Social Change in Societies

Course Number: SOC 205
Transcript Title: Social Change in Societies
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 7, 2017
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


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Explores how societies have changed and are changing by utilizing sociological perspectives to compare and contrast the impacts of changes on individuals, cultures, and social institutions (such as the family, economy, politics, education, and religion). Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Apply sociological perspectives and use their sociological imagination in their reflections on the causes of social change and the impact of change on people, cultures, and social institutions.
  2. Identify and evaluate the impact that social phenomena (i.e. ideology and technology) and interaction (i.e. diffusion) have had on social change.
  3. Participate within societies as informed members on social change, demonstrating respect for diversity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 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. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


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

The department assumes that instructors will assess student learning through the term by using various formative assessment tools, like worksheets, quizzes, and exams. In addition, the department encourages instructors to integrate the following kinds of tasks into the course to assess student achievement of course outcomes in a more comprehensive and holistic manner:

  1. Short analytical or application papers on specific concepts, themes, and issues.
  2. Term or research papers, using a variety of research strategies.
  3. Oral presentations.
  4. Group research, analysis, and presentation projects.
  5. Class participation in full-class discussions and small groups or teams.
  6. Response papers or journals reflecting on life experiences, events, and social phenomena.
  7. Service-learning tasks, involving service to community, reflection, and application of sociological perspective.
  8. Student-instructor conferences.
  9. Portfolios.
  10. Video projects.
  11. Oral histories and interviews.

Texts and Materials

Approved Texts:

There is no standard text used by all instructors, but the department must approve all required texts.

Course Activities and Design

Recommended activities and design:


Lecture format tailored around a standard resource instrument (i.e. book) in order for standardization of grading. Discussion during lecture is encouraged, as well as videos in order to enhance visualization of course material.


Assignments should be tailored around standardization of grading according to course objectives. Recommended assignments: multiple choice exams, true/false exams, short essay questions, take home long essay questions, mid/end term examinations, group projects, political letters, and/or insight based journals.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  1. Social Institutions, including family, education, religion, economy, politics, and health, and the interactions across and between institutions.
  2. Social theories and perspectives applied to the study of social institutions, including structural-functionalist, conflict, symbolic interaction, and feminist.
  3. Social change theory.
  4. Collective behavior, including rhetoric and propaganda, and social movements.
  5. Global content areas related to social change, including globalization, stratification, population, urbanization, environment, technology, and mass media.
  6. Interactions and relationships between culture and structure and how culture shapes social institutions.
  7. Impact of race/ethnicity, gender, age, social class, and other diversity on experience in social institutions and social change.

Competencies and Skills

  1. Apply sociological approach and perspectives to a variety of social patterns and processes, specifically related to social institutions and social change.
  2. Continue to hone critical thinking skills regarding the reciprocal relationship between individuals and institutions.
  3. Observe and identify social change and consequences.
  4. Write and communicate orally in a clear, organized, and effective manner.
  5. Use varied and effective research resources, techniques, and strategies.
  6. Develop and refine group process skills, which may include listening, brainstorming, communicating, negotiating, or cooperating on shared tasks.
  7. Integrate course work with current events and trends through examination of popular and news media.
  8. Develop ability to listen to and empathize with diverse perspectives and experiences.
  9. Develop and practice active citizenship skills in accordance with principles of democratic and inclusive process, social justice, and ecological sustainability.