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Sociology Department


Sociology is a multifaceted discipline. At Hunter College we seek to build a department in which most of the facets of the sociological enterprise are represented. We have theoretical/philosophical sociologists, field researchers and quantitative researchers, criminologists, critical theorists, specialists in media studies and consumer behavior, micro-sociologists, students of global and international studies, urban studies, and specialist in computer–based research programs. Demography and immigration are also represented strongly in our departmental program. Gender studies and the sociology of work too are essential parts of our curriculum as well as race and ethnicity and social inequality. In addition, we have a small program that caters to students going into careers in social work.

Precisely because sociology is a broad-gauged discipline that encompasses theory, methods of observation and research, and a range of specialized topics, sociology is eminently suited to carrying out the goals of Hunter College overall. These goals fall into four general categories: 1) acquisition of conceptual and analytical skills; 2) development of intellectual and personal growth; 3) broadening of students’ outlook through understanding their and the world’s cultures and values; and 4) generating new knowledge to help address local and international needs and issues.

We take seriously the rich diversity of Hunter’s student body by offering courses that emphasize both local and global perspectives. New York City is a “laboratory” in both undergraduate and master’s level courses from “Intro” classes to urban sociology, quantitative methods and statistics, race/ethnicity, immigration, consumer behavior, criminology and gender. We also offer courses on international development and globalization. Our strength in the fields of race/ethnicity and immigration, as well as in a range of other established subfields, allows us to incorporate sociological perspectives with an appreciation of Hunter students’ wonderfully diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Last but not least, our Graduate Program in Social Research prepares students for careers in applied sociology, and makes it possible for students to secure jobs in the non-profit, governmental and corporate world that may have traditionally been closed to them. Our BA/MS Program also gives students who already attend Hunter an opportunity to remain engaged with their studies while becoming integrated into a community of sociologists. The GSR is nationally recognized as a model for integrating the applied with the theoretical in training students for the professional world. Both in our graduate and undergraduate programs, we encourage faculty to develop new electives on a regular basis which keeps our curriculum up-to-date and engaging for students.

What is Sociology?

weber.gif "Sociology... is a science which attempts the interpretive understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at a causal explanation of its course and effects."
- Max Weber

"Individual natures are merely the indeterminate material which the social factor determines and transforms."
- Emile Durkheim

"... the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations."
- Karl Marx

"Self and Society are twin-born, we know one as immediately as we know the other, and the notion of a separate and independent ego is an illusion. "
- Charles Horton Cooley
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