CCOG for SOC 213 Summer 2024

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

Course Description

Provides a sweeping sociological overview of diversity in the United States. Focuses on diversity characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, and ability. Covers the array of experiences, cultural expressions and contributions that make up diversity in the US. Focuses on the development of skills needed to think critically about the causes and consequences of inequity in the US as well as creatively about initiatives that can address that inequity. Explores the central questions, schools of thought, and theoretical debates about diversity as well as the social contexts, historical events, institutional structures, and unequal relations of power that shape society. Introduces ways that institutional reform and collective behavior can lead to social change in relation to diversity and prepare the working professional with tools to practice cultural responsiveness in a diverse society. 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. Explain how one’s own culture and status shapes one’s perceptions, ideology, values, and identity
  2. Distinguish terms related to diversity, such as race vs ethnicity, discrimination vs racism
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the impacts of race, class, and gender on the life experiences of individuals and groups.
  4. Explain perspectives, data, and research in the context of diversity-related current events and processes using critical thinking.
  5. Explain the major perspectives, theories, and concepts in diversity studies. For example: the role of social construction and the myth of race, or the intersecting nature of race, class, and gender.
  6. Analyze current issues relating to cultural diversity within the context of historical patterns or racism, sexism, and class conflict in the United States
  7. Identify legal, political, and economic mechanisms that have restricted access to important elements of US citizenship and life.
  8. Describe solutions to address structural inequity in the US. 
  9. Explain social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience through the application of methods of inquiry and analysis.

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. Diversity in the United States serves to equip you with a better understanding of how your classmates, family, and communities contribute to diversity in this country as well as the challenges they face. The course examines social equality and social justice, primarily through questioning the political, legal, economic, and historical conditions which contribute to levels of equality in the U.S across diverse identities. It ultimately offers ways of improving one’s cultural knowledge and awareness necessary to live, work and create with the diverse groups that characterize the United States.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  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 

  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)

  1. Interpersonal and intergroup patterns of interaction related to race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. For example: stereotyping, racism, implicit and unconscious bias, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, prejudice, discrimination, sexism, homophobia, violent hate violence, and supremacy.

  2. Institutional patterns of interaction related to race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. For example: institutional discrimination, assimilation, amalgamation, segregation, colonialism, and genocide.

  3. Foundations for more equitable patterns of interaction such as: human and civil rights frameworks, multiculturalism, pluralism, cultural responsiveness, inclusion, allyship, affirmative action, multiculturalism and pluralism; the reform and redesign of social welfare, educational, and public safety institutions.

  4. The role that power and privilege plays with interpersonal and institutional patterns of interaction

  5. The role of social institutions (such as health, education and policing) in shaping inequities across race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

  6. Shaping a global perspective of diversity (i.e., how global issues impact immigration, migration, border changes, and other diversity issues in the United States).

  7. History, cross-cultural comparisons, and current trends occurring in social institutions, including the economy, politics, family, education, religion, health, and media

  8. The social construction of ideas related to diversity, such as how race is a myth, or how crime and safety has been defined.

  9. Inequity in the impact of environmental changes as well as in opportunity associated with the policies and initiatives we create to address those issues.


Per instructor discretion.