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Overview

The Sociology Program at Chicago State University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and minors in Sociology, Social Work, and Gerontology. Sociology is housed in the Department of Geography, Sociology, Economics and Anthropology. Sociology maintains a strong alliance with the Department of Social Work, which offers a master's degree in social work (MSW). However, sociology offers all the undergraduate courses in social work. This listing is specific to the undergraduate programs in the department. The sociologist C. Wright Mills described the sociological perspective as the "sociological imagination." The sociological imagination encompasses the social-scientific study of society, social groups, and human interaction. Sociologists explore the structures of society; its groups, institutions, and organizations. The discipline is also concerned with the way people act in different settings. The sociologist studies aspects of social life from the micro-level to the macro-level. Therefore, sociologists are equally interested in the way families communicate to the way the social class effects all of us. At its core, sociologists study human interaction, social inequality, social institutions, and social change. However, beyond these core areas, there are many sub-areas in the field. A sampling of specialties within the field clarifies how diverse the subject matter can be. Sociologists study:

Race Gender Social class
Family Violence Aging
Occupations Sexuality Communities
Social Problems Cities/Urban Life Law/Policy
Mental Health Social Change Education
Culture Development Health Care
Drugs/Alcohol Crime Religion
Demography Bureaucracies Sports

This brief and incomplete listing of the specialties within the field helps point out that there is something for virtually every interest in the field. Like all the liberal arts, an education in sociology prepares individuals for a variety of careers and occupations after graduation. The bachelor's degree in sociology is focused on educating the whole person; we aim to graduate students who are well-read, able to think critically and creatively, write and communicate effectively, and appreciate and analyze the world around them. Sociologists will also learn specific marketable skills and concepts such as research techniques, data analysis, understanding of social change, appreciation of social diversity, and theoretical applications. Specifically, the program has practical implications for the fields of social work, community organizing, law, human resource management, marketing and market research, urban planning, industrial relations, policy research, and any field in which individuals must deal with people and critically assess social influences and phenomena. The department also offers undergraduate courses in social work. The array of courses prepares individuals for careers in the social services, in both the public and private sectors. Our program prepares graduates to work with disadvantaged and vulnerable populations by developing and applying skills and strategies to effectively confront systemic problems faced by these groups. Leadership and team-building skills, cultural awareness and personal growth are integral components of social work education.