"The fascination of sociology lies in the fact that its perspective makes us see in a new light the very world in which we have lived all our lives."

Peter Berger, Invitation to Sociology

Welcome to Sociology at Union!

Whether you are a student, a prospective student or other visitor, we hope this website will give you a good introduction to Union Sociology. We are a small, but growing, department whose faculty’s interests are wide-ranging.  Please feel free to contact us, if you have questions about us that are not answered here.

What is Sociology?

The American Sociological Association  [ASA] explains our discipline this way:

“Sociology is:

-the study of society;
-a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies;
-the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes;
-the scientific study of social aggregations, the entities through which humans move throughout their lives;
-an overarching unification of all studies of humankind, including history, psychology, and economics”

Our Department’s Approach

While students need a rigorous intellectual path of academic study, sociology cannot be studied solely through books and lectures.  Students must also have research and internship/field experiences that will increase their first-hand awareness of what shapes the lives of people throughout the world.  In our nationally and internationally comparative “hands-on” major, our students develop a wide range of skills and knowledge that enables them to:

  • Critically analyze ideas and theories
  • Put ideas and theories into quantifiable contexts
  • Examine many points of view concurrently
  • Identify social patterns and changes close to home and far away
  • Systematically and courageously search for answers to common problems