Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
SOC 204
Course Title:
Sociology in Everyday Life
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the sociological perspective and the scientific study of human social behavior. Focuses on the core concepts, theories, and research on human interactions within social groups and how people are shaped by their social locations (status, roles, race, class, sex, age, etc.) within society's structures, stratification systems, and institutions, and by cultural processes such as socialization and group dynamics. Prerequisites: RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Apply sociological perspectives and the sociological imagination in their everyday lives, to reflect on structural and cultural contexts and current events.
2. Identify social inequality and stratification systems to evaluate the impact on societies.
3. Participate as active citizens in their societies and communities, demonstrating respect for diversity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The SAC assumes that instructors will assess student learning through the term by using various formative assessment tools, like worksheets, quizzes, and exams. In addition, the SAC encourages instructors to integrate the following kinds of tasks into the course to assess student achievement of course outcomes in a more comprehensive and holistic manner:

1. Short analytical or application papers on specific concepts, themes, and issues.
2. Term or research papers, using a variety of research strategies.
3. Oral presentations
4. Group research, analysis, and presentation projects
5. Class participation in full-class discussions and small groups or teams.
6. Response papers or journals reflecting on life experiences, events, and social phenomena.
7. Service-learning tasks, involving service to community, reflection, and application of sociological perspective.
8. Student-instructor conferences
9. Portfolios
10. Video projects
11. Oral histories and interviews

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

1. Sociological approach and perspectives: sociological imagination, sociological theories (structural functionalist, conflict, symbolic interactionist, feminist)
2. Sociology as a science: research and methods, issues of bias and ethics
3. Culture (symbols/language, norms/values, material and non-material culture; approaches to study of/interaction with cultures, including ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, multiculturalism)
4. Socialization (theories; agents; life stages; socialization related to gender, race/ethnicity, social class; resocialization)
5. Social stratification and systems of inequality: power, social construction of, socialization related to, hate crimes)

  • Social caste and class, wealth, poverty

  • Race and ethnicity, social construction of race and forms of race relations, racism, prejudice, individual and institutional discrimination

  • Sex and gender, compulsory heterosexuality and homophobia, sexism, sex segregation, sexual harassment and violence

  • Aging, myths and realities, aging of societies, prejudice and discrimination, elder abuse, social problems related to aging

6. Social structure and organization (roles and statuses, groups and organizations, bureaucracies, social institutions)
7. Societies (types, systems of inequality, social change)
8. Deviance, conformity, and social control (theories; norms and values enforcement; social control mechanisms; law, crime and criminal justice system)

Competencies and Skills

1. Apply sociological approach and perspectives to a variety of social patterns and processes
2. Write and communicate orally in a clear, organized, and effective manner
3. Think critically about current social issues and analyze complex social realities
4. Use varied and effective research techniques and strategies
5. Develop and refine group process skills, which may include listening, brainstorming, communicating, negotiating, or cooperating on shared tasks.
6. Develop ability to listen to and empathize with diverse perspectives and experiences.
7. Develop and practice active citizenship skills in accordance with principles of democratic and inclusive process, social justice, and ecological sustainability.
8. Integrate course work with current events and trends through examination of popular and news media.

Approved Texts
The SAC approves all required texts for Soc204 and Soc205. The same text is used for the two courses.
Currently (Fall 2012) approved texts are:
1. Croteau and Hoynes. Experience Sociology. 2013, 1st Edition.
2. Giddens et al, Introduction to Sociology. 2012, 8th Edition, Seagull version.
Supplemental Texts and Materials: Instructor discretion.
Instructional Delivery Mode: This course is approved for classroom, hybrid, and distance modalities.