The faculty in the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville focus their research and teaching around the theme of diversity and inequality, which is concerned with the significant ways in which people and groups differ from one another, particularly in terms of race and ethnicity, social class, gender, sexuality, and other salient social characteristics. This is increasingly important as diverse groups endeavor to overcome inequality, and as society and social institutions work to embrace diverse cultures and populations. Thus the department strives to advance understandings of the sociological foundations of inequality as sources of conflict among diverse groups.
The study of diversity and inequality also includes an examination of the important contributions various social groups have made to society, the barriers to their full participation in society, and the efforts they have made to achieve equality. An appreciation of the nature and consequences of diversity and inequality is essential for understanding social forces and social structures, as well as group processes and organizational dynamics and the way these affect individual life chances. By focusing on diversity and inequality, the Department of Sociology helps to advance a deeper, and often a counter-intuitive understanding of inequality. Such an understanding is essential to the effective formulation and implementation of democratic social policy and is relevant to many careers, including those in research, academia, business, law, social services, medicine, and government.
Sociology Courses and Degrees
The Department of Sociology’s focus on diversity and inequality is reflected in the courses that are offered, which are wide-ranging. At the undergraduate-level, courses include: criminology, deviance, environmental sociology, global poverty, human sexuality, juvenile delinquency, social problems, social stratification, race and ethnicity, rural sociology, urban sociology, and sociology of aging, death/dying, economic life, education, families, gender, music, leisure, sport, and women's health -- to name but a few. At the graduate-level, courses include a strong emphasis on research methodologies and statistical analyses, and faculty have expertise in several areas, including applied sociology/program evaluation research; family; education; race, class, gender; medical sociology; urban sociology; and work and leisure.
The University of Louisville offers the following degrees in sociology: , , and . If you have questions about any of these degrees, contact Dr. Jonetta Weber, Director of Academic Services for Sociology.
Those interested in sociology are intrigued by the challenging social issues pervading our world, how society influences and is influenced by them, and how to effectuate change. Students learn how to address these issues through scientific research and application, and, as our world continuously evolves, sociology students are well prepared to offer insight into these changes and how best to accommodate them.
Given the breadth, adaptability, and utility of sociology, employment opportunities are plentiful in: social service agencies; federal, state, and local governments; non-profit organizations; and private enterprises. Sociology students pursue careers in a variety of fields: business, child welfare, computer industry, criminal justice, education (teaching, evaluation research, consultation, research), gerontology, health care, international relations, law, law enforcement, leisure/recreation/sport, military/military intelligence, social work, and urban planning or management–and more.