Many people who major in sociology have never heard of it before attending college. These students learn that sociology offers an innovative undergraduate major for people interested in the social and collective dimensions of politics, religion, medicine, race and systemic white racism, gender, sexuality, social interaction, language, selves, and much more. Sociology also offers concentrators an opportunity to deepen their understanding of international concerns, and is designed so that students who wish to go abroad in the spring of the junior year can do so. Our students benefit from a smaller major, experiencing greater individual attention from faculty than they reasonably can expect in the larger concentrations.
Sociology, broadly defined, is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people, in turn, are shaped and shape by these contexts. The scope of the discipline is as broad and diverse as social life itself. Sociologists study social interaction and relationships, organizations and institutions, communities and whole societies. The methods of sociological investigation vary: sociologists immerse themselves in the daily life of groups, interview group participants, examine recorded interaction, interpret historical documents, analyze census data, and conduct large surveys. The methods and concepts of sociology yield powerful insights into the social processes shaping lives, problems and possibilities in contemporary society. Understanding how society works and how people relate within it is increasingly critical to the effective functioning of the world. Through the sociological perspective, we are able to step back from the familiar routines of our lives in order to see them in a new light– how we are always participating in something larger than ourselves.
Students are attracted to sociology for all kinds of reasons. A curiosity about how society works or a concern about social issues draws students to the major. Taking one of the department’s introductory-level courses on a topic such as mass media, gender, systemic white racism, or social movements often leads a student to pursue further study in sociology.
The sociology major prepares individuals for a broad range of career options and graduate and professional studies. Employment opportunities available to the graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in sociology include work in community service organizations and health agencies, government service, human resources, and many other fields. The major also provides a foundation for students planning careers in law, social welfare, urban planning, business, education, and public health as well as for graduate work in sociology, social psychology, and related fields. Wherever they go and whatever they do, sociology majors share common strengths: the ability to organize and interpret data and the ability to analyze human behavior and social structures – processes fundamental to success in virtually every life pursuit.
Hartford, CT 06106