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Sociology

The concentration in Sociology (leading to a Bachelor of Arts) provides a foundation in sociological theory and methods and the opportunity to cultivate more specialized knowledge in the discipline’s substantive interests. Students develop that focus through their coursework, taking courses in diverse areas such as social inequality, family and gender, organizations, environmental sociology, race and ethnicity and globalization.  Students refine their interests during the senior seminar and through their completion of a senior thesis or capstone project. The concentration also allows students to pursue the Engaged Scholars Program (ESP). ESP is for students with an interest in making deeper connections between their concentration and long-term community-engaged activities such as internships, public service, and many other possible forms of community involvement.

Standard program for the A.B. degree

Ten courses are required to complete the concentration.

Required core:
SOC 0010Social Forces: An Introduction to Sociology1
SOC 1010Classical Sociological Theory1
SOC 1020Methods of Social Research1
SOC 1100Introductory Statistics for Social Research1
or APMA 0650 Essential Statistics
or ECON 1620 Introduction to Econometrics
or CLPS 0900 Statistical Methods
SOC 1950Senior Seminar1
5 additional courses:5
a) At least three of the optional courses have to be 1000 level and one of them must be a substantive seminar (1870/1871).
b) Students can choose to take up to two (showcase) lower level (0100 level) courses.
c) Students can petition to take two courses outside of the discipline (this will be allowed only when the proposed course makes sense given the insterests of the student, and there is no equivalent sociology course).
Total Credits10

Organizational Studies Track

Ten courses to complete the concentration

Required Core:
SOC 0010Social Forces: An Introduction to Sociology1
SOC 1010Classical Sociological Theory1
SOC 1020Methods of Social Research1
SOC 1100Introductory Statistics for Social Research1
or APMA 0650 Essential Statistics
or ECON 1620 Introduction to Econometrics
or CLPS 0900 Statistical Methods
SOC 1950Senior Seminar1
Foundations of Organizational Studies (choose two of the following):2
SOC 0300
Organizations and Society
Micro-Organizational Theory: Social Behavior in Organizations
Macro-Organizational Theory: Organizations in Social Context
Advanced Organizational Studies Course (choose one course). The following are approved EXAMPLES. Please consult Courses@Brown/Concentration Advisor for current offerings.1
Leadership in Organizations
Introduction to Economic Sociology
The Enlightened Entrepreneur: Changemakers, Inspired Protagonists and Unreasonable People
Focus Groups for Market and Social Research
Context Research for Innovation
Market and Social Surveys
Future of Work
Market Research in Public and Private Sectors
Micro-Organizational Theory: Social Behavior in Organizations (If not used to meet the "Foundations" requirement, above)
Macro-Organizational Theory: Organizations in Social Context (If not used to meet the "Foundations" requirement, above)
Investing in Social Change
The Economic Foundations of Everyday Life
Sociology of the Legal Profession
Law, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Sociology of Money
Sociology of FIRE: Finance, Insurance, + Real Estate
Two additional courses. Each of these courses must be either (a) offered by the Sociology Department, or (b) drawn from the following list of interdisciplinary "Organization-Relevant Electives:"2
American Advertising: History and Consequences
Human Factors
Mechanisms of Motivated Decision Making
Psychology in Business and Economics
Principles of Economics
Financial Institutions
Policy Implementation in Education
American Higher Education in Historical Context
Business, Culture, and Globalization: An Ethnographic Perspective
Land Use and Built Environment: An Entrepreneurial View
History of Capitalism
Prosperity: The Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation
Politics, Markets and States in Developing Countries
Market Liberalism: Origins, Principles and Contemporary Applications
Total Credits10

Additional Restrictions to the Organizational Studies Track:

Lower-level Coursework: Students may count no more than two 0100-level (showcase) courses toward the Organizational Studies and Concentration Elective requirements (combined).  SOC 0300, if taken, will count as part of this lower-level course allowance.  

Upper-level Coursework: At least three of the five courses counted toward the Organizational Studies and Concentration Elective requirements (combined) must be at the 1000-level, and at least one must be a substantive seminar (1870/1871)

Interdisciplinary Coursework: Students may petition to count non-Sociology courses beyond the Organization-Relevant Elective list toward the Concentration Elective requirement.  This will be allowed only when the proposed course makes sense given the interests of the student, and the Sociology Department offers no equivalent course. 

The Senior Seminar (SOC 1950)

Sociology requires all concentrators to complete a thesis or capstone project in their senior year. The purpose of the thesis or capstone project is to allow students an opportunity to apply their sociological learning to a topic of their own interest. (Students in the Organizational Studies track are expected to focus their senior thesis or capstone project on an Organizational Studies topic.)  To fulfill this requirement students enroll in SOC 1950 Senior Seminar. This seminar allows each cohort of concentrators to discuss their diverse interests and exposes participants to the wide range of applications of Sociological knowledge.

A senior thesis must ask an original research question, answer it with appropriate evidence, and place that work within relevant scholarly literature in sociology. The thesis is supervised by a faculty member who serves as the primary advisor, and one additional faculty member who serves as a reader. By the end of the sixth semester, students must submit a prospectus for the senior thesis to the Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies. At the start of the seventh semester, students should submit to the Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies a thesis proposal (not more than four pages) accompanied by the signature of one faculty member indicating that he or she is willing to serve as primary advisor on the thesis. Students wishing to qualify for Honors must complete a senior thesis, rather than a capstone project (see below).

A capstone project is an independent, student-initiated project or experience developed during the Senior Seminar (SOC 1950) that connects in a meaningful way to learning in the concentration. A capstone project differs from a thesis in its scholarly content and form, and it depends only on the evaluation of the senior seminar instructor. Whereas the senior thesis follows the form of a conventional research paper, the capstone project allows a wider array of research and creative outputs, including but not limited to video documentaries, photographic exhibitions, and applied or policy related reports for an off-campus organization. Projects are complemented by a poster presentation, literature review, and report that situates the central subject matter of the project within the context of sociological scholarship.

Independent Study

Students can use no more than one (1) Independent Study course (SOC 1970) to meet the concentration course requirements. An Independent Study course cannot serve as a substitute for any of the “required core” concentration requirements. 

Honors

In order to be considered for honors, students must achieve a grade point average of at least 3.5 (A=4, B=3, C=2) on all courses counted toward concentration requirements.  No more than one (1) of the courses counted toward concentration requirements may be taken with the "S/NC" option. Honors also requires a senior thesis (as described above), that demonstrates an understanding of empirical research and that receives a recommendation of Honors from the advisor and reader.