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Sociology

Humans are pack animals. Sociology will help you understand the pack.

Sociology is a social science with contemporary practical knowledge. Sociologists study structure and change as society, culture and social forces create the foundation of our lives and our senses of self. Sociology acknowledges the influence of society on who we are, on our subjective realities, what we can do, how we communicate and how we live. Through the major in sociology, you’ll gain a broader understanding of its context and significance.

What Our Program Offers You

What our students learn/Skills you will acquire

Classroom discussions and assessments help you practice the skill of combining a variety of facts, data, beliefs and patterns of behavior into multiple logical views. Stories, beliefs and common sense opinions are deconstructed, and then reconstructed into multiple alternative possibilities, allowing you to recognize cultural diversity or cultural relativism. You’ll practice abstract thinking, but traditional analysis is also included through reading journal articles on various topics. You’ll also develop oral and written interpersonal communications skills, and learn how to clearly and effectively write and present your ideas.

A bachelor’s degree in sociology prepares you for careers that require cultural competency, such as in nonprofits, NGOs, marketing, management, personnel and social policy or as a sociology teacher/professor or law student. It also prepares you as someone who can think, write, speak and see the world beyond the individual.

What kind of issues/problems does this major prepare you to solve?

Understanding “the pack” means understanding the differences in packs, and increasing cultural competency. Sociologists are known for their use of population data to explain and solve issues. You’ll learn how to analyze national and global issues for patterns of behavior, cultural values, beliefs and norms that explain the existence and dynamics of problems. Social problems commonly addressed include racism, sexism, ageism, economic inequality, poverty, environment, food system, euthanasia, domestic violence, animal abuse, abortion, rape, war and patterns of power.

What makes our program unique?

Our program is student-directed, enabling you to focus your study of sociology on a topic, theme or learning style that best fits your goals. You’ll create individual learning contracts that will enable you to use your creativity and specific interests to develop unique projects. Classroom learning takes place as interactive discussions, and the program’s flexibility makes it easy for you to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.

Get Involved

You create your own learning contracts, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to develop individual projects. In the past, students have organized fundraisers for nonprofits; created movies about eugenics, inequality in Winchester and slang; created and implemented personal research; performed cost-benefit analyses on communication technology for local law enforcement; and developed a path analysis, pamphlets, application forms and comparisons with other institutions to create and maintain a citizen advisory board for a hospital.