Sociology Learning Outcomes
Sociology students acquire knowledge and skills to develop sociological research projects, assess empirical data, and apply the sociological perspectives to their own lives, their social environment, and various social issues.
The Sociology (S) major's specific instructional goals and objectives are the following:
S1. Understand groups. Students will obtain a sociological understanding of diverse social groups, organizations, and institutions. This includes the ability to critically analyze the characteristics of social groups, the social forces shaping them, and the impact of group and inter-group interactions on the micro and macro levels. Specifically, students will be able to:
- Understand conceptually the core sociological principles, debates, and major theoretical perspectives including, but not limited to social conflict, symbolic interactionism, and the functional, post-modern, and feminist perspectives.
- Explain how the above sociological perspectives relate to their own life experiences, as well as contemporary political, economic, and cultural issues.
S2. Research. Students will have the knowledge and skills to apply sociological perspectives to their own lives and to the social environment of which they are a part. Specifically, students will be able to:
- Think critically by differentiating fact from opinion and by referring to data.
- Analyze sociological problems from various points of view.
- Understand the basic facts and concepts related to research design in sociology.
- Independently design and conduct a sociological research project, including generating their own research questions.
- Accurately analyze and interpret data generated through their own studies or those of others, in order to come to an appropriate conclusion.
- Respect and appreciate the need for data, not only for public policy decisions, but also for life decisions that are impacted by various institutions in society.
S3. Diversity. Students will gain an understanding of the "sociological imagination," where they are able to see how their biography relates to the time in history in which they live, as well as to the social structure in which they find themselves. Specifically, students will be able to:
- Analyze a problem or situation from a sociological and cross-cultural perspective.
- Understand the significance and interaction of race, class, sexuality, and gender in social life.
- Understand and appreciate cultural diversity and relativity within and among societies.
S4. Social institutions. Students will understand the effects of domestic and global forces on social institutions, on their own lives, and on the lives of other individuals and groups. Specifically, students will be able to:
- Critically analyze (see S2a) the social world - everything from the news of the day to how changes in the global economy can affect other major social institutions, including the government, the military, the family, and education.
- Analyze how these sociological events impact their own lives, their families, and communities, and how the ways that they live their lives also impacts the larger society.