Sociology is the study of social life, social change and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact in patterned ways within these contexts. As a social science, Sociology combines scientific and humanistic perspectives in the study of family patterns and relationships, social change, inter-group relations, social class, environment, communications, health care and illness, social movements, and other contemporary issues. At Lenoir-Rhyne, these issues are studied in the light of social justice, morality, and a call to vocation in the Lutheran tradition. We are called to address issues of social inequality, social justice, and social problems in the world. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious cults; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture; and from the Sociology of work to the Sociology of sports. In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.
Sociology provides courses consistent with the liberal arts mission of the University. The Sociology major provides for curricular flexibility to allow students entrance into specific areas of policy studies, graduate study, the criminal justice system, law, social work, and other social services.
Qualified Sociology students interested in continuing their education through graduate study can easily matriculate into several of Lenoir-Rhyne’s graduate programs, such as Human Services or Counseling. Through LR’s innovative Bridges to Dreams and Alumni Advantage programs, students who complete their undergraduate degrees at Lenoir-Rhyne University are able to complete their graduate degrees in shorter time and at significantly less expense.
LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
Outside the classroom, sociology majors are involved in volunteer activities for service in the community here at LRU. Furthermore, the faculty seeks to make the undergraduate experience meaningful by exposing students to local sociological conferences and relevant events. In addition, there is a cohort of Sociology students who engage together on campus for the purpose of analyzing and evaluating current events through a sociological lens.
Because of a vast array of opportunities, LR Sociology students have successfully transitioned to law school, to masters programs in Social Work and on to Ph.D. programs in Sociology. The faculty is devoted to assisting in the transition from undergraduate to work force or on to graduate studies by helping the student to explore possibilities and programs of interest. Sociology’s integration of humanistic and scientific approaches furnishes an ideal preparation for the professions of the 21st century, furnishing a blending of attention to communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and global focus with the applied tools to meet the specific needs of many professions and address social issues. The major’s focus on cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender diversity provides students a rich understanding of today’s world and the challenges we face. Sociology majors develop understanding of diversity, of change, and of the complex interactions that occur in contemporary society
Building upon the sociology major career opportunities may be found in a wide array of professions: government and non-profit agencies; human services; law and law enforcement; planning; social entrepreneurship and community activism; health services; journalism; and counseling, among many others.
The Sociology major earns a Bachelor of Arts degree; interested students also have the option to minor in Sociology.