Syllabus for SOC-322



Cultural Diversity in the United States investigates and explains the cultural, racial, and ethnic diversities in the United States through the lens of sociological investigation. Using fundamental tools of sociological inquiry and cultural learning, students engage in a socio-historical discovery of various waves of immigration, amalgamation, and assimilation to the United States. Political and policy initiatives that have affected diversity movements and the development of civil society in the United States are also examined.


  • Sociological inquiry and methods
  • Strange and familiar
  • Sociological perspective
  • Ethnicity and race
  • Structural Functionalism
  • Conflict Theory
  • Symbolic Interactionism
  • Cultural change
  • Culture/Subculture
  • Cultural relativism
  • Assimilation and amalgamation
  • Chain migration
  • Immigration
  • Discrimination, racism, ethnocentrism, and prejudice
  • Majority and minority groups
  • Cohort and peer groups
  • The prestige hierarchy
  • British Isles, Northern, Southern, and Eastern European
  • White classism
  • White privilege
  • White poverty
  • Colonialism and Colonization
  • Native culture
  • Anti-native policies
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Civil rights vs. land rights
  • Land treaties
  • Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean and other groups
  • Asianization
  • Muslim variances
  • Western and Eastern Arabs
  • Indo-American
  • Terrorism, post-9/11 fear mongering, xenophobia
  • American-born black
  • Caribbean America
  • African born immigrants
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Post-civil rights
  • Affirmative Action
  • Racial Profiling
  • Black classism, black elite
  • Mexican, Cuban, Spanish Caribbean, Central American, South American
  • DREAM Act
  • Undocumented immigration
  • Farm Worker’s Act
  • Religious discrimination
  • Jewish
  • Women
  • LGBT
  • Disabled, ADA
  • Elderly, ageism, AARP
  • Feminism, feminization of poverty
  • Hate crimes
  • Globalization, transnationalism
  • Current immigration trends
  • Bilingualism


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. (CO1) Analyze issues surrounding race, ethnicity, ethnocentrism, racism, majority/minority groups, intergroup relations, immigration, prejudice, and discrimination.
  2. (CO2) Examine the American and global implications of race, ethnicity, and diversity and their influence on social groups.
  3. (CO3) Compare the historical and contemporary experiences of various minority groups in the United States.
  4. (CO4) Evaluate the impact of laws and public policies in the United States on dominant group/subordinate group relations and the sociological implications of those policies.
  5. (CO5) Evaluate and create strategies to promote intercultural awareness and respect for diversity.
  6. (CO6) Assess arguments on controversial issues relating to minority groups.
  7. (CO7) Apply the use sociological theories and tools in the examination and interpretation of American society as it relates to diversity, multiculturalism, and culture.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN: 978-0205970407


[NOTE: Many of these videos are available through online streaming, video rental services, and local libraries, meaning that purchasing of the videos may not be necessary. If you have difficulty obtaining any of the videos, contact the course mentor.]


Cultural Diversity in the United States is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are to make one main posting in each of the 10 module discussions incorporating the content of the course along with your view. Make sure to carefully read the questions and answer fully. You are to respond to at least two other posters with an antithesis response or engagement with what they stated that moves the topic further.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.


At the conclusion of each module is an open book online quiz consisting of multiple choice questions. You may take each quiz multiple times if you wish, but just be aware that the grade of your most recent attempt will be the one entered into the gradebook.

Final Project

You are required to complete a final project. See the Final Project section of the course for details.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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