Why Study Sociology?

Are You Fascinated by Human Behavior?

The Peoples of the WorldSociology is one of the programs in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, & Urban Professions.  It prepares one for a lifetime of change by developing one's appreciation of diversity, love of learning, writing and study skills, and knowledge base about human behavior, social organization, culture, and social change. If you are the type of person who doesn't necessarily follow the crowds (but are fascinated by their behavior), the type who is truly interested in what is going on in the world, then Sociology should interest you.

Sociology helps us look more objectively at our society and other societies. It directs attention to how the parts of society fit together and change, and the consequences of that social change. We are faced with an ever increasingly complex and rapidly changing social milieu in modern industrial-bureaucratic societies. A study of Sociology provides the conceptual tools and methods for understanding the social milieu--whether it is expressed in:

  • group attitudes
  • values
  • behaviors
  • political processes of workers
  • families
  • organizations
  • consumers
  • governments

By focusing on the external forces that affect values, attitudes and behaviors, it helps us better understand ourselves and the motivations of others around us. While we are all creatures of the various groups, organizations and governments in our environments, we are also their creators.  Sociology provides the tools and skills we need to take a more active role in creating, participating in, advancing and managing such groups.


From the ASA (American Sociology Association):

"What can I do with an MA or PhD degree in Sociology?"   With advanced degrees, the more likely it is that a job will have the title "sociologist", but many opportunities exist.  The diversity of sociological careers ranges much further than what you might find under "S" in the Sunday newspaper employment ads. Many jobs outside of academia do not necessarily carry the specific title of "sociologist":

  • Sociologists become high school teachers or faculty in colleges and universities, advising students, conducting research, and publishing their work. Over 3000 colleges offer sociology courses.
  • Sociologists enter the corporate, non-profit, and government worlds as directors of research, policy analysts, consultants, human resource managers, and program managers.
  • Practicing sociologists with advanced degrees may be called research analysts, survey researchers, gerontologists, statisticians, urban planners, community developers, criminologists, or demographers.
  • Some MA and PhD sociologists obtain specialized training to become counselors, therapists, or program directors in social service agencies.

Today, sociologists embark upon literally hundreds of career paths. Although teaching and conducting research remains the dominant activity among the thousands of professional sociologists today, other forms of employment are growing both in number and significance. In some sectors, sociologists work closely with economists, political scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, social workers, and others, reflecting a growing appreciation of sociology's contributions to interdisciplinary analysis and action

Leaders of industry, government, and education have increasingly been advocating a strong public service & urban affairs education as the most effective path to career attainment.The United States Department of Labor forecasts that people entering the job market today will change careers several times over the course of their work life. Rather than prepare the student for a narrow specialty, the public service & urban affairs prepare the individual to meet the challenges and opportunities of our increasingly diverse and complex society.

We have an excellent Sociology program at Tennessee State University. If you decide that Sociology is the major for you, I am confident that you would enjoy being a major in this department. The professors are excellent, the courses interesting and relevant, and the department congenial. If, however, you decide on another major, why not consider Sociology as a second major, a minor, or alternatively, follow your interests by taking some of our courses? Do not hesitate to contact faculty if you have specific questions about the courses in the program.

Good luck in your academic and career pursuits.

Sociology Faculty @ Tennessee State University 


webpage contact:
Sociology Dept