What is Sociology?
- A discipline within Social Sciences that has as its focus the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.
- The investigation of the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.
- A major encompassing subject matter ranging from family relations to group conflict; from violent crime to religious practices; from inequalities of race, gender and social class to the shared values of a common culture; and from the sociology of education to the sociology of popular culture.
According to the American Sociological Association, “[s]ociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, generating new ideas and critiquing the old. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life: street crime and delinquency, corporate downsizing, how people express emotions, welfare or education reform, how families differ and flourish, or problems of peace and war. Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly 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.”
Why major in Sociology?
The undergraduate degree provides a strong liberal arts preparation for entry level positions throughout the business, social service, and government worlds.
Since its subject matter is diverse, sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration--fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups.
Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.
The Sociology Faculty
GSC’s full-time and part-time faculty members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and use their diverse life experiences as a teaching resource. All full-time faculty members either hold or are close to finishing a doctorate. Several hold multiple graduate degrees. Their research interests are broad and include such areas as global inequality, gender studies, religion, culture, U.S. stratification systems, and family issues. Faculty members are generally accessible and happy to talk with students about topics of sociological interest.