Sociology is a social science, a discipline which takes societies and social institutions as the object of scientific inquiry and reasoning.
Sociologists are particularly concerned with social issues and social problems, and the sources of stress and change in contemporary and historical societies.
The study of sociology provides a general understanding of the organization and functioning of societies, their major institutions, groups and values, and the interrelations of these with personality and culture.
The Department of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College offers students particular opportunities to study societies of the Global North and South, the relation of individuals and groups to society and culture, and the contribution of sociological perspectives to formation of public opinion and debate.
Courses in US society, immigration, race and ethnic relations, development, social stratification and inequality, gender, sociology of education, medical sociology and African American and Asian American communities provide critical perspectives from which to understand and analyze major social issues.
Courses in the sociology of religion, economic sociology and the family focus on major social institutions.
Other offerings in the department address the relation of individuals to their social milieu, such as those courses which examine deviance, the individual and social structure, the sociology of popular music and culture.
Students are given the opportunity to study the great classical and contemporary social theorists and they learn how to do sociology using quantitative and qualitative methods.