Sociology is the systematic study of human social behavior. Sociologists strive to understand how humans interact with one another to create the lasting cultures, institutions, and organizations that link generations in civilization. In addition, sociologists devote serious attention to the manner in which cultures and social structures influence human interaction.
Centenary’s Sociology Department has an applied service orientation. Students are provided with a solid grounding in the various liberal arts and in the social scientific approach to understanding the world. They are encouraged and guided to use their knowledge and expertise to make the world a better place for all. The department is dedicated, like Émile Durkheim, to “the study of society and its constituents.”
Sociology students acquire facility in the development of social thought, the research techniques used to explain the way the social world works, and applications of sociological knowledge to solve social problems.
The Sociology Department has built many connections with the larger community and can offer students internships in a wide variety of services. Sociology students have interned with the domestic violence services at YWCA, Providence House, the Philadelphia Center, Hope Medical, Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal, law offices, and court remediation programs.
To connect learning in the classroom to people’s lives in the world, many sociology classes have an experiential component in which students participate in the area of the social world they want to study. These experiences range from a “ride-along” with a local police officer to time spent helping in a grassroots social movement.
In all of the courses, but particularly senior seminar, students are encouraged to follow what interests them in crafting their research projects. It is not uncommon for sociology students to graduate with a project in hand that shows off the exact skills potential employers or graduate schools are looking for in the field targeted by the student. Several students have presented their research at national meetings and won prestigious awards.
The sociology faculty has varied research and professional interests and experiences, including sociological theorizing and quantitative methods, crosscultural comparisons, the impact of new technologies on society, ethnographic fieldwork, and the sociology of gender and equality.