General Course Information for SOC500: Cultural Pluralism in the USA

Course: SOC500 - Cultural Pluralism in the USA
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description:

Examines the origins of cultural pluralism in the USA and the valuing of diversity as a socio-cultural imperative. Explores voluntary and involuntary immigration, internal colonization, the implications of demographics, and the history of discrimination in the USA, based on race, ethnicity, religion, and gender.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Discuss historical, sociological, and literary perspectives on multicultural America.
  • Explain the multifaceted nature of cultural pluralism in the United States.
  • Define key terms such as culture, cultural pluralism, ethnic subcultures, ethnicity, race, stereotypes, labeling theory, ethnocentrism, cultural relativity, internal colonization, the colonization of the body, institutional discrimination, assimilation, 'dominant' vs. 'other' groups, and the matrix of power and oppression: the interaction among class, race, and gender.
  • Discuss past and present immigration patterns and policies; talk about demographic change in the United States.
  • Describe the uniqueness and commonality of people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds in the United States.
  • Analyze how issues of race, class, and gender complicate the discussion of cultural pluralism in the United States.
  • Evaluate varying perspectives on some of the issues and world views associated with the spirit of individualism and community, the value of a multicultural society, multicultural education reform, and post-911 borders and civil rights.
  • Discuss a vision of multicultural society in the United States for the 21st century. Appreciate differences in global civil society.
  • Appreciate differences in global civil society.
  • Understand the global ramifications of 'Americanization' and 'McDonaldization' through an increasingly United States based world-wide popular culture.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures