September 30, 2014  

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New Sociology Degree Option Promotes ‘People Watching’ With a Purpose

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Have you ever found yourself wondering what makes people act the way they do?

A new degree option offered by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at The University of Southern Mississippi gives students a chance to understand the world around them from a historical and critical perspective.

The Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology degree was added this fall on the Hattiesburg campus based on feedback from students and an examination of different sociology programs across the country. The Bachelor’s of Arts allows students to pursue sociology from a humanities perspective, while the Bachelor’s of Science focuses on social science research methods.  

According to department chair and sociology professor, Dr. Amy Chasteen Miller, sociologists use scientific research methods to answer many different questions about society and how people behave in it.

“Sometimes I like to describe sociology as people watching with a purpose, because it’s a discipline built on scientific analysis of the social world,” said Miller. “Our goal is to provide our students with maximum flexibility in creating areas of study best suited to their future career and education plans. Students enrolled in the new Bachelor’s of Science can more easily double-major with programs like psychology, as well as choose several minors.”

Students who major in sociology will take courses like The Family, Sociology of Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Criminology, Deviant Behavior and Globalization.

Sociology faculty members like Miller work directly with students to select coursework and career-oriented internships to prepare them for life after graduation. Sociology majors typically attend graduate school or work in community service agencies, elementary/secondary schools, social services or private businesses. They also work as managers, researchers, service providers, teachers and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of sociologists is expected to grow 21 percent from 2008 to 2018. Sociology is among the top 50 fastest-growing occupations for the upcoming decade.

Students can stop by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology office in the Liberal Arts Building room 430, call 601.266.4306 or visit www.usm.edu/antsoc to learn more about sociology.