The Individual in Modern Society

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SSC 101

       Course Name: The Individual in Modern Society

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces the social sciences by examining the individual’s role in Modern Societies, using an interdisciplinary approach.  Content explores perspectives of two or more of the following disciplines: history, economics, sociology, anthropology, psychology and/or political science.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The student will:

  1. define and examine contemporary problems in society and their historical development with the main focus on the United States, comparisons will also be made with the rest of the world.
  2. understand various schools of thought in the social sciences, how they relate to each other, and how practitioners in the different disciplines seek to explain current economic, political, social, and cultural developments.
  3. develop hypotheses about the source(s) of the problems discussed, become acquainted with various theoretical perspectives.
  4. carry out primary research on chosen topics in small groups to determine causality by developing a research protocol and communicating their findings to the instructor and classmates through written and oral presentations.
  5. become aware of how trends, forces, and changes in society affect themselves and others and determine how they can impact change.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Social Science and Its Methods
  2. Disciplines of Social Science
  3. Human Origins and Western Culture
  4. Culture and Cultural Change
  5. Individuals' Interaction with Society
  6. Social Institutions and Social Problems
  7. Stratification
  8. Political Problems
  9. Economic Problems
  10. International Relations

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, use of audiovisuals, role-play, simulation.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material. Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded. This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Callero, Peter L. (2009). The Myth of Individualism: How Social Forces Shape Our Lives. Rowman & Littlefield Publications.

Hofstede, Geert and Michael Minkov (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.

Miller, Robert and Stephen McNamee (2009). The Meritocracy Myth (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publications.

Lardner, James (2007). Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences. New Press Publishers.

Kusserow, Adrie (2004). American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods (Culture, Mind, and Society). St. Martin’s Press.

A variety of journal articles will also be required.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades will be determined by a sample of the following:  exam scores, performance on papers, class participation, and completion of homework and in-class exercises.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.