What is Sociology?
Sociology is the science of human relationships. It offers a distinctive way of exploring and understanding how we are influenced by those around us. Instead of viewing our social world in isolation, we investigate the inter-relationships between social order and opportunities for change in our own personal lives, the groups of which we are part, our communities, and the world.
Because the social world is varied and complex, so too are the issues sociologists seek to understand. At the level of social relationships, sociologists study the cause and consequences of issues such as racial, ethnic, and gender identity; marriage and family dynamics; and the realities of social stratification and inequalities. At the level of community, sociologists study the nature of economic and political systems, criminal justice systems, educational systems, beliefs and religion, and social change and movements. At the global level, sociologists study war and global terrorism, cultural diversity, migration and population growth, and the processes of modernization and globalization.
Sociology students will learn to think critically and be able to employ a wide variety of research methods ranging from quantitative survey techniques and experiments to in-depth interviewing and focus groups. They will learn how to develop research projects, collect and analyze data, and communicate their findings and conclusions effectively, highly valued skills in a wide variety of professions and graduate programs.
The mission of the Sociology Program at ECSU is to provide undergraduate instruction in sociology and prepare students to pursue graduate study in the field or other related areas such as business, education, law, counseling, and the media. Students in sociology received an undergraduate degree which is in the best tradition of liberal education, and which instills in them not only a scientific bent of mind but also a "sociological imagination" that is historical, comparative, critical, and global in nature.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Students will be able to interpret the core of sociology reasoning: how sociological perspective is different from other social science perspectives; analyzing personal experience using the sociological imagination.
- Students will be able to compare and contrast the core institutions of society such as family, economy, politics, education, and religion.
- Students will be able to analyze social change processes such as urbanization, industrialization, the rise of the information economy, and globalization and determine how these shape contemporary social life and policy making.
- Students will be able to compare the nature of different social groups such as different races, ethnicities, religious groups, and classes, and distinguish between the social issues of domination, subordination, and exploitation.
- Students will be able to explain and use research methods to build sociological knowledge, social research, data analysis, and ethical practices in sociological research.
Robert Freeland, PhD
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Sociology
329 Gilchrist Education and Psychology Complex
Campus Box 851
Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909