The Sociology curriculum at Bates explores social structures and how they intersect with individual lives. Courses introduce students to the sociological perspective and examine a wide range of social phenomena, from patterns of everyday interaction to social and political revolutions. Sociology as a discipline focuses on recognizing and analyzing the social influences that shape our lives. This offers potential not only for understanding society but also for social action and social change.
The courses offered in sociology include a variety of 100- and 200-level courses introducing sociology and many of the specific topics and issues addressed by sociologists. Most 200-level courses are open to first-year students and have no prerequisites. The core courses for the major and minor also begin at the 200 level. These core courses focus on developing the skills and tools necessary for a more advanced application of a sociological perspective, preparing students for junior-senior research seminars at the 300 level.
The methods and substantive areas of sociology provide an excellent background for a wide range of careers in fields such as government, public policy, law, social research, community work, social activism, health, human services, social work, counseling, education, business, personnel, advertising, and market research, as well as a strong foundation for graduate study in sociology and a variety of applied or related areas including law, criminal justice, social work, business, public policy and public administration, urban and community planning, health care administration, public health, education, survey research administration, and journalism. A printable handbook, Sociology Handbook for Majors, describes the major in greater detail along with additional career information.