We live in challenging times. Globalization and communication technologies are bringing us into regular contact with those who are different in terms of culture, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and more. Additionally, we often seem at the mercy of large, impersonal forces that we don't quite understand. Sociology offers a useful perspective on our world, as well as a wide range of research techniques that can be used to inform policy and as a force for social change.
Starting with the premise that all human behavior is social, sociology examines the structures of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. To use the words of American sociologist C. Wright Mills, a sociological imagination allows us to understand how individual lives are shaped by economic and political institutions of the society, and not merely by "the personal situation and character of a scatter of individuals."
The BA Sociology curriculum at URI is rich in the analysis of inequality, in the examination of the structural constraints of life, and in a humanistic appreciation for cultural diversity. Sociology at URI provides the substantive background and analytic and technology skills necessary for success in 21st century careers and for thoughtful and engaged citizenship.
Students in the Bachelor of Arts curriculum are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits in sociology. These credits include several required courses:
In addition to these required courses, students are required to select at least two courses that focus on issues of inequality. These courses include:
The department offers a host of other courses including numerous courses in the following areas:
New Faculty in Sociology:
Dr. Melanie S. Brasher has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University in 2013. Prior to coming to URI, Dr. Brasher was a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College. Her appointment is a joint appointment in Sociology and in Human Development and Family Studies where she will participate in the Gerontology program. For more info click here.
For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award. Assistant Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!
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Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
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