Ottawa May Day March 2013

Are you interested in making the world a better place? You’re not alone! Sociology at Carleton is part of a long tradition of people interested in how ordinary people have changed the world. We can move beyond understanding what injustice is and why it happens and study how people in social movements come together to change things.

We’re excited to invite you to a cluster of classes that will build your understanding of, and capacities to contribute to, collective transformation.

Here is a short video to introduce you to the Social Justice Stream in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. In the Stream, you will explore questions like: What are the forces that produce social relations of oppression and benefit in our world today? How are global, national, and local systems connected? What do inequalities look like and how are they experienced? Where does resistance come from, and how is it sustained? How do people challenge inequal power hierarchies and create a more just society? Can university studies help our communities?

The Social Justice Stream is a degree option open to Sociology BA Honours and Combined Honours students. The Stream builds multi-faceted sociological knowledge of social injustice and social justice struggles, and combines academic and hands-on, experiential learning.

There are four courses in this stream. To receive credit, you must take all four courses (although the courses are also open to students outside of the Stream). These four courses are included within your existing degree requirements, so the Stream does not require you to take additional credits.

  1. In Sociology 2170: Foundations in Social Justice, you will develop foundational knowledge of existing research and theories of social justice.
  2. In Sociology 3170: Social Justice in Action, we bring the community to the classroom. This course connects you with current social justice work in Ottawa and beyond to talk about what movements do and how they do it.
  3. In Sociology 3430: Studies in Collective Action and Social Movements, you will examine social movements, including through theory, historical case studies, and current struggles.
  4. In Sociology 4170: Community-Engaged Sociology, you will work in teams to partner up with a community-based social justice organization in Ottawa to apply, hands-on, your sociological knowledge.

Areas of focus in these classes may include: poverty, economic polarization and advancing alternative economic orders; racism and anti-racist struggles; colonialism and Indigenous movements; and, struggles around gender inequality, gender identity and sexuality. The Stream will look at transnational movements and solidarity, as well as local organizing. We will, moreover, bring together global issues with local issues, including what’s happening in Ottawa right now.

We look forward to seeing you in the Stream!

Want to learn more? Please contact the coordinator at

Students in SOCI 4170: Community Engaged Sociology