of the Major
Requirements of the Minor
|Convener: Yolanda Prieto
Faculty: Erin Augis
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 with human groups and communities. It links our individual biographies with public issues.
Recognizing the international character of contemporary life, the Sociology program at Ramapo College emphasizes community linkages, which it views as networked responses to global demands and challenges. Students examine what global communities share in common and the diversity of the survival strategies that they employ. By engaging in this study, sociology majors develop a broad and refined world perspective.
A degree in Sociology provides our graduates with analytical capacities and practical skills for understanding and working with human groups, and for conducting research using a precise and humanistic scientific methodology. Sociology majors are employed as researchers and human relations personnel in industry and government, human services, and criminal justice. They fill positions in regional and community planning, and environmental protection. The program also prepares students for a range of graduate programs and professions. Students may select Sociology as one of the suitable majors for Teacher Education and Social Studies certification.
The Sociology major is organized around five basic components: theory, methods, community, world transformation, and culture and communication. Theory and methods are basic courses for all majors. Students also take a fundamental course in community and world transformation. In addition, students choose one additional course within each of the three components (community, world transformation, and culture and communication), and complete a final Capstone.
Theory introduces classical and contemporary theory, develops fundamental concepts, and promotes disciplinary discourse.
Method courses develop an understanding of how to research social phenomena, respect values and ethical principles, design and implement appropriate qualitative and quantitative data-gathering techniques, and employ computer-aided programs to analyze results in ways that address specific social questions.
Community courses examine the impact of technological complexity and minority integration n individual and communal identity. Fieldwork assignments help integrate classroom learning with external, hands-on work with a variety of groups. Students develop skills for 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 f 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, expressed through individual and group identity. Through recent advances in the field of Cultural Studies, courses in this category devote special attention to the cultural practices of groups, with an emphasis on multicultural identities. They likewise explore the impact the "communication explosion" has on culture.
Students in the Sociology program routinely 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.
Students majoring in Sociology are urged to pursue a minor, such as African American Studies, Anthropology, Gerontology, Latin American Studies, 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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