major is a department within the College
of Arts & Letters.
Concentrations: Environment, Technologies and Innovations, Political and Global Analysis, Community Action and Evaluation, Markets and Cultures, Social Inequalities & Public Policy
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSSOCI.shtml
Sociology is offered as a major and minor at JMU. The Sociology program is designed for any students who want to develop those abilities which enable them to better understand society, social institutions, human interactions, and social forces which influence human conduct. Students learn the importance of: the social component of all dimensions of human experience; the impact social science has on social policy decisions; and diversity in social orientations and practices within and across societies. Instruction focuses on schools of thought and methodological skills within the sociological tradition by enhancing students: understanding of the major strands of sociological thought; skills in the application of sociological methods; and ability to place the development and practice of sociology within a social and historical context. The program offers a broad general background for careers in government, business, non-profit, education, and social services, and provides a solid basis for advanced graduate training.
me more about this field of study.
Sociology is the scientific study of social life, social
organization, and the social causes and consequences
of human behavior. It studies groups of all sizes, from
individual families to entire societies. Sociology's
subject matter ranges from the intimate family to the
hostile mob, from crime to religion, from the divisions
of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a
common culture, from the sociology of work to the sociology
of sport. In fact, few fields have such broad scope
and relevance. An understanding of self, others, and
history requires knowledge of the social environment.
There are two aspects of the sociological perspective:
looking beyond the individual to the structure and dynamics
of human groups rather than the nature of the individuals
within these groups, and looking at the individual and
society as they are interrelated. Sociology studies
people, or more precisely, their interactions within
a social setting. The discipline's ultimate aim is to
develop a refined body of knowledge that can explain,
and in some cases predict, social phenomena. Because
sociology seems to offer something for everyone, it
may seem surprising that its career potential is just
beginning to be tapped.
me more about specializations in this field.
Sociology has specializations that touch on virtually every aspect of life, both at the level of day to day experience and that of long term social change. For example, that aspect of sociology which focuses primarily on the interaction between individuals and the behavior of small groups is usually referred to as microsociology or sometimes "social psychology". On the other hand, other aspects of sociology involve studying the characteristics of the entire global political-economy. This can sometimes be called “macrosociology”. Whether at the micro or macro level sociologists are interested in the dynamics of such things as political and economic institutions; legal systems; crime and punishment; social inequalities rooted in social differences such as sex, race/ethnicity and class; the place of things like technology, science, medicine, and environment in relation to society. If it is relevant to the human condition you will find Sociologists that study it, and distinct professional organizations that serve those research interests.
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
Some common combinations are Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, Environmental Studies, Family Studies, Human Science, Gerontology, Humanitarian Affairs, International Affairs, Justice Studies, Latin American Studies, Modern Foreign Languages, Nonprofit Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Science Technology and Society, Women's Studies, or Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Students enrolled in the Sociology program develop strong research, writing, analytical and oral communication skills. They develop abilities to problem solve and do independent research. They are able to see problems from multiple perspectives that take into account both the system level considerations of social and cultural contexts, as well as the day to day experiences of themselves and others.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated
careers that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.