Skip to Navigation
    Grinnell College
   
 
  Oct 18, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

Sociology, B.A.


Return to Departments, Majors, Concentrations Return to: Departments, Majors, Concentrations

Department Home Page

Search Current Schedule of Courses

Sociology

   Member of the Division of Social Studies

Chair(s):

Susan Ferguson

Faculty:

David Cook-Martín - on leave 2017-2018
Karla Erickson
Ross Haenfler
Christopher Hunter - Senior Faculty Status
Patrick Inglis
Casey Oberlin
Sharon Quinsaat
Kesho Scott

Sociology, the scientific study of human behavior in social groups, seeks to understand how people interact, how they organize themselves in social groups, and how this organization changes.  Sociologists think that human life and human interactions are distinctively patterned, and that these patterns are observable, predictable, and reflect status differences in society. Sociologists also have a nuanced understanding of social structure, and they study the social relationships between individuals, groups, social institutions, and nations. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation in the key tenets of the discipline (social theory and research methods) while exposing students to a wide range of sociological issues, problems, arguments, and approaches.  Courses in sociology focus on the basic forms of social organization and social processes, including several sociological sub-fields such as social inequality, medical sociology, the sociology of deviance, political sociology, and the intersections between race, social class, and gender.  These courses contribute to a critical appreciation of how the social world operates—an essential understanding for any liberally educated person in a complex and rapidly changing world. Students of sociology will find that related work in psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history enhances their sociological insights. Majors are required to study statistics and are encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary courses, internships, community service learning, mentored advanced projects, and off-campus programs. The study of foreign languages also is highly recommended.

Sociological training is useful for any career, since all careers require working with people in groups or organizations. Courses in the major emphasize those skills important to students' work in graduate school or in careers:  critical thinking, the ability to read and write analytically, to problem-solve, and to communicate orally. The discipline is particularly suited for careers in law, urban and social planning, medicine, non-profit organizations, journalism, social work, teaching, and governmental service.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits


Core Requirements: 12 credits


300-level courses: 8 credits


  • Eight credits are to be taken at the 300 level or above.

Sociology Electives: 12 credits


  • 12 elective credits to be taken in Sociology.
  • With permission, up to eight of the minimum 32 credits may be taken in related studies outside the department.

Additional Mathematics Requirements: 4 credits


Honors


To be considered for honors in sociology, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College's general requirements for honors, must (1) complete both the recommended and required course work for the major, (2) have conducted original research which seeks to examine a sociological problem or question, have presented the work publicly, and must be judged worthy of honors by departmental consensus, and (3) exemplify sociological inquiry and professionalism in fulfilling commitments voluntarily undertaken within the department, the campus, and/or the discipline.

Return to Departments, Majors, Concentrations Return to: Departments, Majors, Concentrations