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CCOG for SOC 215 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
SOC 215
Course Title:
Social Movements
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines contemporary and historic social movements. Explores why social movements emerge, why they may succeed or fail, and their role in driving social change. Offers some of the skills needed to organize movements for social change. 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:

  • Frame social movements within their historical and social contexts. 
  • Describe how social movements relate to social structures and cultures through the application of the sociological imagination.
  • Employ appropriate social research methods and data analysis to analyze social movements.
  • Explain how social inequality and systems of power, such as class, race, gender, sexuality, age, etc., relate to social movements.
  • Analyze various social movement strategies and their outcomes.

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 not only how our lives are impacted by larger social systems, but also how we can intervene in those systems. This course helps students utilize sociological tools to understand how people organize to change society, and it supports their own development as agents of social change.

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)

  • Grievances across various social issues
  • Types of movements
  • Sociological theories of social movements
  • Sociological research methods for the study of social movements
  • Historical and contemporary movements
  • Movement goals, strategies, and tactics
  • Skills for organizing social movements
  • Major debates within and between social movements and countermovements

Texts chosen per instructor discretion.