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SOCI 3991: Sociology of Diversity: Issues for Canadians

This course offers special topics in the sociology of diversity for in-depth study. This upper-level sociology course explores the tensions and challenges that arise from multiculturalism, the presence of multiple nations within the state of Canada, and the varied social identities found among communities and groups in Canada’s pluralistic society. Some of the questions to be explored include the following: Is Canada really a nation? How is social unity achieved in a multi-nation and multi-ethnic state? Has the role of the citizen been diminished? Does identity politics threaten our ability to act as citizens? Should nations within Canada have special status? This course is suitable for learners completing degrees in a number of discipline areas including science, engineering, humanities, social science, business or general studies.

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss the political dimensions of belonging to specific groups with respect to identity formation and recognition.
  • Define the concepts of identity and identity formation related to the many dimensions of Canadian social life.
  • Describe the language of rights that the Canadian legal system uses to govern diversity and to assess its value.
  • Critically assess the Canadian policy of multiculturalism and recognize its various social and political roles.
  • Provide an overview of the vast diversity that exists among people in Canadian society, the complexity of that diversity, and the various ways that it influences life in Canada.
  • Identify and assess the impact of the structures of inequality related to diversity and difference in Canada.
  • Describe the historical evolution of the rights and accommodations for people who belong to disadvantaged groups in Canada.
  • Research information relevant to Canadian issues of diversity.
  • Discuss contemporary issues in Canadian society.

Course topics

Unit 1: Identity and Multiculturalism in Canada

Unit 2: Nation Building and Belonging

Unit 3: Inequality and Difference in Canada

Required text and materials

Students require the following e-textbook, which can be purchased directly from the link at:

  1. Angelini, P.U. (Ed.). (2012). Our Society: Human Diversity in Canada. (4th edition) Toronto: Nelson.
    Type: E-Text. ISBN: 978-0-17-650354-3


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project exam.

Assignment 1: Unit 1 Essays 18%
Assignment 2: Unit 1 Essays 18%
Assignment 3: Unit 1 Essays 19%
Web Discussions 15%
Final Project Exam (mandatory) 30%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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