Sociology and Social Anthropology
Location: Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building
6135 University Avenue
Room 1128
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-6595
Fax: (902) 494-2897


Social Anthropology and Sociology are related and overlapping disciplines. Although in some universities they are found in separate departments, this Department and many of its courses blur the distinction between them and emphasize the areas of overlap. The Department is committed to a program which stresses the areas of convergence between the two disciplines.

Sociology and Social Anthropology provide an academic training which is rigorous and cosmopolitan. Students develop research skills along with a general intellectual preparation which stands them in good stead for graduate work in the disciplines or for a broad range of professions such as law, medicine, social work or journalism.


From its inception in the nineteenth century, sociology has been concerned with understanding the growth and evolution of modern societies. Classical sociologists attempted to identify universal laws of human behaviour which would help them to understand the nature of social change and of social order, the role of the individual vis-a-vis the broader society, and the production and reproduction of social inequalities. While contemporary sociologists have abandoned the search foruniversal laws, the discipline continues to study the social context of human action, and has contributed substantially to knowledge and understanding of our own world.

Social Anthropology

Anthropology is composed of four subfields, social/cultural, archaeological, biological, and linguistic. Social Anthropology, with its emphases on global context, continuity and change, questions of human and group identity, and views on human nature, may focus on local cultures or entire civilizations. For example, some Social Anthropologists study historical and contemporary conditions of indigenous groups, tribal or peasant societies, others conduct their research within industrial societies. Our program provides the opportunity for students to become conversant with the comparative cultural implications of modern societies such as different forms of family and kinship practices, changing gender relations, the organization of work, law and social injustice, medicine and health, religion, and political economy. How do people in different places and times react, resist, and adapt to change?

Degree Programs

The Department’s BA degree program is offered as a 90 credit hour minor or a 120 credit hour major in Sociology and Social Anthropology. The BA honours degree is offered through more specialized programs of study in Sociology or in Social Anthropology. Dalhousie graduates wishing to upgrade from a 90 credit hour minor may complete an additional 30 credit hours to be awarded the Major Conversion or the Honours Conversion. An honours degree is normally the required preparation for graduate study.

All Bachelors degree programs are governed by the general Requirements for Degrees set out in the University Calendar, in addition to the departmental requirements stated below. See Degree Requirements for complete details.


  1. No more than six credit hours may be obtained for introductory courses from SOSA 1500.06, SOSA 1002.03, SOSA 1003.03.
  2. For purposes of gaining entry to 2000 and 3000 level SOSA courses, King’s Foundation Year satisfies the introductory course prerequisite.
  3. If they so elect, King’s Foundation Year students may also obtain credit for one introductory course from SOSA 1500.06, SOSA 1002.03 and SOSA 1003.03.