Thinking about Sociology
Most adults have a number of different careers during their life. No wonder choosing a major is difficult! It can feel like reducing your options and limiting your possibilities. If this is a concern of yours, sociology may be just the major for you.
Sociology is not just a body of knowledge; it is a perspective and a set of tools that can provide you with great understanding and the ability to excel in whatever specific area you choose to direct your attentions.
Its focus is the groups and social arrangements people create. From pairs of lovers and families to cliques, gangs, corporations, communities, and nations, most of what humans do together has become the focus of sociological study. Whether groups/social organizations/aggregates are large or small, formed unconsciously or intentionally, there are certain patterns they share and a powerful array of tools for understanding them.
When you study these processes and groups from a sociological perspective you learn how they are formed, what holds them together or tears them apart, and how they function or are transformed. The understanding you gain often extends far beyond the specific cases. When you study sociology here at CSUEB you may choose from two options, sociology or social services. Both include basic courses in theory and research methods. The sociology option requires you to choose from three of five courses that focus directly on social diversity. Then you may take any upper division sociology courses to complete the additional 28 units in your major. The social services option is somewhat more structured and focuses on courses designed to prepare you for beginning practice in a social service agency. If you choose the social services option you will have an opportunity to actually work in this field as an intern for two quarters. Both options have electives to allow you to study special topics such as Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Marriage and Sex, Death and Dying, Gender, Medical Sociology, Popular Culture, etc.
Whichever option you choose, you will find the knowledge, perspective, and understanding gained through studying sociology is directly applicable to a number of specific careers. There are careers that involve leadership in various kinds of groups. Public service, human resources, social work, business and research are among the most common occupational paths of sociology majors. Among the many research opportunities are market research, policy research, and political survey research. Many businesses, governmental agencies, and private service organizations welcome sociology graduates because of their ability to think well about group processes. They find that sociology graduates are particularly likely to function effectively as leaders in social settings because they are attentive to the human as well as the technical aspects of the functioning of the organization. Employers especially like the ability sociology graduates acquire to analyze complex processes and to solve organizational problems.
We are proud of the excellent preparation sociology provides, not only for careers, but also for civic leadership and participation in family and community life. It provides you with a solid foundation to move in a variety of directions over the course of a lifetime.
Whatever specific interests you develop at any point in life, your sociological perspective will enable you to have a better understanding of all forms of social interaction.
If you are interested in a major or minor in sociology, or if you would like to discuss the possibility, please come by the department office. We will be happy to explore how your interests might fit with our major or minor programs.
Patricia Jennings, Ph.D