Sociology (SOCI) 291

Canadian Society (Revision 1)

SOCI 291 Cover Image

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: This course is open to all students.

Precluded Course: SOCI 291 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for SOCI 445.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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SOCI 291 is not available for challenge.

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Welcome to Sociology 291: Canadian Society.

In this course we apply the sociologist’s analytical tools and techniques of synthesis to examine contemporary political, economic, and social issues. In this course you will learn how social class, power, gender, race, ethnicity, the state, and other social phenomena shape Canadian life, and why not all members of society experience Canada in the same way. Sociology 291 highlights how certain social groups enjoy more of the fruits of Canada’s advanced industrial economy while others are not so fortunate. In this course you will develop a critical understanding of the social structures that have shaped Canada historically and that shape Canada today.


Sociology 291 provides an introduction to Canadian society in a sociological context. When you have completed this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the contributions of various approaches to the critical sociology of Canada.
  2. Apply a critical sociological perspective to a range of Canadian social issues.
  3. Read and assess both essay-length and book-length sociological arguments.
  4. Prepare an accomplished research essay proposal.
  5. Conduct library research and develop a competent senior-level sociology research essay.


To receive credit for SOCI 291, you must complete an introductory assignment, three end of unit forum participations, a research proposal, a research essay, and a course end personal assessment, and a final exam. You must achieve a minimum grade of 50 per cent on the final exam and a composite course grade of at least D (50 percent). The following chart summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weight associated with each evaluation.

Activity Grade Weight
Introductory Assignment 5%
Study Questions 15%
Research Proposal and Research Essay 15%
Research Essay 20%
Personal Assessment 20%
Final Exam 25%
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 who 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


Samuelson, L., Wayne, A. (Eds.). Power and resistance: Critical thinking about Canadian social issues (5th ed.).Halifax: Fernwood, 2012.

Warry, Wayne. (2007). Ending denial: Understanding aboriginal issues. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a study guide and various online articles.

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, July 18, 2017.