About

East Hall

Sociology will change the way you think. 

The mission of the Department of Sociology is to cultivate “the sociological imagination,” a keen insight into the relationship between individual problems and the societies in which we live. This sociological lens uncovers the way our individual attitudes, opportunities, insecurities, and experiences -- which feel deeply personal and idiosyncratic -- are shaped by large social phenomena (e.g., legal systems, technological advances, social inequalities, human migration). At the same time, sociologists recognize that we are not passive products of our environment; we are its co-creators. By choosing how to dress, what we buy, which political information to trust, if we marry, or whether to get a vaccine, we play a critical role in shaping (and reshaping) political and economic life, public health, and cultural expectations.

We help students develop a vocabulary and methodological toolkit to describe their “hunches” about the social world. We know we are on the right track when our students use this lens to identify and seek a deeper understanding of the relationships among power, culture, identity, and social organization. You may seek to explore about how racism, class inequality, and gender inequality affect where you live, the air you breathe, your educational experiences, your job prospects, and who your friends are. Our department empowers students to convert their curiosities into researchable questions, inspires them to seek their own answers to those questions, become expert consumers of existing research, and equips them with the skills to conduct original research. 

Our students graduate as critical, constructive, and creative thinkers with communication skills and keen sensitivity to the diversity of lived experiences. These abilities, together with their methodological and theoretical skills, prepare them for a variety of careers.  Our graduates have risen to the challenge; they can be found making their marks in fields such as public policy, law, sports, the nonprofit sector, technology, start-ups, medicine and public health, and education. 

Sociology will provide a path for you to recalibrate how you think and see yourself, improve their communities and the broader world, and to imagine different futures together. 

Department Chair

Sarah Sobieraj

Sarah Sobieraj