The sociology curriculum is intended to provide an understanding of the interactions and workings of societies, their institutions, organizations and groups. Through an introduction to the basic concepts, theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches of the discipline, students are familiarized with the sociological imagination, encouraging a deeper understanding of the relationships between personal experience (one’s own and others’) and the social world. Courses not only acquaint students with diverse cultures and social structures but also emphasize the dynamics of power and inequality on local, national and global levels, as they operate through race, ethnicity, class, ability, gender, and sexuality. Our curriculum emphasizes the concepts and practice of social justice and public sociology.
Built into courses and the curriculum are opportunities for students to develop a sense of social responsibility by critically engaging the social world outside the classroom. The department emphasizes the active engagement of students in sociological inquiry. Toward that end, our courses encourage students to make their own discoveries about human social experiences, and all majors are required to synthesize and apply what they have learned in the completion of an upper-level research–based, topical seminar or faculty-mentored independent research project.
In the tradition of a liberal arts education, the sociology curriculum is designed to promote a sense of curiosity about the diverse ways humans create, transform and adapt to their surroundings, self-reflection and appreciation of perspectives and experiences outside their own, and public intellectualism through attentive, creative, articulate engagement with community affairs and social issues.