Diversity in the United States

Course Number: SOC 213
Transcript Title: Diversity in the United States
Created: September 1, 2013
Updated: June 10, 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


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

Course Description

Explores social status differences within the context of social structure and culture. Explains 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, and age. 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

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

  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. Identify and evaluate various social statuses and how those, together with various social contexts, impact the processes that shape the social structure 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

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. 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

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.

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. 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