Sociology

Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is activist and change oriented. Students typically study social behavior in modern industrial societies, especially the United States. Sociology stands between the humanities and the physical sciences, embracing core humanist concerns while at the same time incorporating the methodological rigor of the physical sciences. The sociology program at HWS has a strong justice-oriented dimension; not only do our faculty seek to convey an understanding of society, but its members have a keen interest in social problems, social theory, and social change. All faculty are involved in research and teaching that involves social issues, such as race, class, and gender inequality, community, alcohol and other drug abuse, prison life, welfare policy, organizational dysfunction, urban life, educational reforms, and marriage and the family. Much of what we teach revolves around issues of personal and social development, the distribution of social rewards, and the liberatory power of sociological consciousness.

Student Profile: Samuel Allen '20

Samuel Allen '20

Major: Sociology
Minors: Public Policy and Philosophy

“I was introduced to sociology at 8:35 a.m. on a Monday during my first-ever college course. Since that time, my passion for sociology has only grown. I could not imagine a more fulfilling academic experience. I benefit from the thought-provoking, in-class discussions and genuine out-of-class relationships with the sociology faculty. I owe a great deal of my intellectual and personal growth to the program.”

Meet Our Faculty

Without exception, the sociology faculty can be described as having a strong emphasis on the applied and as sharing a commitment to the community, broadly construed. While we do not necessarily agree in our stance, all of us believe that sociology should be more than a merely academic enterprise. We lead our students through a journey to not only understand the social world but to use this understanding to critique and reshape it. Meet the entire department >

Sociology News

Kennedy ’21 Secures Position at Bain Capital

Tue, 23 Mar 2021

Kennedy JulesEconomics and sociology double major Julianna “Jules” Kennedy ’21 has landed a post-graduation job at Bain Capital. Beginning in June, Julianna “Jules” Kennedy will serve as a portfolio operations associate…

Perspectives on Policing

Wed, 10 Feb 2021

Sutton James-0170During an intensive course over winter break, HWS students looked through a sociological lens at the practices, trends, challenges and controversies of policing in the U.S. Associate Professor of Sociology…

Service-Learning and Social Science in Action

Fri, 15 Jan 2021

Service Learning Class projects Fall 2020 2In “Introduction to Sociology” and “Economics of Caring,” Hobart and William Smith students turned to virtual tools to explore the community issues at stake in the service-learning components of their…

More Sociology News

Spotlight: Recent Grad

Recent Grad

Afrika Owes '16

Current Position: Center for Constitutional Rights

Current Location: New York, N.Y.

Majors: Sociology

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Sample Courses

Class Complete Course List
 

Sociology of Business and Management
This course provides an "applied" sociological analysis of the major trends shaping business in the United States and worldwide. Students explore the nature of business organization and management, at the micro level in its institutional forms and the business and management environment, at the macro level as it operates within economic and cultural systems, and within global contexts. The issues of demographic effects, ethical concerns, technological innovation, the role of producers and consumers, and the changing role of government are considered.