Social Processes

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
SOCI 1125
Social Processes
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, seminar presentations, audio-visual materials, small group discussions and workshops, research projects and term papers.

Course Description
Social Processes introduces the student to the general matter and perspectives of sociology. The course investigates the relations of the individual to society, and the processes by which groups and institutions change in response to a dynamic social structure. The areas of stability, change, inequality and power are examined within the context of current social, political and economic conditions. The course attempts to stimulate thought and discussion on contemporary social issues.
Course Content


  1. Introduction: The Foundations of Sociology
    • The historical development of sociology
    • Sociology as a science
    • Theoretical Perspectives
  2. Culture and Social Interaction
    • Cultural diversity
    • Status, roles, values, norms
    • The social construction of reality                                    
    • The presentation of self
  3. Socialization
    • Stages and Processes of Socialization
    • Agents of socialization: family, peers, school, media
  4. Social Stratification and Inequality
    • Caste and class systems: achievement and ascription
    • Theoretical perspectives of social inequality
    • Dimensions of inequality: age, gender, race and ethnicity
    • Inequality and social conflict
    • Social classes in Canada; poverty
    • Historical development of economic systems
    • Comparative economic systems
    • Work in the post industrial society
  5. Sociological Categories: Sex, Race and Ethnicity
    • Gender and socialization
    • Gender and stratification
    • Theoretical perspectives of gender
    • Race and ethnicity in Canada
    • Perspectives of racial and ethnic interaction
  6. Social Institutions (select one or more from the following)
    • The Family, Education, Religion, Health and Medicine
    • Theoretical perspectives of institutions
    • The functions of institutions
    • Social organization of institutions
  7. Demography and Urbanization
    • History and theory of population growth
    • Urbanization
    • Human Ecology
  8. Modernization and Global Social Change
    • Sociological approaches to modernization
    • Collective behaviour and social movements
    • Global social change
    • Global inequality


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Define the basic concepts of sociology and communicate these effectively.
  2. Identify several key historical figures in the development of the discipline and discuss their contributions to the field.
  3. Be able to identify characteristics of the sociological perspective and to distinguish this from that of other scientific perspectives.
  4. Identify and compare the dominant sociological theoretical perspectives.
  5. Identify the primary stages and agents of socialization.
  6. Describe the characteristics of stratification systems, with particular emphasis on social class.
  7. Discuss the ways in which social inequality is produced through social factors, especially age, gender, race and ethnicity.
  8. Identify some of the primary changes in social and economic organization which have taken place historically, with specific emphasis as well on recent years.
  9. Describe the development of social institutions in Canadian society, with particular emphasis on at least one of the following: the family, education, religion, politics, and health and medicine.
  10. Identify some of the key features of contemporary demographic change, and describe how they differ from traditional demographic characteristics.
  11. Discuss the characteristics of the processes of social change and modernization in Canada and on a global basis.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

  • exams composed of multiple choice, true/false, short answer and/or short essay questions
  • essay assignments
  • oral presentations
  • participation in class discussion
  • student presentations
  • group discussions

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Midterm  30%
Essay/Written Assignment  25%
Essay/Outline   5%
Final Exam  30%
Participation  10%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Examples of textbooks that may be used for this course include:

  • Brym, Robert J. and John Lie (2009).  Sociology: The Points of the Compass.  Scarborough, ON: Nelson Education Canada.
  • Ravelli, Bruce and Michelle Weber (2010). Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective.  Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.


Which Prerequisite