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IMAGE: Sociology Garden

For more information Contact:

Dr. Tim Gallagher
Undergraduate Coordinator for Sociology

Sociology Undergraduate Programs

Sociology As A Discipline

Sociology is the scientific study of social life, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from presentation of self to religious cults, from the divisions of race, gender, and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; from the place of childhood in the life cycle to societal perspectives on death and dying; and from the sociology of work to the sociology of health care. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and the application of knowledge.

Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, generating new ideas and critiquing the old. The field offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life: mental illness, corporate downsizing, how people express emotions, welfare and educational reform, how families differ and flourish, or problems of family violence and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasing tapped by those who craft policies and create programs. Sociologists understand social inequality, patterns of behavior, forces for social change and resistance, and how social systems work.

Students with BAs in Sociology apply the sociological perspective to a wide variety of jobs in such sectors as business, health services, counseling (family planning, career, substance abuse, family violence), community programs, journalism, group and recreation work, marketing and market research, sales, human resources/personnel work, social/human services, the criminal justice system, public administration, government programs, and social research. Sociology not only provides students with a strong liberal arts background in scientific and humanistic perspectives of social life, but also enables them to develop investigative skills in research design, statistics, and data analysis which will be useful when entering the labor market.

Students can learn about the discipline and career opportunities by visiting the American Sociological Association web site.

VIsit the American Sociological Association
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