Topics in Sociology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SOC 290

       Course Name: Topics in Sociology

       Credits: 1-4 (1-4 lecture; 1-4 lab) Fee varies.

II.    Prerequisite

Prerequisite may vary by topic.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores major issues relating to field of sociology. Topics selected from subspecialties: socialization, social organization, deviance, stratification, race and ethnicity, gender, social institutions, collective behavior, urbanization, and social change. Focus and/or scope differ from other sociology courses currently offered. Can be repeated on different topics up to three times for up to nine credits.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will identify, compare, and contrast major concepts and constructs relating to the specific topics selected for study.

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

One major topic or several minor topics relating to an overall theme will be selected for study.

Examples of possible topics and themes are as follows:

Topic examples

  • Work and Leisure: An examination of social aspects of employment, including the changing definitions of work and leisure in our culture and the problems arising from unemployment, low worker morale, and the integration of women and minorities into the workforce.
  • Population and the Environment: The study of the composition, growth and movement of population and the social impact it has on the environment.
  • The Urban Experience: An examination of urban life, including patterns of development, characteristics of urban institutions, and problems associated with the changing urban landscape.

Theme examples

  • The Sociology of Science and Technology: An examination of the social impact of major scientific and technological changes, including the actual and potential consequences of advances in the physical and natural sciences.
  • The Sociology of Health and Illness: An introduction to the concepts of health and illness in our society; different ways of measuring disease; the impact of social class, race, religion, and ethnicity on the perception and distribution of disease; and the social organization of health care system.
  • The Sociology of the Street: An examination of the sights, sounds, smells and people in the most public of public spaces, the street. How do place and space and the "presentation of self" in public places affect our understanding of race, ethnicity, class, and urban subcultures?

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instructional methods vary with the instructor and may involve any of the following:  lectures, discussions, readings, papers, audio-visual resources, group projects, simulation games, guest speakers, case studies, exercises, group interaction, role-playing.

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.

The typical materials for a social science course (textbooks, library materials, movies, sound/slide programs, media based course materials) will be used.  Materials will be assigned according to the specific topic requirements.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Exams (objective, short answer, essay), analyses of books, research papers, group work, and student presentations are likely strategies to be used in evaluating student learning.

XI.   Other Course Information


Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.

Important dates

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.