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.
- Introduction: The Foundations of Sociology
Sociological research methods
- The historical development of sociology
- Sociology as a science
- Developing a sociological imagination
- Theoretical Perspectives
Culture and social interaction
- Developing sociological questions
- Understanding the theory-data relationship
- Quantitative and qualitative research methods
- Interpreting sociological data
Elements of social structure
Social Stratification and Inequality
- Stages and Processes of Socialization
- Agents of socialization: family, peers, school, media
Sex, gender, and sexualities
Race and ethnicity
Social Institutions (select one or more from the following)
- Class and caste
- Social mobility
- Classes in Canada
- Poverty in Canada
- Global poverty
Modernization and Global Social Change
- Families; education; politics; religion; health and medicine; environment and sustainability; crime and criminal justice
- Theoretical perspectives on institutions
- Social organization of institutions
- Sociological approaches to modernization
- Collective behaviour and social movements
- Global social change
- Global inequality
Methods of Instruction
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.
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:
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.
At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:
- Define the basic concepts of sociology and communicate these effectively.
- Identify several key historical processes and figures in the development of the discipline and discuss their contributions to the field.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply a sociological imagination to the analysis of features of everyday life.
- Be able to identify characteristics of the sociological perspective and to distinguish this from that of other scientific perspectives.
- Identify and compare the dominant sociological theoretical perspectives.
- Demonstrate a clear understanding of the relationship between theory and research in sociology.
- Demonstrate the ability to interpret sociological data presented in the form of simple tables and graphs.
- Identify the primary stages and agents of socialization.
- Describe the characteristics of stratification systems, with particular emphasis on social class.
- Discuss the ways in which social inequality is produced through social factors, especially age, gender, race and ethnicity.
- Identify some of the primary changes in social and economic organization which have taken place historically, with specific emphasis as well on recent years.
- 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.
- Identify some of the key features of contemporary demographic change, and describe how they differ from traditional demographic characteristics.
- Discuss the characteristics of the processes of social change and modernization in Canada and on a global basis.
Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.
Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system.
A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.
For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.
If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.