Sociology

Sociology is the study of the world created by complex human societies. By uniting concerns across the social sciences, sociology connects scholarship in history, economics, politics, and psychology. We examine inequality, social mobility and social class, identities based on race and gender, conflict and social change, and institutions related to crime, business, education, law, politics, religion, and science. Through a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods—from close-up ethnographic observation and interviews to large scale data collection—sociologists produce critical and useful knowledge about our social world. Sociological training teaches us to think critically about social life, to carefully collect and analyze empirical data, and to understand the way the social world works and how it might be changed for the better. Learning to communicate clearly, creatively, and effectively are all abilities of tremendous value in a wide range of vocational callings and professions. Moreover, understanding the connections between broad social forces and personal experiences — what C. Wright Mills called “the sociological imagination” — is invaluable for living effective and rewarding lives in tumultuous times.

Department of Sociology

75 Shannon Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753