Sociology at Bard aims to provide an understanding of the structure and processes of society—from everyday interactions among friends to social transformations of global magnitude. Sociology students learn to systematically examine of a wide array of social phenomena, including social inequality, politics and the state, race, economic systems, gender, technological change, culture, religion, environmental risks, cities, family structures, and criminal justice. Unlike other social sciences, sociology situates the economic, cultural, and political aspects of human communities within the complex whole of social life. While contemporary complex societies are a central concern, historical and comparative questions are also essential to a sociological perspective. With its range of topics, theories, and methodologies, sociology teaches people to examine the social world in a way that is both rigorous and flexible.
Students planning to moderate in sociology are required to take a 100-level course in sociology (ideally Sociology 101, Introduction to Sociology); Sociology 205, Introduction to Research Methods; and Sociology 213, Sociological Theory, before Moderation. For Moderation, students submit the standard autobiographical outline of past and future work and a 10-page essay on a topic of their choice that has been approved by their adviser. Majors are expected to take two 300-level seminars and three additional electives. Each student must write a Senior Project based on their own original sociological research.
Recent Senior Projects in Sociology
- “Dreams Deferred: An Examination of the Experience of Downward Mobility among the Black Middle Class”
- “An Exceptional Nation: Why the United States Lacks Universal Health Insurance”
- “Producing Meaningful Work: An In-Depth Study of Domestic Workers and Stratified Reproduction”
- “The South Bronx: Exploring the Critical Role of Neighborhood Attachment in Education, Financial Security, and Aspirations”
The Sociology curriculum offers students a theoretical and methodological foundation to examine important social issues. Courses in the program expose students to quantitative, qualitative, and historical research. Students learn to use research to inform policy, and they use social theory to engage profound questions about the nature of social life. Through this training, students acquire skills in conducting systematic social research.