Loyola University Maryland

Sociology Department

Learning Aims

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Upon graduation, sociology majors will:

  1. Understand the discipline of sociology and its role in contributing to an understanding of social reality, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Describing and giving examples of how sociology differs from and is similar to the other social sciences
    b.  Describing how sociology contributes to the liberal arts understanding of social reality
    c.  Applying the sociological imagination, sociological principles, and concepts to their own lives.
  2. Understand basic sociological concepts and their fundamental theoretical interrelations, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Defining and applying concepts such as culture, deviance, gender, identity, power, race, socialization, social structure, and social change.
  3. Be able to think critically, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Using sociological research and analytical skills in critical evaluation of claims made about social reality
    b.  Showing how patterns of thought and knowledge are influenced by culture and social structure.
  4. Be able to write and speak clearly, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Writing clear and coherent reports on the findings of sociological research
    b.  Making oral presentations in a clear and coherent manner.
  5. Possess a keen sociological imagination, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Providing specific examples of how the lives of individuals are shaped by social forces
    b.  Showing how institutions interlink in their effects on each other and on individuals
    c.  Demonstrating how social change factors such as industrialization and urbanization affect individuals and social structures.
  6. Understand the role of theory in sociology, as demonstrated by:
    a.  comparing and contrasting basic theoretical orientations; and,
    b.  applying sociological theory in an analysis of some aspect of social reality.
  7. Understand the role of evidence and qualitative and quantitative methods, as demonstrated by:
    a.  identifying key research methods
    b.  designing a research project
    c.  critically assessing a research publication.
  8. Understand in depth at least two specialty areas in sociology, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Summarizing basic questions and issues in the areas
    b.  Comparing and contrasting leading theories
    c.  Summarizing current research in the areas
    d.  Showing what sociology contributes to knowledge in these areas
    e.  Describing policy implications.
  9. Understand the diversity of U.S. society and the place of the U.S. in international context, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Describing the significance of variation by race, class and gender in various U.S. contexts
    b.  Describing how the U.S. fits into the international context.
  10. Understand the micro/macro distinction in sociology, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Comparing and contrasting theories at one level with those at another
    b.  Describing how the experiences of a particular individual or group are shaped by interactional and structural forces.
  11. Understand reciprocal relationships between individuals and society, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Explaining sociologically how the self develops
    b.  Demonstrating how social structure influences individuals, and how individuals influence social structure.
  12. Have developed a sociologically-informed appreciation of values, as demonstrated by:
    a.  Applying sociological knowledge and skills in service-learning and other experiential education endeavors
    b.  Bringing a sociologically-informed perspective to bear in assuming the responsibilities of citizenship, locally and globally, as envisioned in the Jesuit motto “men and women for others”
    c.  Identifying ways in which sociology has served and can continue to serve