Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for SOC 211 Effective Fall 2021

Course Number:
SOC 211
Course Title:
Peace and Conflict Studies
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores causes and manifestations of conflict, peace, and resolution at various levels such as: the interpersonal, intergroup, nation state, or the global community. Introduces how value systems, social and political priorities, and frameworks such as power and domination, multiculturalism, democratic pluralism, human rights, or military intervention invest in eventual peace or conflict for global societies. Explores specific strategies at various levels for peacemaking intervention, such as personal tools for conflict resolution, intergroup communication, or the international relations and humanitarian endeavors of global organizations. Fosters skill building to evaluate projects and policy that endeavor to create foundations for peace and resolution of conflict. Includes contexts such as historical events, cultural expressions, environmental conditions, and how movements for social change and political liberation experience success. PS 211 and SOC 211 are equivalent and only one can be taken for credit. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course fulfills General Education and Cultural Literacy Requirements --and may be applied toward satisfying Associates Degrees at Portland Community College. It is required at P.C.C. for the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Program Awards. Students should consult with a P.C.C. Academic Advisor and/or other institutions regarding transfer and application of credit to other institutions.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Describe the field of peace and conflict studies alongside theories, analysis tools and processes associated with it.
  2. Identify aspects of culture and communication that encourage democratic and multicultural values while showing respect for diversity, equity in relationship to others, and functional interdependence.
  3. Describe methods of analyzing conflict, and planning for the resolution of conflict among individuals and groups.
  4. Identify ways that policy making processes for peace and conflict resolution are manifested, through civil society, non-governmental organizations, or international bodies.
  5. Identify and describe the ethical and social requirements of living as responsible members of a global community. 
  6. Apply critical thinking and organization of concepts in the context of peace and conflict.
  7. Analyze complex social and political realities to current public policy issues related to peace and conflict. 
  8. Research and discuss peacemaking strategies in the context of their effectiveness in the prevention, de-escalation, or long term resolution of conflict situations.
  9. Describe and apply key theoretical assumptions on the causes, dynamics and resolution of armed conflict.
  10. Describe principal features of the nature and development of conflicts within and between nation states.
  11. Conduct and describe a conflict analysis, applying the tools, concepts and methodology of peace and conflict studies.
  12. Identify major theoretical frameworks designed to explain conflict and apply them to case studies.
  13. Analyze selected protracted conflicts and suggest possible interventions for their resolution. 

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

Peace and Conflict Studies serves to prepare you with a better understanding of how conflict plays a role in our society, be it interpersonal, intergroup, national, or international. The course equips you with tools to analyze the profile, causes, actors, and dynamics of conflict while engaging in sustained reflection of some of the major problems confronting humankind today. With equal priority, it introduces the roles that political action, social investment, local and international organizations, and movements play in preventing or shifting root causes of conflict. Ultimately, this course is designed to build your skill sets for engaging with a lens of peace building and conflict resolution in your personal and professional lives, and as members of a global community.

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.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

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

  1. Class participation in discussions and/or in small groups (on-line or on campus) 

  2. Analytical homework assignments on specific concepts or issues

  3. Response papers or journals reflecting on life experiences or social events

  4. Research papers, using analyses of academic sources (i.e., signature assignments)

  5. Quizzes and/or exams

  6. Oral histories and interviews

  7. Oral or video presentations

  8. Community-based learning projects, involving learning objectives, service to community, and reflection

  9. Group research and presentation projects

  10. Additional assignments, as deemed appropriate for assessment of learning objectives

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Content for this course may include:

  1. Concepts including "peace", "conflict", "violence", "nonviolence", "oppression", "democracy", and "justice" as these are manifest in different paths to peace and conflict resolution.

  2. Worldviews and perspectives of peace and conflict studies. 

  3. The role that idea systems, economic systems, and socio-political realities play in creating, perpetuating, and/or resolving crises and conflicts on interpersonal, group, societal, international, and global levels.

  4. Selected case studies illustrating the dynamics of conflict and resolution

  5. Root causes of conflict 

  6. Conflict management practices and approaches such as mediation, peace enforcement, and humanitarian intervention. 

  7. The implications of nonviolence, restorative justice, and the third side as alternative ways to make change.

  8. The roles that personal behavior and lifestyle choices play in crises and conflicts which took place in the past, continue into the present, and may or may not be transcended in the future.

  9. How one's own values and actions can impact prospects for a future that is more to one's liking.

  10. Tools for managing personal conflict such as how to navigate differing points of view, and perceived or real threats to one’s own value system.

  11. The impacts of additional contexts and consequences, such as historical and current events, culture, displacement, globalization, and environmental conditions in peace and conflict.

  12. The role of civil society: in protecting lives during wartime; in addressing the root causes of conflict; in peace restoration, in well-being and protection of human rights.

  13. The role of global organizations involved in international peacemaking, such as the United Nations System, international nongovernmental organizations, Interpol, and the International Criminal Court.

  14. The human rights, justice, and  international relations frameworks, as applied to peace and conflict studies. 

  15. Movements for social change in the context of peace and conflict. 

  16. Concepts of cultural recognition as strategy for conflict resolution and peace: multiculturalism, interculturalism, and democratic pluralism.