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 provides a general introduction to the subject matter of sociology and to the various theoretical and methodological approaches sociologists adopt in studying it. In particular, it aims to develop students’ ability to employ a sociological imagination – that is,
to look at features of everyday life in the way that a sociologist does. 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
  • Developing a sociological imagination
  • Theoretical Perspectives
  • Sociological research methods
    • Developing sociological questions
    • Understanding the theory-data relationship
    • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
    • Interpreting sociological data
  • Culture and social interaction
  • Socialization
    • Stages and Processes of Socialization
    • Agents of socialization: family, peers, school, media
  • Elements of social structure
  • Social Stratification and Inequality
    • Class and caste
    • Social mobility
    • Classes in Canada
    • Poverty in Canada
    • Global poverty
  • Sex, gender, and sexualities
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social Institutions (select one or more from the following)
    • Families; education; politics; religion; health and medicine; environment and sustainability; crime and criminal justice
    • Theoretical perspectives on institutions
    • Social organization of institutions
  • 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 processes and figures in the development of the discipline and discuss their contributions to the field.
    3. Demonstrate the ability to apply a sociological imagination to the analysis of features of everyday life.
    4. Be able to identify characteristics of the sociological perspective and to distinguish this from that of other scientific perspectives.
    5. Identify and compare the dominant sociological theoretical perspectives.
    6. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the relationship between theory and research in sociology.
    7. Demonstrate the ability to interpret sociological data presented in the form of simple tables and graphs.
    8. Identify the primary stages and agents of socialization.
    9. Describe the characteristics of stratification systems, with particular emphasis on social class.
    10. Discuss the ways in which social inequality is produced through social factors, especially age, gender, race and ethnicity.
    11. Identify some of the primary changes in social and economic organization which have taken place historically, with specific emphasis as well on recent years.
    12. Describe the development of social institutions in Canadian society, with particular emphasis on at least one of the following: the family, education, crime and criminal justice, religion, politics, environment and sustainability, and/or health and medicine.
    13. Identify some of the key features of contemporary demographic change, and describe how they differ from traditional demographic characteristics.
    14. 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:



    Essay/Written Assignment




    Final Exam






    Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

    Textbook Materials

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

    • Witt, J. and Hermiston, A. (2016). SOC: A Matter of Perspective. Toronto: McGraw-Hill.
    • Carl, J and Belanger, M (2014). THINK Sociology. Toronto: Pearson Education.
    • Steckley, J. and Letts, G. K. (2013). Elements of Sociology: A Critical Canadian Introduction. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
    • Macionis, J. (2012). Society: The Basics. Toronto: Pearson Education.
    • Balfour, J. (2012). Understanding Societies: Readings for Introductory Sociology. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.


    Which Prerequisite