History (HIST) 331

Social History of Canada: Early Industrialization to Contemporary Canada (Revision 1)

HIST 331 course cover image

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: Students who have taken HIST 329 cannot take HIST 331 for credit.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 331 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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History 331: Social History of Canada: Early Industrialization to Contemporary Canada is a three-credit, intermediate-level course that introduces major themes in the social history of Canada from 1867 to the present. It is intended to follow History 330: Social History of Canada: European Contact to Early Industrialization, although that course is not a prerequisite.

The course units start with the creation of the Canadian identity through an examination of public commemoration of our past. The next unit deals with the eugenics movement that coloured much of our history from 1880 through to the Second World War. It determined gender, immigration, education and health policies even until the 1970s. The course will also deal with the baby boom, being a teenager, the gay movement, consumerism and health.


Part I: The Canadian Identity

The Canadian Identity consists of one unit, Public History. This unit will introduce you to how Canada has created its identity, and how that identity has evolved over the past 100 years or so. This unit is particularly important because the “norms” of being a Canadian excluded some and determined the boundaries that the marginalized would have to confront. Once that is understood, the evolving social place of each group can be better understood.

Part II: Canadian Demography

This part of the course deals with Canadian demography in six units: Eugenics (Unit 2), Being a Teenager (Unit 3), Being a Modern Male/Female (Unit 4), Being an Immigrant (Unit 5), Being Aboriginal (Unit 6), and Being Gay and Lesbian (Unit 7). The readings on eugenics are particularly key, given its impact on Canadian social policy. Each of the units has its own set of learning objectives. Each of the groups discussed in Units 3 to 7 had its own challenges in becoming accepted as part of the Canadian social fabric, and in some cases the challenges continue today.

Part III: Being a Canadian Consumer 1880-1960

Part III consists of two units. The first (Unit 8) deals with changes in the public landscape and in homes with the introduction of the automobile and new home technologies in Canada. Why was the adoption of the new technologies different in Canada than in the United States? Readings deal with the impact of the car, the stove, and the washing machine. The unit also includes some CBC archival material on Canadian housing. Unit 9 deals with the Canadian history of food. It focuses particularly on the impact of science in debates on child nutrition. It should be noted that the unit on immigration (Unit 5) also includes an article on the impact of immigrants on food evolution.

Part IV: Being Healthy Canadian Women/and Men

Unit 10 introduces the field of Canadian medical history, which is still in its infancy. Unit 11 deals with the health of women and Unit 12 with the health of men. One of the key issues confronted by historians in the last decade has been the “medicalization” of the human body in Canada. As the medical profession became increasingly professional, they also tended to become arbiters of what was disease, and as the various historians point out, much was due to the social construct of society.


To receive credit for HIST 331, students must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 25%
Assignment 2 35%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

The course materials for History 331 are all accessible online using links in the course itself and in the Digital Reading Room.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, and intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information about the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 331 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, September 11, 2017.