The Undergraduate Program in Sociology and Anthropology
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers courses designed to provide students with the theoretical and analytical tools to better understand the social and cultural forces that affect our lives and the lives of people in other societies. Such understanding is an important part of general education and should lead to more effective participation in society.
Both sociologists and anthropologists at Simon Fraser University are involved in research and teaching on Western industrial societies, in Third World societies, and on the theoretical and comparative questions that go beyond national boundaries.
As well as its intrinsic intellectual rewards, undergraduate training in sociology and anthropology provides invaluable background for students who intend to pursue careers in such fields as urban planning, journalism, law, public administration, welfare-related professions, teaching, personnel management, health care fields, and international development projects.
Courses offered by the department can provide students specializing in other disciplines with an appreciation of social and cultural processes that will complement their specialization.
The department offers honors and major programs in sociology and/or anthropology and minor programs in sociology and anthropology. Honors and major students may take options such as an applied social research "stream" and a co-operative education program. Joint major programs are available with Archaeology, Canadian Studies, Communications, Contemporary Arts, Criminology, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, and Women’s Studies, and Art and Culture.
The Graduate Program in Sociology and Anthropology
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a challenging graduate program of advanced study and research training, leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the two disciplines. There are currently 23 faculty (three joint appointments) who are able to undertake graduate supervision on a variety of topics in the two disciplines.
There is a broad range of faculty specializations and research interests - spanning several theoretical fields, ethnographic areas, and quantitative research projects - which are often pursued in a multi-disciplinary approach to sociology and anthropology.
- Anthropological Theory and Institutions of Social Life
Courses in this area include methodological and theoretical considerations in contemporary ethnography; myth, symbolism and ritual; anthropology of childhood; games, sport, and culture; urban communities and cultures; environment and society; the practice of anthropology; issues in anthropological theory; and historical anthropology.
- Sociological Theory and Institutions of Social Life
Courses in this area include Canadian social structure; gender relations; sexuality; social control; sociology of religion; sociology of sport; ecology and social thought; political sociology; political economy; social movements; information technology; sociology of knowledge; schooling and society; classical and Marxist sociological thought; philosophy of the social sciences; society and the changing global division of labour; and the sociology of art forms.
- Ethnic Relations
Includes studies in Canadian ethnic minorities.
- Canadian Native Peoples and Other Minority Indigenous Peoples
Courses in this area include the study of native peoples and public policy; comparative studies of minority indigenous peoples; and aboriginal peoples in British Columbia.
- Health and Society
Courses in the area include anthropology of medicine; culture, ethnicity, and aging; population and society; and the sociology of aging.
- Social Policy and Social Policy Analysis
Courses in social policy and analysis include study in tourism; population; social issues; environment; and other selected topics.
The W.A.C. Bennett Library is the major location for the Library's sociology collection. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the field, there is a wide overlap with other SFU Library collections such as Archaeology, Canadian Studies, Communication, Contemporary Arts, Criminology, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Resource and Environmental Management, and Women's Studies. Small collections of sociology resources are also available at the SFU Surrey Library and the Belzberg Library at Harbour Centre.
The University of British Columbia also has a large collection which covers many branches of the discipline.
Consortia and Document Delivery
SFU belongs to three consortia (Electronic Library Network; Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries; and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries). Document delivery agreements exist with all three of these consortia which allow delivery of journal articles and books from these libraries in a timely manner. Holdings and direct requesting from over 40 libraries are accessible through the Interlibrary Loan webpage and from many databases.
General Collection Guidelines
- Languages: Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of materials in English.
- Chronological guidelines: As the collection supports both historical and current research, materials covering all chronological periods will be collected. Emphasis will, however, be placed on materials whose subjects focus on the present and the recent past.
- Geographical guidelines: The international nature of Sociology and Anthropology coursework and research mandates that materials dealing with all countries and regions be collected. There will, in addition, be specific focuses on materials that concern British Columbia and Canada.
- Treatment of subject: All available treatments of the subject will be collected to varying degrees.
- Types of materials: Collecting is split between books and journals. New journals added to the collection will normally be in electronic-only format where this option is the same price as, or less expensive than, print.
- Date of Publication: Emphasis is placed on current publications. Retrospective acquisitions are normally only for the replacement of important titles which have deteriorated or disappeared.
- Coordination and cooperation with other campus resources: The interdisciplinary nature of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology creates a reliance and dependence on other parts of the library collection.
Subjects and Levels of Collecting
The following table lists the main subjects collected by the SFU Library in support of the Sociology teaching areas and research interests. Subjects listed are collected to varying depths. The method in which the library selects books on each subject is listed in the second column of the table. A designation of “Books” in this column means that items which fit the General Guidelines (above) for the subject in question are sent on an approval basis to the library. In such cases, a significant portion of the books on that topic will be acquired for the collection. A designation of “Forms,” on the other hand, means that only brief descriptions of the books on the subject in question are sent to the library. The liaison librarian, often with the assistance of the faculty representative or other faculty members, then selects the relevant items for acquisition by the library.