Sociology aims to uncover the theoretical principles that illuminate social life. In pursuing this goal, sociology exhibits a diversity of perspectives. This pluralism is one source of the discipline's vitality. Some scholars reach out to the sciences for their model of social inquiry; others look to more humanistic and historical endeavors for their inspiration and identity. But in all its different forms, the discipline as a whole strives to develop rigorous methods, both qualitative and quantitative, for analyzing social life.
Above all else, sociology is devoted to the exploration of everyday social life in all its variety. Sociology majors examine the processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but also as members of associations, groups, and institutions: cooperation and conflict; power and exchange; domination and dependency; deviance and social control. Students also study the forms of social organization that result from, and reproduce, such processes: social networks, small groups, families, gender divisions, religion, popular culture, social class, structures of race and ethnicity, bureaucracy, social movements, and the state.
The Sociology program helps to prepare students to become thoughtful and engaged citizens in a complex and interdependent world. Some of the their private lives and experiences to their present society as well as to the multi-varied customs of what is becoming a global society. More specifically, the mission of the program is to foster logical and analytical reasoning; the development of a socio-historical consciousness; an understanding of values and needs and their relationship to a variety of life situations; and the understanding of social scientific inquiry.
The integrating principle underlying the curriculum is the linkage between theory, methods, and specific areas of sociological inquiry. This process involves developing the capacities for conceptualizing problems, locating them within a general sociological paradigm, and pursuing answers based upon the application of rigorous methodological procedures.
Specific Objectives of the B.A. Program
- To help students acquire the sociological perspective with its three central aspects: the link between private troubles and public issues (i.e., the individual experience and larger social processes); the preeminence of social structures and their influence; and the value of empirical analysis.
- To contribute to students' liberal education characterized by: literacy; numeracy, skills in abstract logical thinking, historical consciousness, understanding science and scientific inquiry, values and their relationship to a variety of life situations,and international and multicultural experience.
- To help students develop knowledge and analytical skills necessary for successful careers in community agencies, government, private employment, and not-for-profit organizations.
- To provide a foundation for graduate and professional education.