SOC341H1: Sociology of Scandals



Scandals – corporate, political, or bureaucratic – pervade media reporting and public debate. This course takes up scandals as sociological events: what are the causes of scandals? How are scandals ‘made’? How are scandals represented? And what are the consequences of scandals: do they discredit some actors, and lead to cultural, institutional, and organizational change? Do they lead to reform, used for new professional mobilization, new forms of regulation and oversight, targeted for legal intervention, or do they generate new political shifts, or new memories or narratives? Or are they ignored? The course will also pay attention to how scandals are made public: leaks, investigations, whistleblowers, and media reporting, and the framing of events as scandals worthy of public condemnation. Finally, with scandals often thought of as singular, this course allows students to consider what is in common between these events. This is a program-only course and is restricted to Sociology Majors and Specialists.

Distribution Requirements
Social Science
Breadth Requirements
Society and its Institutions (3)