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BA Sociology

The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology is a four-year degree program comprising 40 credits. In each program year, students are expected to take required courses in the discipline and are given a choice of electives from an interesting menu of non-Sociology related subjects. The Sociology program teaches students the value of critical thinking, and provides them with a strong foundation in research methods and methodologies.

In year one, students are introduced to the foundational principles of a sociological imagination and are taught skills associated with critical thought and effective and persuasive forms of communication in our complex society.

In year two, students inspired to think about life in the city. We take advantage of Ryerson’s downtown location and encourage students to explore the multple ways in which the city tells us stories about various sociological issues. The second year of study also features courses in equity and diversity, social theory, the media and inequalities, as well as a broad range of electives in related disciplines such as  Criminology, Psychology and Politics.

In year three, students will heighten their sociological imagination as they master advanced research skills that they can apply in a different fields after graduation. Social Science and Humanities electives round out the course offerings in year three.

In year four, students have an opportunity to take courses in specialized areas of sociological inquiry. These courses represent the research interests of many of our faculty. Immigration and border crossing, youth and children, and Indigenous Studies, cultural industries, are just some of the topics under scrutiny. A final required course in year four inspires students to reflect on the accumulated knowledge that they have acquired in the program and helps to prepare them for the job market and life as citizens in the wider society. 

To learn more about the four year Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, please see the current curriculum overview.

Course Spotlight — SOC470 Toronto: The Changing City

SOC470 Toronto: The Changing City

Professor Cheryl Teelucksingh describes SOC 470: Toronto: The Changing City

Why do you like teaching Toronto: The Changing City?

My own scholarly research relates to urban sustainability and social inequality issues in Toronto. As a result, I have expertise regarding Toronto’s social history; how Toronto has evolved over time in terms of demographics, power relations; and the spatial division of labour in Toronto.  In the course, students learn about the reciprocal relationship between social relations and the spatial organization of the city. Neighbourhoods like Kensington Market or Little Italy have evolved over time in terms of the racial, ethnic and class backgrounds of the people who live there as well as what these neighbourhoods contribute to Toronto as a whole.

What interesting new topics will you be tackling this year?

The course continues to reflect some of the current changes and challenges affecting Toronto. Some of the themes that will be explored include: the ‘Manhattanization of Toronto’ and the gentrification of Toronto’s downtown; the commodification of multiculturalism in the city; the increase in the social regulation of citizens in the public sphere; and the phenomenon of the working poor. When we explore these topics, students are encouraged to consider why these issues are happening in Toronto at this time and who the stakeholders in Toronto are that benefit or are challenged by these changes.

Why are urban issues important for sociologists?

Cities are now the principle form of settlement. Living in cities has consequences for how people relate to each other both in terms of how people interact and how their lives are organized.  For example, the current shift toward high density residential spaces in Toronto requires us to consider what it means when people who are different come into close contact in addition to considering the consequences for work and urban infrastructure.

The study of cities and urbanism has always been at the heart of sociology.  Cities like Toronto are strategic locations for the exploration of many subjects confronting society, such as industrialization/de-industrialization; housing and settlement patterns; social and cultural diversity; crime and social regulation; and the environment.  Cities reveal both the best and the worst of the human social condition.