Culture & Society

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Learn how social context shapes your life and the lives of others.

Our students connect intellectually and personally with sociology coursework. They think critically about their classroom experiences, consider the larger social world, and identify the moral and ethical implications of sociological knowledge. In sum, they cultivate sociological imaginations—the ability to make connections between personal experiences, social structures, culture, and history.

Sociology examines the complexity of social life. We invite you to join us in exploration of topics that range from enduring forms of inequality to interactions between individuals. How is the world socially organized? What is society’s impact on individuals? Do culture and power shape the way we define social issues? How do societies differ around the world? Why are there inequalities based on race, class, gender, sexuality and age? Come explore the formation of personal identities as well as of collective movements for social change.

At Drake, sociology students thoughtfully engage with critical social issues. The program combines social theory and research design coursework with elective classes chosen by the student based on personal interests. Community-engaged learning provides hands-on experience with local, national, and global contexts. The major prepares students for graduate school and professional work in nonprofit sectors, government service, social services, law, human resources, higher education, and other fields.

Sociology Program Learning Goals

  1. Theory: students will learn to recognize, critically engage with, and productively use key sociological concepts and perspectives.
  2. Research design: students will learn how to ask critical questions about the social world and discover evidence to answer them.
  3. Interdisciplinary knowledge building: students will learn to create constructive dialogues between sociological knowledge and other approaches to social and cultural analysis.
  4. Critical and reflexive understanding: students will learn to locate and examine their experiences and beliefs – as well as larger public concerns – in the context of prevailing cultural discourses, social institutions, and power arrangements.
  5. Praxis: students will learn to consider ethical, cultural, and political dimensions of civic participation and social change.

 Current Catalog requirements for the Sociology major and the Sociology minor
Prior Catalog Requirements

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