Sociology at Wagner College is concerned with the connections between “public issues” and personal welfare, and in how these connections help illuminate our own social problems. We encourage students to examine the inter-relationship between individuals and the social structures and groups to which they belong. With a special focus on one of two areas, criminal justice, or the family and social work, Wagner College sociology students investigate the fundamental concepts and methods used in sociological theory and research. Both in the classroom and in the larger societies around us, students come to see that individual behavior, their own and that of others, is not so individual after all, but that how we each think, act and feel has a lot to do with the group norms and social structures within which we live.
The Sociology major has a choice of three concentrations:
In Academic Sociology students explore and analyze the functioning of societies and the ways in which specific cultures and beliefs influence the behavior and reflect the dynamics of individuals, groups, and societies.
Criminal Justice focuses on law enforcement theory and practice, correctional theory and practice, and criminal law. It prepares students for entry-level programs in the criminal justice system. It also prepares students for graduate work towards M.S., M.S.W., and J.D. degrees.
Family Studies/social work
Family Studies/social work concentration within the sociology major at Wagner College helps prepare students for graduate school in social work, the law and sociology among other disciplines, and for a variety of careers including employment in social services, teaching, government, journalism, and health services, among other sectors. The family studies/social work concentration places special emphasis on exploring the family as an emotional, economic, historical and sociocultural institution. Families hold great paradox. On the one hand, they are a deeply mundane and ordinary part of human experience; and on the other hand, families can contain incredible drama and pain, along with profound love. They both shape our individual lives and social world, and are fundamentally shaped by our society and history. In this concentration, we make use of a variety of texts in exploring the family – with a focus on the American family in different times and communities. We look at cultural notions of what families “should be” and social realities of what families actually have been/are in terms of marriage and sexuality, work, popular culture, domestic violence, and law and social policy. Throughout this concentration, we consider differences and similarities in the experiences of families across lines of class, race, gender and sexuality.