Sociology MA and PhD students must take SOCY901 and SOCY902 (Sociological Theory and Methodology).
MA students are required to complete six courses. Students are registered in Pattern II (A) (Essay). At the end of the Fall Term, students may remain in the Essay pathway, or apply to pursue Pattern I or Pattern II (B). Entry to these is dependent on academic progress, a successful proposal, and supervision.
PhD students will complete four courses, a course in professional and pedagogical skills, a 2-part qualifying examination (written and oral), and a thesis in traditional or manuscript format to be defended before a committee of examiners.
With the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, students can choose to take elective courses from other departments who offer courses jointly with Sociology or arrange to take graduate level courses outside of the Department. Academic Calendar, Courses of Instruction.
All courses are generally completed during the first year of study: two or three in the fall term + two or three in the winter term.
SOCY901 Sociological Theory (3.0 Units). Required Course.
This course enables students to critically engage with some of the core positions and debates within contemporary sociological theory. It aims to provide an advanced forum for the examination and discussion of several varieties of theorizing in Sociology, the philosophical issues and problems intrinsic to the social sciences, the continued salience of classical traditions and the plurality of responses to them. Students will be encouraged to situate their own work within these positions, and most importantly be open to exploring the very different ways in which theory conceptualizes the social world and the possibilities of inquiry.
SOCY902 Sociological Methodology (3.0 Units). Required Course.
This course deals with the main contemporary methodological approaches to the explanation of social phenomena. It will critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of the major strategies of social research (qualitative, quantitative and historical).
SOCY936 (Special Topics) Disability Studies (3.0 Units).
Disability Studies explores the cultural formation of ability and disability, with an eye to removing disabling barriers for all persons. This course will serve as an advanced introduction to that discipline, with an emphasis on theoretical and qualitative sociological research. More than just a sociology of disability, this means using disability to reframe classical and contemporary theories of social life, and exploring disablement as a site of transformative change and the politics of access. Concretely, this course will explore the medical and social models of disability, their detractors, intersectional and critical theories of disability, and empirical studies of disablement. By focusing on disability and ability, the seminar should be of interest to those interested in disability, and the social and material organization of capability more generally. Some basic questions that frame the course content: What is the relationship between disability and impairment? What are the politics underpinning disability terminology? What is the role of rehabilitation in the politics of disability and ability? What is the relationship between physical and mental disability? Who gets to theorize disability? Does disability change under different modes of economic organization? Students should finish the seminar with an understanding of disability studies debates, their history, key disability studies thinkers, and points of similarity with adjacent spaces of academic inquiry, not solely within sociology.
SOCY916 Qualitative Methodology (3.0 Units).
This course will help students identify and use various qualitative research methods and methodologies. Starting with the fundamental question of what constitutes a research problem, we will explore qualitative research from pre-inception to post-circulation. In addition to using several research methods, students will be introduced to library services and will learn to work with qualitative research software. We will treat ethics as a central component of qualitative methods and methodologies, applying it to themes such as the roots of qualitative research, research inquiry and design, data collection, fieldwork, interviewing, data analysis, drawing conclusions, result dissemination, and community engagement. Two key tasks of the course will be to differentiate between methods and methodologies and to think about the importance of this distinction. Another core goal will be to apply social justice frameworks to qualitative research. We will achieve these outcomes by examining past and present conversations about qualitative methods and methodologies and by situating qualitative research within the boundaries of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity.
SOCY920 Advanced Issues in Socio-Legal Studies (3.0 Units).
This course will examine issues and controversies in the socio-legal area. Topics will vary, but may include some or all of the following: corporate crime, victimology, crime and the elderly, feminist criminology.
SOCY934 (Special Topics) Evidence-based Practice: Surveillance, Crime, and Justice (3.0 Units).
This course will provide you with an intensive overview of evidence-based practice in relation to issues of crime and justice, including their relationships to surveillance. Social policies and practices have historically been founded on tradition and expert knowledge rather than rigorous empirical evidence. However, increasingly, practitioners and the public express interest in evidence-based practice – where policies and practices are based on an accumulated body of empirical research. Social scientists are key to the evidence-based practice movement in terms of generating empirical studies, synthesizing the collective results of studies through meta-reviews and meta-analyses, and mobilizing knowledge in accessible forms to be shared with broad audiences. This course provides a thorough review of the evidence-based practice movement in general as well as overviews of the most current evidence on a series of specific criminological topics (e.g., the use of surveillance technologies for crime interventions, recidivism reduction, addressing victims’ needs). In a practical sense, this course will provide you with the ability to:
- Understand and articulate the key principles of the evidence-based practice movement.
- Critically assess the relative reliability, validity, and generalizability of empirical evidence based on described methods of data collection and analysis.
- Understand and articulate current knowledge on various specific crime, justice, and social wellness topics as presented in meta-reviews and meta-analyses.
- Practice and develop oral and written communication skills.
- Conduct a meta-review on a focused topic.
Under the supervision of an individual faculty member, students may conduct intensive reading in a research area not offered in core or elective courses. Readings are to be arranged in consultation with the faculty supervisor and accompanied by meetings during the term to discuss the readings and submission of written assignments.
Once you have approval, you will need to print and complete with the course instructor an Application for Individual Directed Study. Once completed, you will need to sign the form yourself and arrange for it to be signed by the course. Return the completed, signed form to the Sociology Main Office in D431 or firstname.lastname@example.org