Why Study Sociology at New College?

What kind of society do we live in? What are its distinctive characteristics and problems? Where is it headed? Sociology illuminates the effects of social interactions, structures, institutions and processes on the character and quality of our lives. As part of a liberal arts education at New College, our Sociology AOC offers theories and research relevant to our ability both to make sense of our circumstances as individuals in contemporary society, and to act efficaciously and constructively in shaping the modern world.

Sociology area of concentration

The discipline of sociology encompasses a broad terrain of sub-fields and specialties exploring various aspects of the social world. At the center is an interest in developing a systematic and theoretically informed understanding of the patterns, tendencies, and possibilities that characterize contemporary social life. Although we are often unaware of its influences on us, the social world structures our opportunities, shapes our aspirations, and provides the stage for our actions. As individuals, we are both sustained and constrained by the web of social relations in which our lives are embedded. Even our perceptions are affected by the way we are situated in the social world, and by our participation in the construction of social reality.

We don’t live in “society” in the abstract, of course, but in a particular society with particular characteristics and a specific history. What kind of society do we live in? What are its distinctive characteristics and problems? Where is it headed? Sociological analyses illuminate the effects of social interactions, structures, institutions, and processes on the character and quality of our lives. As part of a liberal arts education, sociology offers theories and research relevant to our ability both to make sense of our circumstances as individuals in contemporary society, and to act efficaciously and constructively in shaping the modern world.

Our program builds the skills that the employers today seek: people who have creativity and innovation, multi-cultural and global understandings, critical thinking skills, math and science skills, and excellent written expression. Sociology concentrators have gone into a variety of fields after New College, ranging from Ph.D. programs and subsequent employment in academe (in Sociology and other fields), Law School, International NGOs addressing Human and Refugee Rights, Public Health, Education, Social Work, Public Relations, Media and Communication, among others.

Faculty

What you’ll learn

At New College, courses in sociology draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and research traditions. Key themes and topics include: the causes and consequences of particular distributions of power, wealth, and prestige; the significance of class, ethnic, and gender differences in modern societies; social organization at the level of small groups, complex organizations, and whole societies; the sociology of development; social movements and change; the organization of work; cultural production and consumption in both popular and elite arts; the processes of face-to-face social interaction; socialization and social construction; and the social production of the urban environment.

A student majoring in sociology is required to acquire competence in content knowledge, written and oral communication skills and critical thinking skills. These are gained by mastering the fundamental tools of the discipline through five required courses, one empirical ISP, and five elective courses. The required courses include: Introduction to Sociology, Social Theory, Sociological Research Methods, Statistics, and the Senior Thesis Seminar. The five elective courses must include at least one course in each of the three broad subfields: Social Organization/ Institutions, Change, and Persons and Society. The empirical Independent Study Project should be done after completing the methods course.

Independent study projects, group research projects, and off-campus contracts provide important opportunities to gain direct experience of social issues explored in courses and tutorials. Students are encouraged to do field research, particularly in the local community.

Sociology Professor David Brain, and New College students Billy Cooney and Maria Vanallen traveled to Iceland to to confer with research partners and to attend an invitation-only symposium on the future of public space.

Research sends students to Iceland

New College sociology students are working with scholars from around the world to compile a comprehensive database on research relating to public spaces within urban environments. Read more here.

Recent Theses

  • A Critical Ethnography of Difference, Boundaries of Belonging and Race in New Orleans Second Line Parades
  • All the News That’s Fit to Print?: A Comparison of News Narratives of the 2009 Honduran Coup
  • Blurred Lines: Sexual Consent in Popular Music Lyrics
  • City, Sweet City: A Study of the Implementation of New Urbanism and the Public Process
  • Coloring the Page: Examinations of Racialized Femininity and Embodied Power within Women’s Magazines
  • Find It, Fix It? An Analysis of Public Engagement Through Government Social Media
  • Food, Family, and the Factors Influencing the Frequencies and Characteristics of Family Dinners
  • Marketing Masculinity: A Content Analysis of Gender Role Presentations in Super Bowl Commercials at the Turn of the 21st Century
  • Politics of the Experiment: An Exploration of Anarchist Political Enactment Through the Study of Infoshops
  • Shared Spaces: Residence Hall Architecture and Sense of Community
  • The Intersection of Collective Memory and Place in a Clandestine Detainment Center in Buenos Aires
  • Two Jails in One: Impediments to Professionalism for Modern Jail Corrections Officers
  • What I Call Myself: Exploring Ethnic Identities And Selections Of Ethnic Labels For Hispanic/Latino

Alumni

Researcher
Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence

Community organizer, consultant
Sarasota, Florida

Professor of Sociology
University of Wisconsin

Sexual Violence Project Director/Consultant
Women’s Refugee Commission, Malaysia.

Attorney
Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A., Sarasota, Florida

Field Examiner
National Labor Relations Board

Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Health Educator
Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

More Information


Sociology Curriculum

Students majoring in Sociology at New College will acquire competence in content knowledge, written and oral communication skills and critical thinking skills.

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Undergraduate Program

New College of Florida offers more than 35 different majors in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as a number of interdisciplinary concentrations.

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