Diversity in the United States

Course Number: SOC 213
Transcript Title: Diversity in the United States
Created: September 1, 2013
Updated: January 22, 2016
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Course Description

Frames social status differences within the context of social structure and culture. Examines how inequalities and privilege play out through social status and are reinforced through both culture and social structure. Includes statuses such as: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, etc. Includes concepts such as: privilege, social stratification, cultural bias, institutional inequality, and social construction. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Students successfully completing this course will be able to do the following:

  1. Apply sociological perspectives and use their sociological imagination in analyzing the causes and consequences of social inequality and evaluating social actions and policies as they reproduce privilege and institutional discrimination.
  2. Locate themselves within their various social statuses and how those play out social contexts (connect their personal biography and social status with societal history) to reflect on the processes that shape and address the structure and operation of systems of stratification.
  3. Participate as active citizens in their societies and communities, demonstrating respect for diversity, critical thinking, and collaboration in addressing inequality and privilege as it exists in current social actions and contexts.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Apply the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter and succeed in a defined profession or advanced academic program. (Professional Competence)
4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrated learning outcomes using a combination of the following tasks:

  1. Writing reflection type papers over material and topics covered in the course.
  2. Completing a research paper on an appropriate topic for the course.
  3. Responding verbally or in writing to critical thinking questions.
  4. Participating and reporting on service learning project.
  5. Participating and reporting on one or more class projects.
  6. Participation in class discussion.

Course Activities and Design

Lecture, group discussion, audiovisual presentations, small group assignments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Examples of Subject Matter, Concepts, Themes, Issues:

  1. Sociological approach and perspectives
  2. Culture, socialization, status and roles, social institutions within the framework of social stratification
  3. Introduction to diversity issues, major theoretic perspectives, concepts and definitions, for example:
    1. Majority/minority, dominant/subordinate
    2. Racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, heterosexism
    3. Prejudice and discrimination
    4. Cultural ideology and institutional discrimination
    5. Assimilation, amalgamation, genocide
  4. Gender and Sexual Orientation Issues
  5. Social class concepts, structure in the U.S. and related issues
  6. Social institutions in relationship to sex, race, and class:
    1. Economy and Work
    2. Polity and policy
    3. Family and family policy
    4. Education
    5. Health, medicine and environmental issues (i.e. environmental racism)
  7. Global and National Demographic Trends
  8. Immigration policies - historic forces and impacts
  9. Recent immigration trends and Policies
  10. Issues of recent immigrant groups
  11. Explorations of the social and cultural experience of racial and ethnic groups on the United States, for example: Asian heritage, African heritage, Arab heritage, European heritage, Hispanic heritage, Native American heritage
  12. Age related issues
  13. Contemporary issues (for example):
    1. Hate groups and hate crimes
    2. Immigration
    3. Welfare reform
    4. Multiculturalism
    5. Affirmative action
    6. English-only

Department Notes

This course provides a sweeping sociological overview of diversity in the United States. While covering the specific areas of race, ethnicity, gender, age, social class, and sexual orientations, it also deals with topics generally related to diversity. For example, concepts and topics such as the following are typically included: racism, sexism, stratification, stereotyping and ethnocentrism, hate violence, youth violence, and immigration laws and impacts.