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"You majored in what?! What do you do with that major? So, what is sociology anyway?" Rarely has a sociology major escaped these questions and the squirming that accompanies them. Part of the purpose of this final course is to reinforce your ability to confidently answer these questions for yourself and others. It is a powerful major that applies to many areas. As sociology alum Sarah Pesola said, "No matter what your job, you are working in your field." Sociology provides a launch for many careers and paths.


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You have now spent three or four years immersed within the discipline of sociology, taking some courses--like Research Methods and Sociological Theory--that are required and considered to be "core" to the discipline and other courses--like Family Systems, Sociology of Organizations, Criminology, or Social Psychology--in which you are exposed to much of the breadth and depth of the discipline. As a result, you've learned about: the vast array of topics that can be studied sociologically, many of the methods used when engaging in such study, many of the different theories that can be applied to all of these topics, and even some of the history of the discipline. But what, really, is sociology as a discipline all about?



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In this course, we will engage in a synthesis of the discipline (think "levels of critical thinking") by taking a step outside of the discipline and examining it as a whole. In other words, through seminar discussions and readings about the nature of sociology and its underlying philosophies, we will engage in the "sociology of sociology."




Topics Included:
  • The Sociologically Examined Life
  • Résumés and Cover Letters
  • The Job Interview
  • Applying to Graduate School
  • A Critique of the Sociological Canon and a Response
  • A Feminist Critique of Sociology
  • The Women Founders of Sociology
  • Harriet Martineau
  • Jane Addams & the Chicago Women's School of Sociology
  • The Foundations of Black Feminist Sociology
  • Patricia Hill Collins & Contemporary Black Feminist Sociology
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Beatrice Potter Webb
  • The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. DuBois and the Birth of Modern Sociology
  • Ibn Khaldun
  • Boaventura de Sousa Santos and Fernando Henrique Cardoso
  • Science and the Classics within Sociology
  • Is Sociology More than a Science?
  • Science and Activism within Sociology
  • Ensuring the Relevance of Sociology
  • The Future of Sociology
  • Annual Torstenson Lecture
  • Guest appearances from each faculty member of the Sociology Department