How is social life possible? What do patterns of social life tell us about the world? What is the relationship of the individual to the social order? Learn how to better understand the sometimes confusing nature of human social life. In the Sociology Department you’ll learn to better understand the sometimes confusing nature of human social life. 


In the words of sociologist C. Wright Mills, sociology requires that we exercise our “sociological imagination.” That is, we must understand how the issues in the lives of individuals are also the issues of the larger society. We can’t understand the individual without understanding society and we can’t understand society without understanding the individual. This implies that sociology is deeply personal. We seek to understand society, but in doing so we learn much about ourselves.

Sociology addresses the most pressing social issues in contemporary society: racial and ethnic tensions, gender inequality, poverty, health and illness, social movements, crime and deviance, educational inequality, immigration and problems in urban environments, just to name a few. Sociologists study everything from the social dynamics of two people in conversation to the social dynamics of political revolutions.

Sociology provides students with a theoretical framework with which to help make sense of an increasingly complex world and the place of the individual within that world. Sociology also provides students with specific methodological tools to investigate the social world and to collect and analyze data about the world we live in.

The sociology major develops research skills, analytical skills and communication skills that are well-suited to students interested in careers in teaching, public and mental health, law, counseling, social work, the criminal justice system, public policy, marketing, journalism and the non-profit sector.