Department of Social Justice & Community Studies

Course Descriptions

1211 Social Power Relations
3 credit hours

Students are introduced to social justice perspectives on social inequality, power relations, and resistance. Students examine theoretical concepts of power relations and topics that challenge dominant notions about society. The biases and assumptions that inform the study of power relations across gender, race, class, sexuality, Indigeneity, ability and citizenship are also considered.


 

2000 Canadian Society and Social Justice
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1211
Students examine social justice perspectives on Canadian society and state policies past and present. Possible questions include: What does it mean to be Canadian? What are the encounters involved in how the Canadian nation and identity come to be?


 

2100 Community Organizing
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1211Students examine the significance, dynamics, and strategies of critical participation and awareness in community organizing efforts. Students are introduced to analytical perspectives, practical principles, and examples in social justice organizing at the local, national, and global levels.


 

 

2810-2830 Selected Topics in Social Justice and Community Studies
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1211
The subject matter of these courses will be announced from time to time. Courses cover various aspects of Social Justice and Community Studies and will be multi-disciplinary in nature. The topics to be examined are determined by the instructor and/or Department.


 

3220 Race, Racism, Colonialism (Formerly CRIM/SOCI 3320)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1210 or permission of instructor.
Students critically examine the history, social production, and ongoing impacts of race, racism and colonialism.


 

3408 Urban Sociology (Formerly SOCI 3408)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1210 or permission of the instructor.
Students are introduced to the sociological study of the city, with particular attention paid to how human beings produce and interact in cities through unequal power relations, and in historically specific ways.


 

3508 Corporate Crime (Formerly CRIM/SOCI 3508)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1210 or permission of the instructor.
Students examine and analyze the nature, scope and impact of corporate crime, the principal organizational, social, political, and economic factors in the definition and commission of such crimes, and the ways in which governments and legal systems respond to the problems.


 

3608 Forms of Servitude [WMST]
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1211 or permission of the instructor.
Students explore different forms of servitude at the intersections of imperialism, racialization, globalization, labour, and citizenship. Students analyze a combination of texts that largely focus on Canadian contexts, but also include texts set in other countries. Possible topics could include chattel slavery, indentured labour, and migrant labour.


 

 

3810-3830 Special Topics in Social Justice and Community Studies
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1211
Students examine a selection of mid-level topics directly related to social justice and community studies.


 

 

 

4370 Multiculturalism in Canada and Abroad (Formerly SOCI 4370)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: SJCS 2000 and 2100 or SOCI 3012 or permission of instructor.
Students examine the historical and social frameworks for Canadian approaches to multiculturalism. Particular attention is given to the place of refugee claimants, refugees, temporary foreign workers, and "illegal" migrants in Canadian society. Students will work on a project with a community organization.


 

 

 

4432 Gender and Law [WMST 4432]  (Formerly CRIM/SOCI 4432)
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: SJCS 2000 or SOCI/CRIM 3010, 3100, 3102 and SOCI 3012 or CRIM 3011 or permission of the instructor
Students examine how the social construction of femininity and masculinity intersect with other forms of identity and power to shape law. Students investigate the creation, interpretation and enforcement of law.


 

 

 

4570 Indigenous Politics and Settler Colonialism
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: SJCS 2000 or SOCI/CRIM 3220 or permission of the instructor.
Students examine the history and ongoing social impacts of settler colonialism in Canada, with a particular focus on Mi’kma’ki. Students explore a variety of forms of contemporary indigenous resurgence and resistance, with a particular focus on emerging indigenist scholarship on the topic.


 

 

4739 Transnational Community Organizing [WGST 6739]
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 2000 and 2100 or permission from the instructor.
Students critically examine practical applications of concepts, theories, methods, and strategies of social justice organizing at the transnational level. This advanced course brings forth social justice organizing at the macro (international/national/regional) and micro (institutions/ communities) levels while exploring the tensions and negotiations of organizing efforts.


 

 

4740 Intersectionality: Theory, Methods and Praxis [WGST 6740]
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 2000 or permission of the instructor.
Students develop the concept of intersectionality in relation to how structures of power and domination − patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism − are interconnected and interacting. Students learn how to engage responsibly with intersectionality as a paradigm, an analytic tool, and a theoretical framework.


 

 

4810-4830 Special Topics in Social Justice and Community Studies
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: SJCS 1211 or SOCI 1211, SJCS 2000 or permission of the instructor.
Students examine a selection of upper-level topics directly related to social justice and community studies.


 

 

Minor in Social Justice and Community Studies

To complete a minor in Social Justice and Community Studies (SJCS), a student must obtain at least 

twenty-four (24)credit hours in SJCS, including the following six credit hours:  

SJCS 1211: Social Power Relations (prerequisite for all SJCS courses; equivalent to SOCI 1211)
SJCS 2000: Canadian Society and Social Justice

Students must also complete 18 credit hours from the following list:

SJCS 2100: Community Organizing
SJCS 3220: Race, Racism and Colonialism
SJCS 3408: Urban Sociology
SJCS 3508: Corporate Crime
SJCS 3608: Forms of Servitude
SJCS 4370: Multiculturalism in Canada and Abroad
SJCS 4432: Gender and Law
SJCS 4570: Indigenous Politics and Settler Colonialism
SJCS 4739: Transnational Community Organizing
SJCS 4740: Intersectionality: Theory, Methods and Praxis

In addition, students may complete up to 6 credit hours of the following courses towards the 18 credit hours

ENGL 2261: Postcolonial Literature: Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia
ENGL 2513: Introduction to Indigenous Literature


Social Justice and Community Studies (SJCS)

The Department of Social Justice and Community Studies offers students and professionals a strong interdisciplinary training to promote social responsibility and the development of active citizens. Specifically, the Department fosters intersectional knowledge around issues such as gender and sexuality; Indigenous-settler relations and settler colonialism; citizenship and migration status; race and critical whiteness; urban politics and histories; material conditions and resource distribution; and social organizing and organizational theory, in order to build stronger institutional and community relationships with and between diverse Indigenous peoples, African Nova Scotians, and immigrant peoples, and historically settled white Nova Scotians and Canadians.

The Social Justice and Community Studies minor provides students in all faculties, and social justice and community engaged professionals, with the knowledge necessary to engage in problem solving and public deliberation in a range of complex social issues. Planning for a Social Justice and Community Studies major and honours program is underway. 

NOTE: As of September 2018 the Department of Sociology and Criminology is officially divided into separate departments of Criminology, Social Justice and Community Studies, and Sociology. This is a result of a collegial consultation process beginning December 1, 2016 through the Academic Vice President Academic and Research, the Dean of Arts and the Department of Sociology and Criminology. Several courses that were previously Sociology and/or Criminology courses are cross-listed between the new Departments (as noted below). Be sure to check out the program offerings and requirements of these new units in their separate sections of this Academic Calendar.


 

Electives 

Students seeking an elective may take a Social Justice and Community Studies course at the 1000 level and (with the prerequisite) 2000 level. Students who have completed the 1000 level credit hours may register for 3000 level courses in Social Justice and Community Studies to complete a degree requirement for an elective at the 3000 level.


 

Degree Requirements

Social Justice and Community Studies courses at the 2000 or 3000 level can satisfy a degree requirement in the Arts Faculty, the Sobey School of Business and the Faculty of Science.