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Catalog 2003-2004
Sociology (BA)
School of Social Science and Human Services

Requirements of the Major
Requirements of the Minor
Convener: Henry Frundt
Advisors: Yolanda Prieto
Henri Lustiger-Thaler
Trent Schroyer

(disclaimer below)

About the Major

Sociology is unique among the social sciences because it examines the whole of human societies. It focuses on institutional and sociocultural changes rather than on simply economic, political, or technical transformations. For example, Sociology provides an understanding of "modernization" and "globalization" by analyzing their impact on culture, human subjectivity, power relations, and collective resistance. Sociology prepares students to scientifically study and personally engage human groups and communities.

Recognizing the international character of contemporary existence, the Sociology program at Ramapo College considers all communities as part of a network of response to global demands and challenges. As such, students develop a world perspective by examining what global communities share in common and the diversity of survival strategies they employ.

A degree in Sociology provides the graduate with analytical capacities and practical skills in research methodology and working with people, and facilitates entry into a range of graduate programs and professions. Students who do not pursue graduate studies are employed as researchers in industry and government, human services, criminal justice, applied research, community and regional planning, and environmental protection. Also, students may select Sociology as one of the accepted majors for the Teacher Education certification.

The Sociology major is organized around five basic components: theory, methods, community, world transformation, and culture and communication. Theory and methods are basic areas which require the same courses for all majors. Students willl choose one of the three remaining components (community, world transformation, and culture and communication) as their field of concentration. They should declare these as soon as possible in their college careers for proper advisement.

Theory introduces classical and contemporary theory, develops fundamental concepts, and promotes disciplinary discourse.

Method courses develop understanding of research design, quantitative and qualitative data-gathering techniques, and use of computer-aided programs to analyze social phenomena with consideration to attendant value and ethical issues.

Community courses examine the impact of technological complexity on individual and communal identity and minority integration. Fieldwork assignments help integrate classroom learning with outside, hands-on work with a variety of groups. Students develop skills conducting mediation and conflict resolution. Some become school and nursing volunteers and participate in community policing.

World Transformation critically analyzes the "culture of progress". Courses introduce students to the hidden human and social costs of global development patterns through the investigation of different paths of socioeconomic development, cultural change, and environmental sustainability.

Culture and Communication focuses on the effects of social and technological change on human subjectivity, individual and group identity. Special attention is given to the cultural practices of groups, with an emphasis on multicultural identities through some of the recent advances in the field of Cultural Studies. Courses explore the impact the "communication explosion" has had on culture.

Students in the Sociology program may participate in the Service Learning Program at Ramapo College. Through the Governor William T. Cahill Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services, students are placed in groups and organizations whose work is relevant to their interests and conducive to their professional growth and development.

A degree in Sociology provides the graduate with analytical capabilities and practical skills in research methodology and working with people, and facilitates entry into a range of graduate programs and professions (such as: human services, criminal justice, community/regional planners, and research in industry and government).

Students majoring in Sociology are urged to pursue a minor in Gerontology, Anthropology, or Women’s Studies. The Sociology major is offered by the School of Social Science and Human Services and leads to a B.A. degree.

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