Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for SOC 204 Effective Fall 2021

Course Number:
SOC 204
Course Title:
Introduction to Sociology
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces Sociology as a social science. Explores the central questions, schools of thought, forms of research, and theoretical debates about social issues and how societies are organized. Examines the many ways in which social contexts, historical events, institutional structures, and unequal relations of power shape society and peoples' behaviors, identities, and lives. Covers the development of skills needed to think critically about cultural beliefs and social systems. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Analyze social contexts using sociological perspectives. 
  • Describe how individual life experiences relate to social structures and cultures using the sociological imagination.
  • Identify data trends and social outcomes within social groups and society using appropriate social research methods.
  • Explain social inequality and systems of power across institutions and social categories such as class, race, gender, sexuality, and age.
  • Compare how changes occur within institutions and across societies.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Sociology offers a unique perspective that helps us understand how our lives are connected to each other and the larger society. Sociologists use scientific methods to study how societies are organized, why they change, and the different ways that social forces impact people’s lives. The sociological perspective allows us to understand personal troubles as public issues, through the power of social contexts, with varying structures, cultures, and groups shaping our opportunities, attitudes, behaviors, and identities.

Cultural Literacy

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to analyze and evaluate how cultural systems relate to broader social dynamics.

Aspirational Goals

We hope that the careful study of society will empower our students to develop the insights, empathy, and skills to analyze and address social issues.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

In addition to following guidelines for assessing General Education outcomes, instructors will assess student learning of course-level outcomes by using various assessment tools, per instructor discretion, such as:

  • Class participation in discussions and/or in small groups (on-line or on campus) 
  • Short analytical homework assignments on specific concepts or issues
  • Response papers or journals reflecting on life experiences or social events
  • Research papers, using analyses of academic sources (i.e., signature assignments)
  • Quizzes and/or exams
  • Oral histories and interviews
  • Oral or video presentations
  • Community-based learning projects, involving learning objectives, service to community, and reflection
  • Group research and presentation projects
  • Additional assignments, as deemed appropriate for assessment of learning objectives

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

This course introduces Sociology as a social science. It addresses issues such as:

  • The Sociological imagination

  • Sociological perspectives and theories

  • Social inquiry, methods, and analysis

  • Social interaction and identity

  • Cultural concepts and dynamics

  • Social structure and groups

  • Socialization

  • Deviance, Crime and Social Control

  • Social stratification, inequality, and intersectionality, including but not limited to class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, etc.

  • Systems of power, privilege, and oppression

  • Social Institutions and Organizations

  • Global Inequalities

  • Social Movements

  • Other aspects of the discipline at instructor discretion