Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

Prospective Students


What is sociology?

Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. It is the scientific study of human groups and group interaction. Sociological study and the sociological imagination encompass all realms of human life and allow us to understand the world in its real world context. 

What is sociology for?

Sociology is for looking at the world through a lens that includes the major realities that affect all of our lives. Bauman (2000) says that sociology helps us to deal with “the trouble of being human these days.”

What is sociology about?

“Whatever sociology may be, it is the result of constantly asking the question, 'what is the meaning of this?'” Sociology is about systematically searching for the answers to the pressing social questions of our times. It is about the discovery of the truths of our world.

What does sociology do?

Sociology makes its practitioners see what was always familiar to them, in very unfamiliar ways. It opens the door to a world of information that is broad in its scope -- much broader than what we already know.  We begin to see the ways in which society is constructed and what it means to individuals, groups and societies.

What does sociology mean?

It means that we are able to study the world in ways unlike most other disciplines. In the world outside of the university, learning how to see the world through the lens of sociology creates some important skills. Majors learn writing, critical thinking, research design, collaboration and many other skills that are marketable in the world of work.

Daniel Little, Professor of philosophy and chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn answers this question quite thoroughly in his essay, Why A Sociology Major?


Bauman, Zygmunt. 2000. “On Writing Sociology.” Theory, Culture and Society 17(1): 79-90.

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.



Lee L. Williams, Ph.D.
Centennial Hall 337
295 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA  16444
Phone:  814-732-1189

Department Office:

Centennial Hall 322
295 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA  16444
Phone:  814-732-2573
Fax:  814-732-2865