What's Sociology

Sociology, as a discipline, attempts to understand how society is made possible, how it functions, and what sustains it. To appreciate how society operates, one must study social institutions such as the family, education, work, religion, and the state. Sociology provides for critical inquiry into these institutions and illuminates the importance of the dimension of power within them. To study Sociology, then, is to develop a critique of the foundations of society which are often taken for granted by people in everyday life. Students are encouraged to examine the social conditions of human pursuits through instruction in a number of substantive areas such as population and urban studies, marriage and the family, health and illness, work and organization, cultures and ideologies, migration and transnationalism, and modernization and social change. Such inquiries are supported by an intensive study of the theoretical foundations of the discipline, and by a thorough training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods.