Sociology is the study of society. Students who major in sociology have the opportunity to learn in-depth about social structures and processes, and to gain skills in critical thinking, writing, and data analysis. Sociology graduates go into many different fields, as described by a recent study by the American Sociological Association.
The following areas of knowledge are central to the undergraduate degree in sociology:
- Knowledge of the fundamental concepts, theories, and modes of explanation appropriate to the understanding of human societies.
- Knowledge of the structure of modern societies, its social stratification, its ethnic, racial, religious, and gender differentiation, and its main social institutions -- family, polity, economy, and religion.
- Knowledge of the basic social processes that maintain and alter social structure, especially the processes of integration, organization, and conflict.
- Understanding the diversity of human societies, including the differences between major historical types such as foraging, agricultural, industrial, and post-industrial societies.
In addition, students completing the degree in sociology are expected to acquire:
- Research and writing skills sufficient to locate and consult works relevant to a sociological investigation and to write a sociological paper that is coherent, cogent, theoretically developed.
- Methodological skills sufficient to understand the procedures of sociological research and to understand the problems of reliability and validity;
- Statistical and analytical skills sufficient to understand and interpret the results of sociological research.
- Critical thinking skills sufficient to analyze and evaluate sociological writings.