Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for SOC 206 Effective Fall 2021

Course Number:
SOC 206
Course Title:
Social Problems
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:

Course Description

Uses sociological thinking to explore causes, consequences, and solutions related to social problems. Includes such topics as poverty, homelessness, addiction, health care, racism, violence, mass incarceration, sexism, policing, hate crimes, education, global stratification, or environmental crises. 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:

  1. Analyze social problems using sociological perspectives. 
  2. Describe how individual experiences of social problems relate to social structures and cultures using the sociological imagination. 
  3. Identify social causes, trends, and solutions for social problems using appropriate research methods.
  4. Explain how social inequality and systems of power perpetuate social problems.

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 social problems come from how societies are organized and the different ways that social forces impact people’s lives. The sociological study of social problems allows us to analyze 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 problems.

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)

  • Cultural and structural bases for social problems.

  • Analysis of specific social problems, such as: consumerism, poverty, racism, homelessness, addiction, health care, physical and mental health, cost and quality of education, totalitarianism, global conflict and war, pandemics and other disasters, environmental crises, violence, policing, mass incarceration, sexism, and hate crimes.

  • The impact of social problems on individuals and communities.

  • Development of social solutions, such as policies, institutional change, community-based initiatives, cultural change, education, public awareness campaigns, and social movements.

  • Challenges and opportunities for social change.

Texts and Materials:   Per instructor discretion.