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Sociologists study the social causes and consequences of human behavior, ranging from the intimate family to the angry mob, from crime to religion, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, from the why and how of social control to movements against oppressive social control, from the why and how of production to problems of inequitable distribution of resources, from abundance and health to poverty and pollution. Few fields have such broad scope and relevance as sociology.
For the student, sociology provides assistance in values, model and tool development for looking at one’s self and the world, and generates new ideas for problem-analysis and problem-solving. In addition, it offers a range of research techniques which can be applied to many areas, such as crime and criminal justice, personnel management and business, urban and community planning, the provision of health care, problems of poverty and welfare, student development and Christian ministry.
A sociology major provides numerous career opportunities: teaching in high schools, colleges, and universities; researching for business, government, or research institutes; working in health care and social service programs; working in industry as personnel managers and quality control analysts; working in policy implementation and planning for various communities and agencies; working in the criminal justice system as law enforcement personnel and probation or parole officers; working in urban and community planning. In addition, sociology is a popular major for students planning careers in such professions as law, business, education, urban planning, social work, student development, counseling, politics, public administration and the ministry, with graduate or professional training required or advised in most cases.
The sociology faculty provide opportunities for study of cultures and cultural groups both in North America and abroad. They offer exposure to practicing sociologists in various fields; provide field trips, internships, career guidance; and challenge the student to integrate “book learning” with practical involvement in contemporary social problems.
Cultural anthropology studies what it means to be human by investigating the diverse ways human groups have solved universal problems: how to communicate, approach the sacred, form families, and physically survive. This perspective fosters an understanding of other cultural groups’ social structures and the values that motivate them. In addition to traditional research, the techniques and insights of cultural anthropology and cultural studies can be a valuable asset to anyone working directly with people in business, counseling, management, ministry, teaching, development or social service. Our cultural studies minor can be combined with any major and can be completed on-campus or with a semester of studies abroad.
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