What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of social action and social order, and the human relationships, enduring institutions, and dynamic processes that keep those fundamental forces in continuing tension. Sociology is, therefore, an encompassing social science, with formal study ranging from the study of parenting, peer groups and deviant behavior (termed micro-sociology) on the one hand, to world systems, nation-states, and large human population groups at the other end of the continuum (termed macro-sociology). Course work offered at in the Sociology program at CSUB mirrors this sociological spectrum, and students graduate into careers reflecting this diversity. Special internships, practice in using analytical data through on-campus research opportunities, and knowledge of the many facets of the sociological “trade” are skills that allow graduates to compete in the work place and/or improve eligibility for graduate studies. The research specialties of the faculty offer further depth to department offerings, and students are urged to work closely with faculty on individual studies, serve as research and/or teaching assistants, and/or participate in the program’s student club. Each of these activities substantially enriches the student's collegiate experience.
The Sociology program has numerous strengths including its excellent faculty, curriculum, and opportunities for students. The program offers a baccalaureate degree in Bakersfield and the Antelope Valley campus. All program faculty have a doctoral degree and are diversified by gender, race, ethnicity, and national origins. The faculty’s research is published in scholarly journals, books, and the media that have a local, national and international audience. The program has a long-standing record of applied research involving and serving members in the local community and is recognized for providing public intellectual leadership in increasing social awareness in the community. Sociology graduates are prepared for civic engagement in a multicultural world/society after intensive study of the sociological perspective on inequality; social change with an emphasis on globalization; and the theory and method of demographic analysis. Rigorous theory and methods courses combined with subject matter electives and internship opportunities help move students from abstract critical thinking to critical action in the community. The program uses Instructional Television and Internet technology to offer a variety of asynchronous and hybrid courses for those students who need more flexibility. The faculty also provides students opportunities for teaching and/or research assistantships.
Sociology’s mission statement reflects a commitment to excellent undergraduate student preparation, consistent with that of CSUB’s mission. In addition, faculty members work closely with qualified students to offer opportunities for learning that extend beyond the traditional classroom environment. In keeping with CSUB’s overall mission, sociology students are encouraged to take advantage of at least one internship opportunity with a local community agency. This allows our students to develop a symbiotic relationship with CSUB’s service region and play an integral part in its future economic, social, and political development.
We create highly skilled social science analysts that have the skills they need to track, manipulate and manage change in all spheres of social activity. Sociology graduates have pursued careers in the fields of human services, marketing, government, the justice system, education, personnel--indeed, in a wide variety of positions focusing on human relationships, social problems, social change, and race and ethnic relations. Examples of specific career positions held include social worker, probation officer, group home supervisor, substance abuse prevention specialist, management analyst, college professor, rehabilitation counselor, attorney, hospital personnel officer, and numerous others.
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Internships opportunities are available for qualified Sociology majors to obtain relevant experience in community settings. Internships not only help develop professional skills; they also provide opportunities to apply sociological knowledge to actual work situations. We have a wide variety of placements available; these include working with delinquent youth; mentoring at-risk elementary school children; working with persons with disabilities, senior citizens, homeless persons, pregnant teens, recovering alcohol and drug abusers, victims of domestic violence--and on and on. Students can gain experience in program development, grant writing, data analysis, public relations, urban planning, and other administrative functions.
Still need more information? Please visit the Sociology Department office located in Dorothy Donahoe Hall, AA209, or contact the department at 661.654.2368.