Sociology fits comfortably into the mission of a liberal arts education because it looks at how human values, such as freedom, tolerance, equity, and community are shaped by class, gender and ethnic differences as well as more abstract social forces such as modernization and globalization. Studies of the impact of technology on the human need to find expression and fulfillment at work would be an example. Studies of the impact of class and gender on the pursuit of equity, in the workplace, at home and government, would be another. A second reason to major in sociology is that it will help prepare you for a career in one of the professions, such as teaching, medicine, law, and business. Sociology courses not only teach you about these occupations but also provide the analytical and writing skills necessary to succeed in them. Finally, sociology provides comprehensive preparation for advanced graduate work in all the behavioral sciences, in anticipation of a career in college teaching or basic research.

The watchword for many careers today is flexibility - the ability to re-direct a set of basic analytical skills to any task at hand. With a major in sociology you will be able to:

  • Examine social data to see what lies ahead for future generations
  • Conduct experiments to observe how patterns, such as authority and leadership, emerge in social groups
  • Evaluate public policies, such as new sentencing laws
  • Analyze hiring, firing and promotion practices in organizations
  • Assess the impact of technological innovations on social life, such as the introduction of the personal computer
  • Interpret social change, such as business privatization or religious secularization, in different countries
  • Conduct social surveys and interpret their results
  • Project birth, marriage, fertility, and death rates
  • Anticipate how people will change over their life, how their attitudes and relationships change as they age
  • Analyze consumer behavior and anticipate market trend



rbach

Rebecca L. Bach
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of the Practice
Office: 272 Soc/Psych Building
Phone : 919-660-5606
Email: rbach@soc.duke.edu
Fax: 919-660-5623

tosha400a

Tosha Marshall
Assistant to the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Office: 276 Soc/Psych Building 
Phone : 919-660-5614
Email: alfreda.marshall@duke.edu
Fax: 919-660-5623

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