Learning Goals

1.       The discipline of sociology and its contributions to understanding social reality

The sociology major should be able to:

  • describe similarities and differences between sociology and the other social sciences.

  • describe how sociology contributes to understanding human experiences.

  • apply sociological principles and concepts and the sociological imagination to social reality. 

2.       Sociological theory

The sociology major should be able to:

  • distinguish between individualistic and systematic arguments and accounts.

  • describe how theory contributes to sociological knowledge.

  • compare and contrast major theoretical orientations.

  • explain how theories reflect and affect the historical and cultural context in which they developed.

  • describe and apply basic theories or theoretical approaches in at least one area of social reality. 

3.       Methodology

The sociology major should be able to:

  • explain how empirical evidence contributes to sociological knowledge.

  • identify basic methodological approaches and describe the general role of methods in building sociological knowledge.

  • compare and contrast the basic methodological approaches for gathering data.

  • use data analysis techniques to answer social questions.

  • design and carry out a research study.

  • critically assess empirical research of others. 

4.       Basic concepts in sociology and their interrelationship

The sociology major should be able to:

  • explain and apply basic concepts such as self, culture, roles, norms, social structure, social institutions, socialization, deviance, and stratification.  

5.       Social structure and social institutions

The sociology major should be able to:

  • describe relationships between culture and social structure.

  • describe the inter-linkage of institutions and their effects on individuals.

  • explain how social change factors affect social structures and individuals.

  • describe how culture and social structure vary across time and place and with what effect. 

6.       Reciprocal relationship between individuals and society

The sociology major should be able to:

  • explain how the self develops sociologically.

  • explain how societal and social structural factors influence individual behavior and development of the self.

  • demonstrate how social interaction and the self influence society and social structure. 

7.       Knowledge of two substantive areas within sociology

The sociology major should be able to:

  • compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations and middle range theories in each area.

  • explain how sociology contributes to understanding in each area.

  • summarize current research in each area.

  • develop specific policy implications of research and theory in each area. 

8.       Social and cultural variations

The sociology major should be able to:

  • describe variations and their significance across social categories.

  • describe social and cultural trends.

  • make appropriate generalizations across groups.