SOC 3101A - Sociology of Ethics
Professor : Jean-Christophe Demers
Assistant : Sandra Sagbohan
Monday 13:00 - 14:30 – SMD224
Wednesday 11:30 - 13:00 – SMD 224
We shall investigate the relationship between ethical questions and sociology as a discipline, social
interactions and social institutions. Therefore, we will explore the distinctive ways in which
sociologists have framed and conceptualized ethical questions, and their relevance to contemporary
Official Course Description
Critical study of the theories and methods that sociology providesforthe analysis of ethicalquestions.
Study of the wider historical, social and cultural contexts in which ethical questions emerge and are
The first half of the class will take the form of a formal lecture that explores the historically diverse
waysin whichsociologists have framed ethical questions. The lecturewill coverthe first reading. The
second part of the classes will explore contemporary ethical and moral issues from a sociological
B- Detailed Course Outline
DATE CONTENT TYPE Deadlines
Sept. 14 -19
2- Comprehensive Sociology:
-Lecture + Explanations
Sept28 – Oct. 3
Oct. 5 Mid-Term Mid-Term Mid-Term(20%)
Oct. 12-17 Movie- TheHunt Movie presentation Short essay (10%)
Oct.19 Discussion Discussion Discussion (10%)
Reading week Reading week
- Individualismandthe quest
for one’strue self:
Family,the couple and
Nov. 14-16 - Presentations - Presentations - Presentations(30%)
Nov. 21- 23 - Presentations - Presentations - Presentations(30%)
Nov. 28-30 - Presentations - Presentations - Presentations(30%)
Dec. 5 Guestlecturer Guestlecturer
Bellah, Robert N., Emile Durkheim, On Moralityand Society, ChicagoandLondon, The Universityof ChicagoPress, 1992.
Berger, Peter L. Luckmann, Thomas, The Social Construction of Reality;a Treatise in the Sociologyof Knowledge, GardenCity, N.Y.,
Blackburn, Simon, Ethics, a VeryShort Introduction, Oxford, Oxford UniversityPress, 2001
Boltanski, Luc et Laurent Thévenot, De la Justification, Paris, Gallimard, 1991.
Canto-Sperber M. & R. Ogien, La Philosophie morale, coll. Que sais-je ?, ibid., 2e éd. 2006.
Callhoun C. and al., eds, Classical Sociological Theory (Wiley Blackwell Readers in Sociology), Oxford, Malden, MA, Blackwell
Durkheim Émile, L’éduction morale, cours de sociologie dispensé à la Sorbonne, éditiondes classiquesdes sciences sociales, 2008.
Gaudet Stéphanie, Anne Quéniart, Sociologie de l’éthique, Montréal, Liber, 2013.
Génard, Jean-Louis, Sociologie de l’éthique, Paris, L’harmattan, 1992.
Goffman, Erving, «On Face-Work:An Analysisof Ritual Elements in Social Interaction»," Reflections 4 (2003), 7-13.
Goffman, Erving. Relations in Public:Microstudies of the Public Order. New York:Harper & Row, 1971.
Goffman, Erving, Frame Analysis :An Essayon the Organization of Experience, New York, Harper and Row, 1974.
Goffman, Erving, «On Cooling the Mark Out», Psychiatry:Journal of Interpersonal Relations 15:4 (1952).
Goffman, Erving, Asiles, études sur la condition sociale des malades mentaux et autres reclus, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 2007.
Goffman, Erving, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Penguin,
Garfinkel, Harold, Studies in Ethnomethodology, Cambridge, Polityand Blackwell Publishers, 1999.
Giddens, Anthony, The Consequences of Modernity, Standfort UniversityPress, Standford, 1990.
Giddens, Anthony, Modernityand Self-IdentitySelf and Society in the Late Modern Age, Cambridge : Polity Press, 1991.
Haan, Norma, Social Science as Moral Inquiry, New York , Columbia UniversityPress, 1983.
Hall, Robert T, Émile Durkheim :Ethics and the Sociology of Morals, New York :GreenwoodPress, 1987.
Harper, Kyle, «Culture, Nature, and History:The Case of Ancient Sexuality», Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 55,
No. 4 (OCTOBER 2013), pp. 986-1016.
Hedoin, Cyril, «Weber and Veblen on the Rationalization Process», Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 43, No. 1 (Mar., 2009), pp.
Honneth, Axel, La lutte pour la reconnaissance, Paris, Gallimard, 2000.
Helm, Charles, andMario Morelli, «StanleyMilgram andthe Obedience Experiment:Authority, Legitimacy, andHuman Action»,
Political Theory, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Aug., 1979), pp. 321-345.
Irwin, William, «"Fight Club", Self-Definition, and the Fragility of Authenticity», Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, T. 69, Fasc. 3/4
(2013), pp. 673-684.
Isambert François-André, Ladrière Paul, Terrenoire Jean-Paul. «Pour une sociologie de l’éthique», Revue française de sociologie,
1978, 19-3, pp. 323-339.
Lipset, David, Modernitywithout Romance?MasculinityandDesire in Courtship Stories Told byYoungPapua NewGuineanMen,
American Ethnologist, Vol. 31, No. 2 (May, 2004), pp. 205-224.
MacRae, Sinclair, An Introduction to Ethics : Theories, Perspectives and Issues, Toronto :Prentice Hall, 2003.
Merton, Robert King, Social Theoryand Social Structure, New-York, The Free Press, 1968.
Merton, Robert King, «Social Structure andAnomie», American Sociological Review, Vol. 3, No. 5 (Oct., 1938), pp. 672-682.
Merton, Robert King, «Bureaucratic Structure andPersonality», Social Forces, Vol. 18, No. 4 (May, 1940), pp. 560-568.
Merton, Robert King, «Durkheim's Division of Labor in Society», American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Nov., 1934), pp.
Mills, C. Wright, «The Structure ofPower in AmericanSociety,» The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Mar., 1958), pp. 29-
Mills, C. Wright, The Sociological Imagination, Oxford UniversityPress, 1959.
Miner, Horace, Saint-Denis :un village québécois, Lasalle, Québec, Éditions Hurtubise, 2007.
MacIntyre, Alasdair, Après la vertu, Étude de théorie morale, Paris, PUF, 2013.
Mead, G. H., Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, 1934.
Ricoeur, Paul, « ÉTHIQUE », Encyclopædia Universalis [en ligne], consulté le 29 août 2013.
Taylor, Charles, The Malaise of Modernity, Concord, Ont. :Anansi, 1991.
Taylor, Charles, andAmyGutmann, Multiculturalism Examining the Politics of Recognition, Princeton, N.J. :PrincetonUniversity
Weber, Max, Le savant et le politique, Paris, Éditions 10/18, 2006.
Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Los Angeles, Calif. :RoxburyPub. Co., 2002.
C- Commitment and expectations
This course willfeature lectures, periods of questions and discussion, as well as a few classes
dedicated to movies and presentations.
Students will be expected to read the articles and chapters in the textbook beforeeach class. These
readings are mandatory and constitute a crucialelement to the success of this course.
Communication and dialogue (at the appropriate times) are highly encouraged and willcontribute
to your learning process, and allow youto get much more out of this course. Students are expected
to participate to the best of their capacities.
It has been our experience that the use of computers, tablets, as wellas Internet browsing on a
smartphone are behaviours that favourdistraction and generally hinder success. Therefore, the use
of electronic devices is prohibited during class hours.
We strongly encourage youto visit the professor and the T.A. during their officehours as the
primary point of contact.
Our policy regarding the use of the email is as follow:If yourquestion cannot be worded in one
simple, single sentence, it is probably too complex to be answered by email. Please come and visit us
at our officesformore complete, clearer answers. Please understand that e-mail responses are long
and tedious to complete, and that our resources are limited in online interaction.
Email andInternet Resources
This course has a virtual campus webpage, containing email function, gradebook, lecture notes, and
readings. Select notes will be posted after each week’s lectures. These notes are not meant to be all-
inclusive, but to aid the student in studying. Emails that ask questions of issues already addressed or
are present in the syllabus will not be answered.
4- Short essay (2 pages) : 10%.
5- Discussion about the movieThe Hunt:10%
-The theme of the short essay willbe decided by the professor during the semester. The subject will
be one of the lectures you have attended, to the discretion of the professor. Therefore, it is in your
best interest to attend most classes.
-Discussion about the movie involves yourattendance to class, as you willhave to take notes and
coordinate with a group of 4-6 people. A series of questions willbe provided to youand will serve as
a basis fora group discussion.
An absence from any examination or test, or the late submission of assignments, due to illness, must
be officially justified; otherwise, a penalty willbe imposed. Reasons such as travel, employment and
misreading the examination schedule are not accepted. Absence forany other serious reason must
be justified in writing, to the academic assistants of the Faculty,within fivebusiness days following
the date of the exam or submission of an assignment.
E- IMPORTANT NOTES
For students registered with Access Services and requesting accommodations for a mid-term or
final exam: requests must be submitted at least 7 days prior to the date of the mid-term, exam or
other forms of written evaluations (not including the day of the exam nor any statutory holiday).
MentoringCentre - http://socialsciences.uottawa.ca/mentoring/
The goal of the Mentoring Centre is to help students with their academic and social well-being
during their time at the University of Ottawa.Regardless of where a student stands academically,or
how far along they are in completing their degree, the mentoring centre is there to help students
continue on their path to success.
A student may choose to visit the mentoring centre for very different reasons. Younger students
may wish to talk to their older peers to gain insight into programs and services offeredby the
University,while older student may simply want to brush up on study and time management skills
or learn about programs and services for students nearing the end of their degree.
In all, the Mentoring Centre offersa place forstudents to talk about concerns and problems that
they might have in any facet of their lives. While students are able to voice their concerns and
problems without fear of judgment, mentors can garner further insight in issues unique to students
and find a more practicalsolution to better improve the services that the Faculty of Social Sciences
offers,as well as the services offered by the University of Ottawa.
AcademicWritingHelp Centre - http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/writing/
At the AWHC you willlearn how to identify, correctand ultimately avoid errors in your writing and
become an autonomous writer. In working with our Writing Advisors, youwill be able to acquire
the abilities, strategies and writing tools that willenable you to:
Master the written language of your choice
Expand your critical thinking abilities
Develop yourargumentation skills
Learn what the expectations are for academic writing
Career Services -http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/careers/
Career Services offers various services and a career development program to enable youto
recognize and enhance the employability skills you need in today'sworld of work.
There are many reasons to take advantage of the Counseling Service. We offer:
Study skills counseling
The Access Service contributes to the creation of an inclusive environment by developing strategies
and implementing measures that aim to reduce the barriers to learning forstudents whohave
learning disabilities, health, psychiatric or physical conditions.