At Colby sociology is a discipline with a special history. It was here that one of the first sociology courses in the country was taught in 1890 by Albion Woodbury Small, who co-authored the first sociology textbook in the United States and was the founding editor of the American Journal of Sociology.
Today, the program in sociology addresses concerns similar to those that motivated Small and others to establish the discipline and that continue to occupy the minds of leaders in the field. The sociology program at Colby provides an in depth look at both contemporary sociological problems and sociological theory.
Formal Learning Outcomes for the Sociology Major:
Studying sociology at Colby provides students with the conceptual frameworks and analytic skills required to understand how social forces shape people's lives. Students acquire expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods and familiarity with standards used to assess data and published research. They learn how sociological theory helps us to analyze institutions, the dynamics of social and cultural change, and persisting inequalities relating to race, class, and gender. Small course enrollments foster direct student-teacher relations, intensive discussions and close supervision of required writing projects. Department courses, events and supervised research opportunities, often part of community-based learning, foster the development of critical and self-reflexive thinking, as well as communication skills that are essential to engaged citizenship in an increasingly diverse and knowledge-intensive world. Sociology majors are prepared for employment and graduate or professional school. In addition to sociology, majors pursue such career paths, among others, as law, medicine, public health, urban planning, business, advertising, social work, and education.
The primary learning objectives are
(1) Students will acquire both a broad and deep exposure to the core concepts, theories, and methods used in sociology (and begun in introductory sociology);
(2) Students will be able to identify and examine sociological relevant problems and issues;
(3) Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills that indicate coherent abilities to understand and analyze social issues, patterns, and dynamics;
(4) Students will be able to show an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of social life;
(5) Students will develop and be able to demonstrate the grasp of a "sociological imagination";
(6) Students will be able to implement and carry out individual research projects, both using historical and secondary documents and original field research;
(7) Students will demonstrate their scholarly development through oral presentations and formal written papers.
Class of 2014 and following years
A. Each of the following five courses:
131 Introductory Sociology
215 Classical Sociological Theory
274 Social Research Methods
493 Senior Seminar
B. One of the following two courses:
212 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis
272 Qualitative Research Methods and Methodology
C. One of the following two courses:
252 Race, Ethnicity, and Society
276 Sociology of Gender
D. And four electives:
--Two of the electives must be taken from within the Colby Department of Sociology, one of which must be a 300 level seminar;
--One elective, 200 or 300 level, may be taken in another Colby social science program with the advanced permission of the Sociology advisor;
--One elective may be taken in a study abroad program. (For those who do not study abroad, then three electives must be taken from within the Colby Department of Sociology.)
You need to meet with your advisor early in the fall term to review your curricular plan. The sociology faculty will be carefully reviewing and monitoring your progression through the requirements and options for fulfilling the electives.
(For those of you who have completed SO218, Contemporary Sociological Theory, you may now count that as an elective course. Likewise, if you have already completed SO252 Race, Ethnicity and Society and SO276, Sociology of Gender, you may count one of these two as an elective.)