Ideally, by the end of their programs, graduating students should be able to:
- Display a broad knowledge of the overall discipline of Sociology, and a detailed understanding of several of its major subfields.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how culture, socialization, social situations, and social structure affect personal behaviour, ideas, choices and social opportunities.
- Demonstrate awareness of social justice issues and the processes by which social inequality is generated, sustained, and potentially overcome. Where appropriate, develop skills for reflexive action (praxis) geared towards transformative social justice.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the major theoretical perspectives and debates in the discipline, both in terms of their historical development and their present-day formulations, and an ability to apply such perspectives in conducting research.
- Access, interpret, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data relevant to the social sciences.
- Identify and distinguish the steps involved in carrying out quantitative research using survey skills, and with an awareness of related ethical issues.
- Design and be equipped to carry out qualitative research using such techniques as in-depth interviewing, participant observation, analysis of talk-in-interaction and focus group interviews, and with awareness of related ethical issues.
- Use statistical software to analyze and interpret survey results.
- Utilize library resources to identify and access relevant primary and secondary sources useful in answering research questions.
- Identify, distinguish and critically evaluate scholarly arguments, the assumptions behind them, and their constituent theoretical and empirical components.
- Produce and express coherent and persuasive written arguments (using relevant literature), with attention to academic integrity and a respect for diverse perspectives and disparate ideas.
- Communicate arguments, analyses, and research findings orally to an audience of one’s peers.
- Engage in critical social inquiry into contemporary social issues in Canada and globally, as well as be able to apply resulting knowledge to everyday life.