Department of Sociology

Bachelor of Arts

Jim Rothenberg, Associate Professor and Chair

Students pursuing a degree in sociology in the School of Humanities and Sciences explore the complex dynamics that exist between individuals and the social forces that shape them.

How do societies change? What makes social order possible? What are the sources of conflict in society? How is power exercised and how is ideology used to control people? How do people organize to create change? How do racial and ethnic prejudices develop and become entrenched in society? How do we define human sexuality and sexual norms? How has the family unit evolved?

These are the kinds of questions students grapple with in courses in the sociology major at Ithaca College. In the process, they come to a deeper understanding of their own values and societal roles and begin to see how they can effect changes in individual behaviors and in society at large.

Faculty in the sociology department work closely with students to help them develop skills in writing and analysis, computers, and research methods. Students develop their own interests through internships in real-world settings and through close collaboration with faculty in independent-study projects.

The Departments of Psychology and Sociology also are partners in offering an interdisciplinary minor in counseling (see Counseling Minor in the Interdisciplinary Studies section). To complete the minor, students take courses in both psychology and sociology; the minor also has a required internship component to provide practical experience.

See SOCI courses

Individualized Study Opportunities
Field research experiences are provided in many departmental courses and can be pursued as independent study or internship projects. Field placements are available in a variety of local settings, including the Ithaca Youth Bureau, Southside Community Center, Tompkins County Social Services, Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca, lawyers' offices, Offender Aid and Restoration, and local juvenile lockup institutions.

Independent-study experience is arranged between the professor and the student. Some more recent examples of this option include projects on ecojustice in Ithaca, ethnic conflict in the Virgin Islands, community control and development, women and alcohol, economic opportunity centers, intimacy and children, student life, solar-age construction and alternative communities, and organizational analysis of local banks and insurance companies.

Internships are designed to provide students with a supervised and structured experience. Often these can be arranged by students and specfific agencies in communities around the country. The sociology department believes that internships provide an opportunity to obtain work experience and to analyze the social and political context of the specific agency. An example is an internship with the Ithaca drug treatment court.


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