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Undergraduate Program

Deborah Merrill

Understanding Society and Ourselves

The American sociologist C. Wright Mills described the perspective of sociology as the “sociological imagination.”

He maintained that this point of view enables us to see how individual lives are shaped by larger social forces. Mills argued that we cannot fully understand ourselves without understanding the society in which we live.

“[People] do not usually define the troubles they endure in terms of historical change. … The well being they enjoy, they do not impute to big ups and downs of the society in which they live. Seldom aware of the intricate connection between the patterns of their lives and the course of world history, ordinary people do not usually know what this connection means for the kind of people they are becoming and for the kinds of history-making in which they might take part. They do not process the quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of individuals and society, of biography and history, of self and the world.”

At Clark, the sociology faculty is committed to developing such an analytic capacity in students. Through the examination of social processes, such as social stratification, social movements and social change, and through an investigation of diverse social institutions, such as the law, the family, medicine and religion, students acquire the conceptual and analytical tools to enhance both their understanding of their own lives and the world in which they live.

The skills and competencies we seek to develop in our majors include critical thinking, writing, quantitative literacy, comparative analysis, and logical reasoning.

Students in class with professor

Major or Minor in Sociology

As a sociology major or minor,  you’ll study a broad field that is unified by its theoretical attention to history, culture, and social structure, as well as their effects on human behavior. At Clark, our approach to the discipline is largely grounded in empirical social science and classical theoretical traditions.

Explore courses in Sociology

Student writing

Undergraduate Research

Sociology students are encouraged to conduct research on their own or in collaboration with fellow students or faculty. You also may choose to apply to the department’s Honors Program, which means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice.

Sociology student in research process class

Careers and Internships

Sociology majors pursue a range of internship experiences in nonprofit, health care, and government offices. They also are prepared for a variety of occupations, including academia, marketing, and government, or to pursue graduate study.

Student looking at map

Study Abroad

Explore Clark’s Study Abroad and Away Program, which offers opportunities to gain world and workplace experience to complement your on-campus work. Clark approves semester, year-long, and summer opportunities to earn credit through academic coursework, internships, community-based learning, or research.

Contact Information

Department of Sociology

Contact Us
  • Jefferson Academic Center, Room 401
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 1-508-793-7243