Sociology

Sociology Department

“Studying sociology should be a liberating experience. The field enlarges our sympathies and imagination, opens up new perspectives on the sources of our own behavior, and creates an awareness of cultural settings different from our own. Insofar as sociological ideas challenge dogma, teach appreciation of cultural variety and allow us insight into the working of social institutions, the practice of sociology enhances the possibilities of human freedom.”

–Giddens, A., Duneier, M., Applebaum, R., & Carr, D. The Essentials of Sociology

 Sociology Letter art

Welcome to Sociology! the study of human societies. Sociology is a discipline that helps us to understand our social world, while at the same time helping us to question the arrangement of it. Sociology begins with the assumption that no one is an island; we are not simply individuals with complete autonomy and self-determination, but rather social beings. The sociological perspective asks us to explore a central paradox--that we both shape and are shaped by the social world in which we live.

Sociology is a way of understanding the world that requires empirical research and what American Sociologist C. Wright Mills called a “sociological imagination,” the ability to connect our individual lives to the world around us, as well as to the lives of those with which we share this world.  

The practice of sociology is often motivated by a desire to bring about social change and social justice.  Because of this, sociology tends to be very interested in examining social inequality and calling into question practices and process that uphold it or create it.

Sociological Graffiti

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Sociology

Chair: Jennifer Myhre
Office: F-21-J
Phone: 408.864.8560


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Last Updated: 3/15/18