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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 401
Course Title: The City
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Emphasis on the history, structure, and function of cities; current trends and issues facing U.S. communities; impact of demographic changes on communities; roles of corporations; governments; voluntary organizations; and individuals in shaping communities. The impact of urban design on communities; new urbanism; pocket neighborhoods; and international communities are also emphasized. Prerequisite: Junior Standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Even Fall

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

City Lights
By E. Barbara Phillips (Oxford)
Category/Comments - Core Text
The City Reader
By Richard T. LeGates and Frederic Stout (Routledge)
Category/Comments - Core Text
The New Urban Sociology
By Mark Gottdiener and Ray Hutchison (Westview Press)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Cities, Change, and Conflict
By Nancy Kleniewski and Alexander R. Thomas (Cengage)
Category/Comments - Core Text
The Urban World
By John J. Palen (Paradigm)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Suburban Nation
By Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck (North Point Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
How to Study Public Life
By Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre (Island Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Walkable Cities: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time
By Jeff Speck (North Point)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism.
By Benjamin Ross (Oxford)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the city as a social system and the impact of community structures on individuals, groups, and organizations.
  2. Describe various groups and organizations which exist in and influence the community structure. 
  3. Evaluate how urban design shapes interaction in the community.
  4. Critically interrogate the role and problems faced by minority populations in urban communities.
  5. Describe the development of new urbanism.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • The history of cities
  • Definitions of community
  • Approaches to the study of community
  • The community as a social system
  • Spatial patterns in cities, urban design
  • Patterns of segregation in cities: class, race and family type
  • The role of minorities in the economic structure
  • Poverty in communities
  • Community power and social stratification and impact on the individual
  • Power, technology, and community change
  • New urbanism

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: November 1, 2016
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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