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About Us

Sociology is a social science discipline that enables us to understand how society is organized, how society is ever changing, and how groups experience the social world. It is a discipline that can also let us start to understand group attitudes and behaviors as well as individual lives. It examines the ways in which social categories (such as class, race, sex, age, nationality, or sexuality), and various social institutions (such as kinship, economic, political, or religious) affect human attitudes, actions, and opportunities. It also lets us begin to understand more broadly how our society is organized. One of the most important things that sociology does is to link individuals' private troubles to large public societal problems; this is called the "sociological imagination." For instance, if person in Detroit is laid off from his or her job, what are the larger societal trends that might be the reason for that layoff? Or, think about all of the people without health insurance around you – what are the real reasons for this lack of insurance and how can we understand this disparity?

In the Department of Sociology at Wayne State, we specialize in the study of health and illness, race and gender inequality, labor studies, and urban studies. Faculty members study a variety of things themselves, for instance, gender and race inequalities in paid work, policy changes in workplaces, fetal alcohol syndrome, elder abuse, menopause and midlife, religion and racial politics in Detroit, the Detroit gardening movement, motherhood, why different racial groups stay in Detroit, public health, and race disparities in education. We also have faculty studying paid work patterns, work-family policy, social movements, and the effects of natural disasters in countries such as Mexico, China, Germany and Japan.

As a department, we offer many programs of study. At the undergraduate level, students can major or minor in sociology. At the Masters level, we offer two separate degrees: A Masters in Sociology or a Masters in Applied Sociology (for those who might be interested in moving straight into a more applied working environment in the local area). We also offer a Doctoral degree in Sociology.

A student who receives a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Wayne State can do many things with this degree. Some continue on for some sort of postsecondary education, getting professional or research degrees. For instance, one of our recent graduates is attending Boston University’s MA programs in Public Health and another is attending a PhD program in African American Studies at University of California-Berkeley. Others cycle into more applied fields in the local area or seek government work or research positions in private companies. A bachelors in sociology can prepare you for many different lines of work and this is one of the primary benefits of this degree. It can help you prepare you for medical school or law school or it can set you up for important governmental work or non-profit work. 

At the Masters or PhD level, many of our students graduate with hopes of having an academic career, either teaching or researching in a college or university setting. Others seek out more applied research positions upon graduation. We have PhD alumni, for instance, who are directors of health care institutes, research scientists at local hospitals, and faculty members and Deans at local colleges and universities. We have a large, vibrant graduate program and we are very proud of the current pathways of many of our students. We are trying to get students more involved in their local community as well and have instituted some new internship possibilities for students.

 Our department is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Faculty Administration Building (FAB) on Wayne State's campus. Our main office is on the second floor in room 2228 FAB. Feel free to stop by to learn more about studying sociology at Wayne State.

2228 F/AB, 656 W. Kirby St.
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-2930
Fax: (313) 577-2735
Website: clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/Sociology
Email: ad4388@wayne.edu