Sociology as a Discipline

The groups within which we spend our lives—in our families, schools, communities, workplaces, and societies—help to define us in the eyes of others, while defining us to ourselves as well.

Sociologists possess a quality of mind that helps them to use scientific knowledge and logical reasoning in order to develop understandings of what is going on in the world.

Sociology is a discipline that makes it possible to see how individual experiences—how we act, think, feel, and remember—are connected to the wider society.

To understand human experience better, we must understand all that we can about groups and social relationships.

Sociologists examine the shared meanings that humans attach to their interactions with one another, and they study human experience as it unfolds within societies over time. They study social patterns that are stable and also those that are changing.

Our Mission


The sociology program provides students with critical thinking skills and a knowledge of society, groups, and social relationships to prepare them to be better informed individuals and to take advantage of employment opportunities where analytic knowledge of the social world is valued. The Sociology Program’s course of study gives students insight into sociology as a scientific discipline and as a quality of mind, aiding in their intellectual growth, and providing opportunities for civic engagement and for making contributions to community wellbeing. Because sociologists must be able to recognize social trends and patterns, while being skillful writers, speakers, and researchers, members of the sociology faculty are strongly committed to teaching students how to do sociology and how to think sociologically about the world. Sociology majors are given the opportunity and encouragement to develop their own ideas about society and to express them verbally and in writing.

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