About the Sociology Program
Sociology is the study of social life, social change and human behavior. It seeks to understand all aspects of human social behavior, including the behavior of individuals as well as the social dynamics of small groups, large organizations, communities, institutions, and entire societies. Students of sociology study a broad array of topics including social networks, gender roles and relationships, family structure and behavior, interpersonal relationships and processes, urban development, historical societies and economies, rural social trends, social movements, gang violence, current immigration issues, race and ethnic relations, and crime and incarceration. Sociology looks for what is universal as well as what varies across societies and groups and courses explore social change and provide a lens into the complexity of the causes and consequences of human behavior. The results of sociological investigations help develop new theories and inform social policy, programs, and laws.
Sociology intersects with many other disciplines. Economics and politics, for example, are common concerns of sociologists; but the difference is that Sociology tends to approach these issues as part of a complex system rather than independent features of society. It is concerned foremost with interrogating how social institutions and social structures shape individuals' and groups' experiences, identities, social locations and life chances. Sociology’s breadth is particularly valuable in our increasingly global, inter-dependent world.
Students who major in Sociology learn to deal creatively with new and challenging problems and are typically motivated both by the desire to better understand the fundamental principles of social life as well as by the conviction that an understanding of these principles may aid in the formulation of more enlightened, effective, equity-minded social policy.
Sociology thus provides a strong intellectual foundation for students to enter a wide range of occupational areas, including: social research, policy analysis, government agencies, social and human services, market research, public relations, journalism, teaching, law, and criminal justice and non-profit organizations.
Program Level Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will:
Exhibit strong academic behaviors, evidenced by their timeliness, regular attendance, participation in class activities, adherence to the College Honor Code, and awareness of their opportunities and obligations as students.
Demonstrate through oral and/or written work knowledge of society and human social interaction, including cultural development, the process of socialization, social structure, social stratification, particularly in the areas of social class, race and ethnicity, and gender, and social change.
Demonstrate the ability to evaluate evidence and make compelling arguments that identify the social forces impacting a given social problem and advance reasonable conclusions concerning the explanatory value of dominant sociological paradigms for a given social issue.
Special departmental programs