Why I Am a Sociology Major

What prompted our majors to choose Sociology? Which topics does it explore and what does it enable? Here are a few answers:

“As an aspiring emergency room physician, I’d envisioned my college experience as robotically going through the motions of STEM courses. My first year at Bates opened my eyes to a field I’d never heard of–medical sociology. I realized the valuable tools majoring in sociology would grant me in my future profession: awareness of how social positions determine our experiences of healthcare, providing care with respect to a spectrum of identities, and how to be an advocate for justice in the US healthcare system. On a personal level, this major has expanded my consciousness of inequalities, challenging me to self reflect on how I can most effectively make the world a more inclusive place.” 

Mallory Johnson (’26); Hometown: San Diego, California

“I chose to study sociology because I found that the discipline allows me to learn about the world, specifically America, in a very nuanced way. As a second-generation immigrant, I found it was extremely engaging to dissect American policies, structures/systems, economy, communities, history, migration patterns, and more. Sociology has allowed me to hear, read, and learn from stories – and in return communicate these findings and hypothesize solutions. I credit the area of sociology for my confident interpersonal and critical thinking skills.”

Sydney Phan (’24); Hometown: Zion, Illinois

“Studying sociology has reaffirmed my interest in public service while the knowledge I have gained through this major will likely support my career. For example, the expertise of department faculty has helped me understand why existing social structures sustain and worsen inequalities among different groups and individuals. Coursework has also encouraged me to think critically about the nature of our society and to identify solutions to problems within it that can improve lives.”

Jack Lawrence (’24); Hometown: Rockport, Maine

“I became a sociology major to sate my own curiosity about society. Growing up, I was the child who always questions rules and norms surrounding gender, culture, race, and ethnicity. So, when I found out there was such a thing as a ‘sociologist’ – whose job it is to examine these constructs  – I knew sociology was the right major for me.”

Nana Baffoe (’22); Hometown: Accra, Ghana

“I am a sociology major because I am naturally curious about the social world and concerned about the inequities within it. Sociology helps to not only provide answers to these questions but also gives me a lens to help understand how such inequities have come to be and to learn about the various strategies which can address them.”

Ronan Goulden (’22); Hometown: Lagunitas, California

“I chose to major in sociology because there are so many different areas to explore within the subject field. I’ve taken courses about social inclusion, contemporary social problems, global institutions, the rise of populism, and next semester I’m incredibly excited to be taking a class about global health. Studying these various phenomena through a sociological lenses has really developed my critical thinking and analytical skills. In addition, I chose sociology because of the amazing professors in the department — I cherish the relationships I’ve built with them and everything I’ve learned by being their student.”

Courtney Gray (’22); Hometown: Belmont, Massachusetts