The sociology department is based on a Liberal Arts curriculum to study and understand ourselves and others. Key to this is the sociological statement posed by Peter Berger that "Things are not what they seem." This understanding includes what C. Wright Mills coined as the "sociological imagination," a research tool that comprises a sense of our place in time, our social class, our various social roles and expectations, and our life influences as well as our cultural values, norms, family, religion, and so on. Sociology attempts to make sense out of the everyday through theory. It is involved with the everyday, thus it is necessary to continuously tie together the theoretical and the practical, as well as the empirical with the experiences of each individual's life.
In a Christian and Catholic education, we add a special emphasis upon "placing ourselves in the shoes of the other" and then ask ourselves: "How would Christ respond?"; "What are our Christian social responsibilities?"; "What is each of us required to do to change various social structures?" and "What does the Catholic Church teach regarding these issues?"
Sociology graduates are often sought after for their analytical and empirical skills. We may not have all the answers, but we know how to frame the questions! The main fields that our grads go into are Human Services, Government, Research, and Education. About 20-25% go on to graduate school within 5 years of graduating. Those who go into Human Services become social workers, gerontologists, hospital or nursing home administrators, lawyers, Non-profit Administrators. Those who go into Government Service work for the Department of Justice or Corrections, Policy Analysis, labor relations, or City/Urban/Regional Planning. Those who work in Research and Education usually work in population or economic analysis or teach, do academic research, become school counselors or work in administration
The mission of this department is to provide students with the requisite analytic tools for delving beneath the surface of everyday reality and perceiving the deeper meanings, recurring patterns, and concomitant structures that constitute the social world. As a department within a liberal arts college, we endeavor to integrate students’ study of sociology with Carroll’s broader and publicly articulated goals. Finally, as a department within a distinctly Catholic liberal arts college, we are committed to honoring students’ search for “Ultimate Truth” and highlighting the ethical ramifications of what students learn in the classroom about society.
The overall and ongoing goal of this department is to pursue our tripartite mission of honing the “sociological imagination” among our students, demonstrating to them the variegated connections between sociology and other academic skills and disciplines, and conscientiously underscoring the ethical considerations that inevitably accompany their studies in the social world.
1. The ability to place ourselves in the place of others.
2. The ability to step back and look at the context of human behavior.
3. Ability to analyze the manner in which social problems are often based in the social structure as opposed to individual actions.
4. As a Christian and Catholic school, place the “lens” of the sociological imagination within a Christian context.