The Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge is a highly respected, research oriented department. We offer students a core education in classical and contemporary social theory, social statistics and sociological methods, coupled with a broad range of courses in fascinating topic areas. We provide a richly theoretical undergraduate experience to our students, and our innovative multi-disciplinary Masters programs offer our students a strong base from which to expand their own research interests.
As C. Wright Mills put it, a sociological imagination allows us to understand how personal troubles are connected to and constructed by public issues, enabling us to “grasp history and biography, and the relations between the two.” Thus, issues such as personal finances, relationship challenges, workplace concerns, personal attitudes, or quality of life, to a sociologist, are much more than the result of our talent, morality, hard work or good luck. Rather, sociologists consider such personal traits or experiences to be the outcroppings of more sustained questions of inequality, gender relations, stratification, global history, ideology, or other systematic ways of organizing social interaction within a given culture.
Our Department members are engaged in mapping the connections between personal troubles and public issues in a variety of theoretical and methodological ways. Our research includes a focus on paid and unpaid work, gender roles in the workplace, questions of masculinity, fatherhood and risk-taking, the effects of policy on family life, the history of eugenics, the effects of physical capital on social status, the attitudes and experiences of youth, the history of alternative social movements, and the ways that disability has been socially managed. The methods we use include discourse analysis, qualitative interviewing, ethnographic fieldwork, surveys, archival research, and media analysis.
Our curriculum conceives how current and historical events, as well as ideas and social institutions, affect our lives in terms of gender, ethnicity, race, age, ability, class, nationality, and sexuality. We also examine social processes, such as the rules and norms that guide our everyday interactions, and the ways that power operates at multiple levels in our homes and communities. We are committed to diversity and welcome the participation of all students.
Our core undergraduate courses in contemporary theory, classical theory, social statistics and research methods provide students with the tools to understand social issues from critical and informed perspectives. Building on that core strength, substantive courses in health, deviance, work, gender, social problems, religion, families, the body, and mass media give students the opportunity reflect critically on many aspects of society that can go unexamined. These include: the status of women in the workplace, the ways that race operates to create inequality in the criminal justice system; how bodies are controlled medically or (mis)represented in media; the role of cyberspace in facilitating or constraining democracy; how nationalism and corporate culture affect states; family roles and structures in a changing context, and religion as a cultural and social phenomenon. That’s just a small sampling of our sociological offerings; we also regularly offer senior seminars in new topics, building on the interests of our faculty and students. Recent examples include a seminar on eugenics, and another on writing one’s biography as a way to understand social issues (a method called autoethnography).
Our students link with organizations in the immediate community and beyond, even during their studies. Faculty members have supervised independent and applied studies involving collaborations with schools, human service agencies, and government offices. Our B.A. students emerge prepared for a broad and exciting range of opportunities including work in community agencies, health and family services, social work, and political and social activism. Our M.A. students have gone on to policy work relating to government and non-government organizations involved in immigration and multiculturalism, family services, health provision, affordable housing, and human services. Additionally, our M.A. graduates have worked as researchers in the fields of criminology, health care, politics, and education.
Welcome to the Sociology department – we invite you to join us and develop your own sociological imaginations!
University of Lethbridge
(on sabbatical until December 31, 2012 - please contact Acting Chair Dr. Jason Laurendeau)
Courses & Exams
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns represent our campus in interuniversity sport. Go Horns!
State-of-the-art recreation facilities.
Schedules and programs