Sociologists study all social relationships among people - everything from how two individuals make sense of a conversation to how cultures spread across the globe. Learning sociology opens our eyes to how our social setting influences us and how we can influence our social setting. The sociological imagination enables us to transform individuals' personal troubles into social issues by spotting and interpreting trends.
At Lasell, the focus is on applied sociology, which means that there is an emphasis on thinking critically about social problems, oppression and social injustices, and on developing skills that can be applied to bring about positive social change. Students investigate the relationship between individuals and society with a particular focus on inequalities related to race or ethnicity, social class, gender, disability, sexuality and other socially constructed identities. Because sociology courses explore various social institutions, such as family, education, social movements, and the economy, a sociology major is good preparation for careers in many different fields. Skills emphasized in the major prepare students for careers in social services, politics and policy development, education, community organizing, social research, advocacy, public relations, and nonprofit administration and program development. The undergraduate sociology major also prepares the capable student for graduate programs in social work, management, public health, law and criminal justice and, of course, sociology. Through Lasell's Connected Learning philosophy, sociology majors have opportunities to apply concepts learned in the classroom to service learning and social justice advocacy.
Sociology majors build their professional resume with at least five accomplishments in the field. They all take at least two hands-on courses involving group projects for a public interest cause. In addition, with support from professors, they create two small independent research, advocacy or public education projects, connected to courses of their choosing. During these experiences, they have contact with legislators, journalists and professionals in the nonprofit and public sectors.
Finally, as the culminating capstone experience in their senior year, students engage in a two-semester, intensive internship placement, accompanied by seminars. They practice professional skills in a mission-driven nonprofit, legislative office or human services agency.
Through their field projects, internship and course work, students develop and practice professional skills and master the writing styles needed for careers in the nonprofit sector, in public affairs, human services, media or marketing, or for graduate school.