these data are then analyzed for information. This is an applied course where the focus will be on (1) the application of statistical techniques to answer empirical questions and (2) the interpretation of quantitative evidence. 

9002 Classical Sociology Theory     Course Outline     Back to Winter schedule

An in-depth examination of classical sociological ideas including those of Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Specific attention will be devoted to the original writings of the classical thinkers.

9003 Quantitative Research Methodology     Course Outline      Back to Fall schedule

This course will help students become informed and critical consumers of social research, as well as move students from consumers to producers of social research. The course focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of sociological research methodology, as well as practical aspects of sociological inquiry using quantitative methods, including formulating research questions, concept formation and measurement, and sampling.    

9005 Contemporary Social Theory    Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

The main theme of this course is the transformation that has occurred in social theory during the post-war era in Europe and North America.  This period has been marked by the disintegration of such predominant institutionalized paradigms in social theory as functionalism and positivism, and their replacement by a plurality of alternative approaches, particularly those inspired by what has come to be known as postmodernism.  The result of this transformation has been a shift away from the scientific and functionalist analysis of social structure or institutions towards the interpretive exploration of such phenomena as language and cultural forms, gender oppression and the body, ethics and 'micro-politics'.  The merits of this 'postmodern turn', and the prospects for future social theory, will constitute the central focus of this course.

9007 Advanced Multivariate Statistical Analysis    Course Outline     Back to Winter schedule

In this course we will cover the most common statistical techniques in the practice of sociology - linear regression, logistic regression, and survival analysis (event history analysis).  We will discuss the uses of these techniques and the assumptions that we make when using them.  Throughout the course, we will discuss how to develop an answerable research question, how to choose the best modeling strategy for that question, and how to interpret the results of quantitative analysis in light of relevant hypotheses.  There will also be an applied portion of the class held in the computer lab, where we will talk through basic issues that come up when working with data, such as missing data; saving data, code, and output; and making tables.  The last portion of the course will focus on writing about multivariate analysis - communicating questions, methods, and results clearly.

9021 Qualitative Research Methods    Course Outline     Back to Winter schedule

This course introduces students to epistemological issues that distinguish qualitative from quantitative methods and provides an overview of several of the main types of qualitative research methods. It also considers ethical issues and data analysis and management challenges that are associated with qualitative research.

*4407/9130 Criminological Theory and Research     Course Outline     Back to Winter schedule

This seminar will review and discuss major criminological theories and related empirical research. The course will look at empirical patterns associated with crime, violence and deviance; at the explanations offered for these patterns; and at the sociology of the criminal justice system.

9147 Social Inequality     Course Outline      Back to Fall schedule

The purpose of this course is to advance our understanding of a number of theoretical approaches to inequality. Rather than examining separately different forms of inequality, such as racial or gender inequality, this course examines theoretical approaches that are used to explain these and other forms of inequality in more general terms.

*4469/9153 Sociology of Work      Course outline     Back to Winter schedule

A seminar course that explores key issues and trends in the sociology of work.  Particular focus will be on the relevance of work to social inequality and social relations in a variety of social and historical contexts.

*4420/9166 Race, Class, Colonialism     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

A look at race and class inequality and the development of capitalism in the Third World.  Topics will include slavery and indentureship; colonisation and decolonisation; race, class, politics and nationalism.

9258 Sociology of the Life Course     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

A life course perspective focuses on the intersections of individual lives, social change, and social structure. It emphasizes the patterns or trajectories across individual’s lives and the way those patterns are shaped by the broader social structure and historical time. This approach, particularly its emphasis on life dynamics and historical contexts, is often proposed as an alternative to more static conceptualizations that have traditionally dominated many domains of sociology. This course is designed to introduce you both to life course as a field of study and as a way of viewing sociological issues.

9263 Selected Topic in Health     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

In this seminar, we will examine how a sociological perspective can assist us in understanding inequality in health. Health in adulthood is the result of lifelong experiences that begin at conception, and therefore we will focus on the mechanisms that maintain and magnify disparities in physical and mental health over the life course. The study of health inequality is multidisciplinary, cross-fertilization has occurred across disciplines, and the literature is vast; therefore this course focuses on an introduction to the major sociological conceptual frameworks and empirical research from Canada and the U.S. examining social inequalities in health.

9265 Social Aspects of Aging     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

This course will take a multi-level critical perspective on social aspects of aging that considers the reciprocal links among individual experience (micro), social institutions such as work and family (meso), and structured social relations and the welfare state (macro). Dominant theoretical approaches, cultural views, research and policy related to aging in Western society will be explored from the perspective of critical gerontology.

*4441A/9331 Death, Fertility and Migration: Demographic Analysis of Social Change     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

This course introduces students to the field of population studies and the tools used by demographers to study the size, structure, and dynamics of human populations.  It covers the collection, evaluation, and analysis of demographic data; census and vital registration systems; morbidity, disability, mortality, fertility, and migration; life table construction; and population projections.  We will also discuss how demographic methods can be used to study other topics, such as education, health disparities, disability, and prison populations, in order to provide an understanding of how these methods are appied outside the field of traditional demography.  This course is open to students from other disciplines.

9373 Migration     Course Outline     Back to Fall schedule

Determinants and consequences of internal and international migration are studied.  Theory and methods, as well as demographic and socio-economic issues related to both types of migration, are discussed.

9375 Immigration Policy Development & Evaluation Strategies     Course Outline      Back to Winter schedule

This course will provide an overview of Canadian immigration policies, and the many changes that have occurred to these policies in recent history. Students will learn about the admission system for permanent residents, and the many different types of temporary statuses that individuals use to enter Canada. We will also investigate how these policies were developed, and some of the techniques and strategies that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of Canada’s immigration system.

MA Sociological Research Practicum     Course Outline    Back to Winter schedule

This research writing seminar will guide students in the three-term research paper MA stream through the various stages of completing research and writing research papers. Topics of focus will include formulating research questions and hypotheses, locating and selecting data and literature sources, conducting and writing reviews of the literature, and writing about one's findings. Upon successful completion, students will have met the requirements of the MA Sociological Research Practicum Milestone.

* The Department of Sociology offers joint undergraduate/graduate level courses as a cost cutting measure and in order to ensure adequate class sizes. Past experience indicates that such courses can be successful for both graduate and undergraduate students. Sometimes different requirements are set for undergraduate and graduate students in terms of number of readings, type of paper required, or extent of seminar participation. It may be difficult, however, to conduct a seminar when there are such differences across students. Instead, the course may have the same structure for undergraduate and graduate students, but the two groups of students are evaluated separately on each criterion (e.g., exam, paper, class participation, presentations). In that way, undergraduate students need not fear that they are being compared to graduate students. At the same time, graduate students are expected to achieve higher standards of comprehension and analysis. Normally, a student may not take a graduate level course that he/she has previously taken at the undergraduate level.