In the Sociology Department you’ll learn to better understand the sometimes confusing nature of human social life. How is social life possible? What do patterns of social life tell us about the world? What is the relationship of the individual to the social order?
In the words of sociologist C. Wright Mills, sociology requires that we exercise our “sociological imagination.” That is, we must understand how the issues in the lives of individuals are also the issues of the larger society. We can’t understand the individual without understanding society and we can’t understand society without understanding the individual. This implies that sociology is deeply personal. We seek to understand society, but in doing so we learn much about ourselves.
Sociology addresses the most pressing social issues in contemporary society: racial and ethnic tensions, gender inequality, poverty, health and illness, social movements, crime and deviance, educational inequality, immigration, globalization and problems in urban environments, just to name a few. Sociologists study everything from the social dynamics of two people in conversation to the social dynamics of political revolutions.
Sociology provides students with a theoretical framework with which to help make sense of an increasingly complex world and the place of the individual within that world. Sociology also provides students with specific methodological tools to investigate the social world and to collect and analyze data about the world we live in.
The sociology major develops research skills, analytical skills and communication skills that are well-suited to students interested in careers in teaching, public and mental health, law, counseling, social work, the criminal justice system, public policy, marketing, journalism and the non-profit sector.
Robert Bulman, PhD, Professor, Chair
Zeynep Atalay, PhD, Associate Professor
John Ely, PhD, Associate Professor
Phylis Martinelli, PhD, Professor Emerita
When students have completed the sociology program they will be able to:
- UNDERSTAND sociological theory and methods and be able to apply theoretical explanations to empirical examples.
- RESEARCH and analyze a sociological topic using the appropriate library resources.
- WRITE research papers with a clear thesis statement, sufficient support for that thesis, and in accordance with the standards of the American Sociological Association.
- EXERCISE their sociological imagination in order to reflect upon questions of personal and social responsibility in a complex and changing society.
- APPLY sociological knowledge as they engage with the community beyond the academy.
- EMPLOY critical reading, thinking, and writing skills as they research, analyze, and report on a social issue in a way that incorporates what they have learned on a topic of their own choosing.
A minimum acceptable grade of C- is required for coursework to count toward a minor or the major.
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor
CoursesSociology - Lower DivisionSociology - Upper Division
All upper-division courses have a prerequisite of SOC 002 , or SOC 004 or the consent of the instructor.