FAU
Department of Sociology
Letter from the Chair
 

The faculty of the FAU Department of Sociology are committed to sociology as a critical scholarly endeavor in the service of humanity.  The faculty are diverse in their research and teaching, reflecting a discipline that contains multiple theoretical perspectives, a broad range of substantive fields, and a tradition of ongoing debate about the best way to ask and answer questions about the social world.   Our research interests range across the field:   welfare policy and rural poverty; global social movements; environmental struggles; food systems; outbreaks of political violence; the social determinants of prejudices; the social construction of self and identity -- and more.        

As part of our commitment to introducing as many students as possible to the power of “the sociological imagination,” the department offers several courses in the university’s core curriculum.    In addition to an introductory survey of the discipline (“Sociological Perspectives,” SYG 1000), we offer a more specialized course that applies the sociological perspective to major social problems (SYG 2010).  Diversity, inequality and social change are the emphases in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality (SYD 2790) and Global Society (SYP 2450).  

 On both the Davie and Boca Raton campuses, the sociology major cultivates an integrated perspective on society that stresses the connection between the social, economic, political, and personal aspects of life as well as between the local and the global.   Through courses as diverse as “Labor and Globalization” and “Self and Society,” the major offers students a solid foundation in a broad range of fields within this rapidly-changing discipline.   The major also builds essential critical thinking skills.  As the American Sociological Association advises students, “The 21st century labor market is fast-changing, increasingly global, and technology-drive.  The jobs that you may apply for as a graduate may not even exist yet.   To navigate the 21st century means being able to keep up with the changing world.   As society evolves, you as a sociology major will have the tools to critically analyze the world and your place in it” ( Sociology:  A 21st Century Major , American Sociological Association).      Additionally and significantly, an education in sociology prepares students to be thoughtful, active and effective participants in shaping the course of the social world:  the study of social forces is the starting point for social change, whether local or global.  It is one of the most solid and useful of the liberal arts majors, whether the student plans on continuing to graduate or professional school or going directly into the workforce.

In addition to its undergraduate curriculum, the department offers a challenging MA that provides students with a range of options for their plans of study.  In seminars on topics such as religion, immigration, gender, and globalization, students are invited to become participants in and contributors to contemporary debates and developments in the discipline.   Many of them (currently, fifteen) hold graduate teaching assistantships that provide them with tuition and a stipend in exchange for their work with the faculty who teach our undergraduate courses; our GTA’s also have the opportunity to study theories and methods of teaching and, in their second year, teach a course of their own.    Our graduate program is a thriving intellectual community that invites new membership every term.

 Talk to any of our faculty to learn more about our programs.  Our website has lots of information about our graduate and undergraduate curricula, and you can also contact us at 561-297-3270 or email us at sociology@fau.edu.

 Lynn Appleton, Chair and Professor

It is the political task of the social scientist …continually to translate personal troubles into public issues, and public issues into the terms of their human meaning for a variety of individuals. It is his (sic) task to display in his work — and, as an educator, in his life as well — this kind of sociological imagination.  And it is his purpose to cultivate such habits of mind among the men and women who are publicly exposed to him. To secure these ends is to secure reason and individuality, and to make these the predominant values of a democratic society.”  C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (1959).

 Last Modified 4/1/14