Why is there so much poverty in the United States? What makes for a stable family? Can you really be an “individual?” Why are U.S. prisons overcrowded? How do people experience aging in America? Why do women continue to earn less income than men for the same kinds of work?
Many of the questions that tantalize us are questions about people in groups. Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.
Sociologist C. Wright Mills spoke of sociology as “the vivid awareness of the relationship between our private experience and the wider society.” This “awareness,” which is the result of sociological thinking and research, provides a unique perspective on the world—a perspective that emphasizes the connections between personal experience and the broader social system.
A sociology major prepares you to understand—as well as engage—the rapidly changing and increasingly diverse social world we live in. In doing so, it provides an important foundation to any career that involves working with people or in social settings.