Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
SOC 213
Course Title:
Diversity in the United States
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Frames social status differences within the context of social structure and culture. Examines how inequalities and privilege play out through social status and are reinforced through both culture and social structure. Includes statuses such as: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, etc. Includes concepts such as: privilege, social stratification, cultural bias, institutional inequality, and social construction. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course provides a sweeping sociological overview of diversity in the United States. While covering the specific areas of race, ethnicity, gender, age, social class, and sexual orientations, it also deals with topics generally related to diversity. For example, concepts and topics such as the following are typically included: racism, sexism, stratification, stereotyping and ethnocentrism, hate violence, youth violence, and immigration laws and impacts.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students successfully completing this course will be able to do the following:
1. Apply sociological perspectives and use their sociological imagination in analyzing the causes and consequences of social inequality and evaluating social actions and policies as they reproduce privilege and institutional discrimination.
2. Locate themselves within their various social statuses and how those play out social contexts (connect their personal biography and social status with societal history) to reflect on the processes that shape and address the structure and operation of systems of stratification.
3. Participate as active citizens in their societies and communities, demonstrating respect for diversity, critical thinking, and collaboration in addressing inequality and privilege as it exists in current social actions and contexts.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrated learning outcomes using a combination of the following tasks:
1. writing reflection type papers over material and topics covered in the course;
2. completing a research paper on an appropriate topic for the course;
3. responding verbally or in writing to critical thinking questions;
4. participating and reporting on service learning project;
5. participating and reporting on one or more class projects;
6. participation in class discussion.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Examples of Subject Matter, Concepts, Themes, Issues: 1. Sociological approach and perspectives
2. Culture, socialization, status and roles, social institutions within the framework of social stratification
3. Introduction to diversity issues, major theoretic perspectives, concepts and definitions, for example:

  1. majority/minority, dominant/subordinate
  2. racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, heterosexism
  3. prejudice and discrimination
  4. cultural ideology and institutional discrimination
  5. assimilation, amalgamation, genocide

4. Genderand Sexual Orientation Issues
5. Social class concepts, structure in the U.S. and related issues
6. Social institutions in relationship to sex, race, and class
1. economy and Work
2. polity and policy
3. family and family policy
4. education
5. health, medicine and environmental issues (i.e. environmental racism)
7. Global and National Demographic Trends
8. Immigration policies - historic forces and impacts
9. Recent immigration trends and Policies
10. Issues of recent immigrant groups
11. Explorations of the social and cultural experience of racial and ethnic groups on the United States, for example: Asian heritage, African heritage, Arab heritage, European heritage, Hispanic heritage, Native American heritage
12. Age related issues
13. Contemporary issues (for example)
1. hate groups and hate crimes
2. immigration
3. welfare reform
4. multiculturalism
5. affirmative action
6. English-only
Competencies and Skills
1. Utilize the sociological perspective to analyze and discuss a variety of social patterns and processes and structures in relationship to diversity.
2. Develop and practice reading, research, analysis, and writing skills
3. Critical thinking
a. recognize assumptions and implications of own arguments and beliefs
b. recognize assumptions and implications of course materials
c. recognize underlying social assumptions
d. able to independently integrate and synthesize concepts and take the €œnext step€ of their own idea/contribution
4. Listening to others - especially those with whom he/she disagrees
5. Discussing across differences rather than positional argument
6. Utilizing course information and sociological method in understanding current events and processes.
7. Increase students abilities to analyze the social world around them and increase personal participation in community and society.
8. Be able to define the concepts such as social stratification and race and ethnicity.
9. Demonstrate knowledge of the impacts race, class, and gender on the life experiences of individuals and groups.
10. Demonstrate an understanding of the assumptions underlying social definitions of groups, social policies, and norms.
11. Demonstrate an understanding of how social structure is impacted by, and impacts, diverse populations.
12. Demonstrate an understanding of how the main sociological theoretic frameworks apply to the concepts of inequality, social stratification, and how problems are defined.
13. Demonstrate an understanding of the intersecting nature of race, class, and gender.

* Andersen, Margaret L., and Collins, Patricia Hill. Race, Class, and Gender : an Anthology. Wadsworth/Thomson: Belmont, Ca., 2004 or latest edition.
INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY MODE: This course is approved for classroom, hybrid, and distance modalities.

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