CORE 150/180/190 Human Behavior & Social Institutions

 Master Syllabus:   February 7, 2008




An introduction to the goals, methods, theories, and research findings associated with the various fields comprising the social sciences.  Topics will include the causes and consequences of individual and collective human behavior, the ways in which societies are organized, and the interrelationships of various institutions which comprise human society.   Prerequisites: None.  Credits:  Three.  This course fulfills the Core requirement for an Interdisciplinary Social Science Core course.


II.  PURPOSE:            


Knowledge of the substance, motivation, and consequences of both individual and collective human behavior is essential to the liberally educated person.  No educated person can hope to comprehend the complexity of contemporary society without some understanding of how that society is organized and how its various components relate to one another.  Economic, political, psychological, historical, anthropological and sociological perspectives provide insights into human behavior and relationships in a complex world.  This course is designed to introduce the student to the goals, methods, theories, and research findings associated with the various fields comprising the social sciences.  In the Social Science category of the Core, this course will focus on contemporary social problems in general to achieve the course goals and objectives.

In the American Studies category of the Core, the course will focus on one or more themes which fit into the template of American Studies.  In the Global Perspectives category of the Core, this course will focus on a global issue or set of issues to achieve its goals.  Every version of this Core course will incorporate the essential elements of the social science disciplines of economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, history, and psychology.   


A.  Objectives for the student:


1.  To demonstrate knowledge of observable social behavior and events in the contemporary world, and to recognize the global nature of the world today.

2.  To analyze contemporary events in their various social contexts.

3.  To analyze the interrelationships of contemporary events and issues.

4.  To analyze the impact of intersocietal events.

5.  To introduce the basic terms, concepts and theories in the social sciences, including sociology, psychology, economics, political science, history, and anthropology.



B.  Goals for the student:


1.  To understand the nature of the individual and social behavior in a variety of situations and circumstances.

2.  To understand the effects of ideologies upon the individual and institutional behavior.

3.  To understand the social sciences as expressions of interrelationships between the individual and society.

4.  To understand the interrelatedness of the social sciences.

5.  To understand how social theory and social ideologies and practices relate to moral positions.


C.  General Learning Outcomes for the student:


In addition to the more content-related objectives described above, this course promotes some general liberal learning goals of developing academic skills.  It is expected that successful completion of this course will help you improve your ability:


1.  To analyze and evaluate information and sources of information.

2.  To think critically.

3.  To write.




A. Required Common Texts:


Text selection at the discretion of the instructor.



B. Academic Integrity: 


Be aware of academic honesty policy concerning cheating and plagiarism, and your moral, ethical, and legal obligation only to submit work completed by you yourself.

For more information see, URL: <> and URL: <>.



C. Common Assessments:


Hourly examinations.

Writing assignments.

Research papers and projects.



Final Examination.



Links to individualized syllabi/faculty for the course

Contact Information of CART