Sociology Overview

Sociology provides insight into how people function in social relationships, as couples, families, communities, organizations, political institutions, social movements, and nations.

It examines social structures based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, economic status, and global location and helps develop understandings of various social processes in the changing world.

In addition to the major requirements, Hartwick’s sociology students may concentrate in areas of departmental focus and expertise: social work/community advocacy, social and political rights and movements, health and medicine, and others.

The department offers a broad range of courses within these areas of study to complete the major, including:

  • Introduction to Social Work
  • Introduction to Counseling Skills
  • Social Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Children’s Lives
  • Women and Social Change
  • Human Rights
  • Social Movements
  • Globalization
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Domestic Violence
  • Multiculturalism
  • Health and Medicine
  • Health Care Policy
  • Deviance and Social Control
  • Sociology of the Environment

At Hartwick, the direction of each student’s program depends on his or her own interests and career goals. Students majoring in sociology design a program of study in consultation with an advisor in the department. A required core of courses introduces the main fields and theories of the discipline and different methods of sociological research and explores social inequality and interpersonal dynamics.

Hartwick’s sociology professors use a broad range of challenging teaching and learning methods. Coursework often entails the use of video production, small group workshops, computer-assisted teaching, field trips, and community-based service-learning opportunities, designed to demonstrate and connect the theory and practice of sociology.

Hartwick’s sociology major offers students immediate opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom to fieldwork and internships – in the U.S. and internationally. Many courses provide community-based learning opportunities that connect students directly to local, national, and international organizations and allow them to explore and gain experience in contexts they may wish to pursue as careers. Sociology students also gain personal insight and understanding of their own social and political conscience, giving them the confidence to become truly productive citizens.

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