Sociology Program


The Sociology Program plays an important role in helping students meet the five major competencies of Gallaudet's new General Studies Curriculum:

  • Language and Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Identity and Culture
  • Knowledge and Inquiry
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility

In addition, the program is establishing its own set of major-specific outcomes and assessment measures.

1) CORE CONCEPTS -- Students will be able to:

a)Define the sociological perspective, and explain how sociology is different from the other social sciences.

b) Define and give examples of each of the following terms, as well as explain the relevance of each to current social issues:

i) social structure

ii)culture (with its accompanying norms and values)

iii) status and roles


v) institutions

vi) deviance and social control

c)Recognize the diversity and inequality in the global context, as well as America more specifically, including:

i)Discussing power and inequality in terms of differentiations by race/ethnicity, gender, age, class, and disability.

ii) Discussing the social factors (including institutional factors) that create and perpetuate prejudice, discrimination and inequality.

2) THEORY -- Students will be able to:

a) Describe the role of theory in sociology.

b) Describe, compare, and contrast the major sociological perspectives (including conflict theory, structural functionalism, and symbolic interaction), including the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3) RESEARCH AND DATA ANALYSIS -- Students will be able to:

a) Explain the scientific method of investigation.

b) Be able to explain the different methods of sociological investigation and the strengths and weaknesses of each (including: surveys, evaluation research, secondary data analysis, participant observation, in-depth interviews and experiments).

c) Construct a small probability sample.

d) Define variables and categories, including operationalizing concepts.

e) Create hypothesis with independent and dependent variables

f) Identify ethical issues that arise in sociological research.

g)Explain the differences between validity and reliability.

h) Use SPSS to analyze social science data, including producing and interpreting descriptive statistics, analysis of differences between groups, and basic correlation and regression

i) Understand and interpret tests of significance

j)Develop a bibliography or reference list composed of high quality and timely material related to a specific topic.

k) Write research reports using both quantitative and qualitative data.

l) Critically examine the use and misuse of data in the popular press.

4) CRITICAL THINKING -- Students will be able to:

a) Explain the difference between an example and a definition.

b)Distinguish between arguments based on empirical evidence and arguments based simply on opinion.

c)Gather information in order to make an argument based on evidence.

d) Summarize the main points in articles about social issues and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments within them.

e)Evaluate sources of information--including newspaper articles and internet web sites--in terms of their neutrality (or connections to groups with vested interests), their quality, and the reliability and validity of the data behind their claims.

f) Examine how students' own social position, cultural beliefs, and values and practices, impact their evaluation of social issues.

5) COMMUNICATION -- Students will be able to communicate sociological concepts and research results through:

a) Written products such as brief summaries, persuasive essays, research papers, empirical reports based on their own analysis of data.

b) Public presentations.

c)Electronic media.

6) WORK LIFE CONNECTION -- Students will:

a) Plan, successfully complete, and meaningfully reflect upon, an internship experience in which they applied sociological skills in a work-place environment.

b) Develop a plan for securing a job or entering graduate school.

c)Be able market their sociological skills on applications, resumes, and in interviews.

7) SOCIAL JUSTICE -- Students will have a positive orientation toward social/civic involvement and will:

a) Appreciate the relationship between rights and responsibilities in society.

b) Recognize the moral dimensions of their behavior and accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

c) Have an appreciation for social justice and understand the ways that individual action (activism) can either promote or reduce social justice.

d)Understand how the sociological perspective can be translated into political and social action.


Graduating with either sociology concentration, you will be ready for a variety of sociology-related fields as well as for graduate school. Sociology provides a great foundation for almost any interest or profession.

Some professions that graduates with a sociology degree have pursued:

  • Business
  • Corrections
  • Government
  • Health services
  • Human rights
  • Law
  • Law enforcement
  • Politics
  • Social services
  • Writing/journalism
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