Have you ever talked about "role models" or "self-fulfilling prophecies?" Have you ever said to someone "it's not what you know, it's who you know?" Have you ever talked about "glass ceilings?" If you've used any of these ideas, you've used sociology. These are all concepts that originated in empirical sociological research and have since seeped into popular consciousness.
Sociology is one of the great fields of inquiry of the modern era. The idea of social relations or social forces, the idea that much of life is causally shaped by specific relations between large groups of people, belongs alongside the theory of gravity, evolution, the unconscious, and other seminal ideas that have transformed human life and consciousness in the last few centuries.
The Sociology Department of UVM carries on this field of inquiry. Keeping up a tradition that goes back to the nineteenth century at UVM, UVM's Sociology faculty apply the sociological lens to everything from social class to sexuality, from crime to the mass media, from aging to leisure. We teach students how to think sociologically and to apply that thought to real-world situations. If you are actively concerned about the world you live in and want to do something constructive and useful in it, sociology provides our best means for understanding how social life works.
Is Sociology for You?
If you are actively concerned about the world you live in and want to do something constructive and useful in it — whether in law, business, education, medicine, urban or rural planning, etc.— sociology provides our best means for understanding how "the system" works. Learn more
Student Research Seminar
Students, working closely with a faculty member, design and carry out their own research projects. Recent work includes a focus interview study of Vietnamese refugee adaptation patterns; survey analysis of alcohol use on campus; an investigation of domestic abuse patterns, using records of a local battered women's shelter; a participant observation study of the subculture of snowboarders. More about student opportunities
Goals of the Major
Students who complete the major will view the world through a sociological lens and construct a sociological argument and communicate it effectively in written form.