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SOC 311 Community Organizing and Social Action

This course examines the theories, current trends and practical dimensions of how people organize to effect change. Topics include the nature of community organizing, cultural and historical models, issue identification, leadership development, approaches to social power, campaign planning and implementation, and the relationship of community organizing to other forms of social action. The class is participatory and includes intense interpersonal and reflective exercises designed to increase students organizing skills. Students will supplement classroom learning with a case study of a Metro area community organization.


Special information

Overlap: POL 311 Community Organizing and Social Action.

Learning outcomes


  • Critically analyze the relationship between community organizing and other approaches to public participation at an upper division college level.
  • Evaluate both the practical and deeper value dimensions of various approaches to community organizing approaches at an upper division college level.
  • Understand the basic concepts of community organizing as a tradition and contemporary practice.
  • Write clearly, effectively and analytically at a level consistent with upper division college standards.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Spring 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
01 Community Organizing and Social Action Gladue, Matthew C Books for SOC-311-01 Spring 2024 Course details for SOC-311-01 Spring 2024