The sociology department at Pacific offers classes in a broad range of subjects. In addition to core major courses, there are courses that focus on culture, health, food and gender.
Examples of some of the topics our classes examine include:
- The social and political implications of gender differences in America
- The impacts of prejudice and racism on our society
- The ways in which individual identities are shaped by the social world around us
- The ways our food preferences are shaped by politics, economics and culture.
Be Inspired by Our Faculty
You will have the opportunity to meet and work closely with faculty that have in-depth expertise covering diverse aspects of sociology. Not only do our faculty excel in their own academic scholarship, but they also excel in imparting that knowledge to students.
You will have the opportunity to develop your own independent research project and present your results at conferences on and off campus. Recent student work has touched on topics ranging from the effects of Barbie dolls on young girls' self esteem to understanding the needs and desires of low-income residents of south Stockton. The opportunity to work independently with faculty is rarely offered by larger programs at other institutions.
You will have many chances to be active both on and off campus, where your interpersonal skills are put to use in various ways. Our department will help you find experiential learning opportunities -- usually off campus-- where you can intern with professionals in related fields including social work, law, veterans' services and criminal justice. These internships help you to better define your career goals, and sometimes even lead to employment in your chosen fields.
Class activities and exercises deliberately connect students to each other, to faculty projects, the local community, and even to local alumni who appear in class to discuss their professional insight in sociology. Field trips and field work will also deepen students' connection to their work and strengthen the bonds between students.
University and Community Involvement
Our students are very active in campus and community organizations, enriching their experience as Sociology majors. Two recent alumni, Brandie Spencer ('11) and Gwendolyn Primous ('13), have each founded non-profit organizations working with Stockton youth. Several more alums have developed such a strong affiliation with student life that they have gone on to careers in student affairs!
In sociology, students will develop a sociological imagination that places individual life experiences in the context of the social and cultural structures that shape them. The department of sociology emphasizes the role of social inequalities in shaping social interactions and institutions, leading to both constraints and opportunities for individuals and groups. The program provides students with the fundamental knowledge of basic sociological concepts, research methods and theoretical perspectives and fosters development of their analytic skills. Additionally, it emphasizes intellectually rigorous experiential and service learning, providing students with a solid foundation to be engaged, well-informed citizens who can address social justice issues and systematic inequalities in a complex and diverse society.