Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Associate Professor Trachman

Professors: Arcaro, Basirico, Bolin, T. Henricks, Mould

Associate Professor: Franzese, Lewellyn Jones, Palmquist

Assistant Professors: Curry, Zito

Sociology courses develop what is sometimes called the “sociological imagination,” the ability to see clearly the relationship between the most intimate, seemingly private matters and the great patterns and issues that shape the character of the wider society. On the one hand, this means learning a range of theoretical, methodological and problem-solving skills that are central to this field. But it also means developing a set of ethical sensitivities that help one to understand sympathetically the widely differing circumstances of people and to support the development of respectful, compassionate communities. Fundamentally, sociology studies the patterning, problems and prospects of human relationships.

At Elon, professors and students are committed to understanding societies at many different levels. Sociologists wish to know how individuals develop visions of self, how they build and inhabit interpersonal relationships, and how they negotiate the meanings attached to social situations. But they also study the ways in which larger groups and organizations are constructed and operate. They consider the character of social communities like towns and cities as well as important social institutions like family patterns, religion, education, health care, media, economics, politics and the legal system. Beyond this, they analyze and compare the characteristics of entire societies and study the emerging patterns of global communication and organization. A special focus of the program is the organization of social difference and inequality. Sociology courses discuss how socially constructed differences of gender, class, race/ethnicity, age and sexual orientation are produced and reproduced in human behavior.

With its wide scope and applicability, sociology is a valuable complement to all the university’s programs. At Elon, sociology is closely linked to anthropology, and students are encouraged to take anthropology courses as well. Both disciplines emphasize that solutions to interpersonal, community, national and international problems demand an understanding of society and culture. The socio-cultural perspective developed through sociology and anthropology courses is an asset to anyone considering a career in business, politics, social services, law, counseling, health care, social services, urban planning, non-governmental organizations and many other fields. Whatever occupational and life goals you may have, they will be enriched by a knowledge of sociology.

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