Sociology

As social scientists, sociologists apply scientific reasoning and methodologies to understanding the array of formidable problems facing our country and our world.

  • Black Lives Matter Teach-In

  • Dr. Marchioni in Alaska studying how climate, economy and culture effect traditional practices.

  • Dr. Alberti leads students on archaeological fieldwork in New Mexico

The Sociology Department is home to three majors and four minors. It is also home to a vibrant community of committed faculty and engaged students. The relationships between students and faculty – through teaching, researching and service – are what makes it all come together. You will find four years with us a rewarding and enriching experience.

Sociology Program Learning Objectives:

  1. Recognize the impact of social patterns, human diversity, cultural difference, and globalization on social life. [Comprehension]
  2. Use sociological principles, theories, and concepts in the interpretation of social phenomena. [Application]
  3. Design and conduct an empirical sociological research project using quantitative and qualitative methods. [Synthesis]
  4. Assess the extent, consequences, causes, and potential solutions of social problems and inequalities. [Evaluation]

 

Criminology Program Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain criminal behavior, criminal justice systems, constructions of deviance and conformity, and mechanisms of social control. [Comprehension] 
  2. Apply criminological schools of thought to interpretations of the social world. [Application] 
  3. Design and conduct an empirical criminological research project using quantitative and/or qualitative methods. [Synthesis] 
  4. Assess causes and consequences of inequality as they relate to crime, criminal behavior, and the criminal justice system. [Evaluation] 

Global Studies Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to understand what globalization means and explain its various dimensions. They will discuss the origins and causes of global processes and of the formation of transnational social identities.

Students will explain the relationships among local and global communities at different scales (local, regional, national, and supra-national).

Students will explain and apply different theories of globalization and make connections across disciplines. They will apply social scientific research skills, including data collection, analysis, and presentation.

Students will gain an understanding of a region of the world (usually other than the US) or an issue that involves various regions of the world.

Students will access knowledge of a wide variety of global issues and concerns beyond their particular specialty through participation in regular colloquia and events at the University.

Students will be encouraged to directly encounter other cultures through study abroad.

Students will learn to work independently on a research project initiated during an internship or equivalent experience related to global issues.

 

The degree programs we offer include Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology, and Global Studies. What they all share is a determination to understand societies and cultures, through time and in any place imaginable. Importantly, what motivates many of us in the department is a desire to work out how we can impact the world in a positive way, how we can bring about social change.

You can become a part of this community. So join us – we will be pleased to welcome you!


Department of Sociology

Spotlight on Sociology

Our Programs

Criminology Program Antiracist Statement

As we near the end of a tumultuous 2020 fraught with the overlapping crises of the pandemic, racial justice protests, and an economic recession, the faculty of the Criminology program express our solidarity with the ongoing movements decrying centuries long systemic injustices against Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. We are enormously pained, angry, and saddened by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the many more Black lives that have been taken throughout history. Equally, we are inspired by the passion, activism and protest that has emerged around the world of which many of you have and continue to participate in as students of criminology.

 

Our proximity to the criminal-legal system presents a unique opportunity for us to remain committed to antiracist work and advancing equality and justice. As you know, our program is sociologically-oriented and grounded in a strong liberal arts curriculum. While we undoubtedly attract students interested in criminal-legal careers, our intention is to introduce students to a broader array of career opportunities beyond that provided by training in criminal justice. 

 

Our program understands  “crime” and criminalization as social constructs, and examines the underlying social inequalities that shape the responses to and experiences of crime. Furthermore, our program highlights how structures of power: such as racism and white supremacy, have influenced social control and punishment through present-day. As students, we encourage you to implement creative thought about the role of social action in transforming criminal-legal policy and responding to harm. We want our students and the larger community to know that we stand with you in support and will continue to center antiracist efforts as we work toward a more just world.