Why Study Sociology?

As a Hanover sociology student, you'll learn to step outside your own class, ethnicity and gender to see the world from other points on the social spectrum. You'll quickly apply your class work in practical settings.

Maybe your class will visit the penitentiary or homeless shelter. Maybe you will travel to Arizona to study Native American sociology or to a major European city to study urban society. You'll grow to understand the large social forces and structures that impact lives and how we can affect them. With highly dedicated and accessible faculty, you'll build the scientific and interpersonal skills needed for success in the social sciences.


Did you know?

For the past five years, Hanover sociology students have scored in the 95th to 99th percentile on the Educational Testing Service Examination in sociology administered to students nationwide.

What do sociology majors study?

  • Research methods and statistics
  • Sociological theory
  • Social inequality
  • Micro sociology
  • Institutions
  • Deviance and law
  • Social dynamics
  • Other topics that interest you, from globalization to environmental sociology to the sociology of families
"Thanks to Hanover's sociology department, I am a critical thinker who is able to understand complex social issues and a strong communicator. These skills are the root of my success."

Jessica Hoover Journey '09


Previous graduates' career and professional placements have included:

  • Executive, Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati)
  • Statistician, U.S. Government (Washington D.C.)
  • Urban Planner, City of Indianapolis
  • Human Rights Activist (Central America)
  • Fashion Designer (Denver)
  • Sociology Professor, University of Maryland
  • Attorney (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Social Worker (Los Angeles)
  • School Counselor (Bloomington, Ind.)

Graduate and medical school placements have included:

  • Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Louisville Presbyterian Seminary
  • Purdue University
  • Ohio State University
  • UCLA
  • Indiana University
  • University of Sydney
  • Clemson University


SOC 119
Examines the process, causes, and consequences of globalization with a particular focus on such areas as the expansion of capitalism and its consequences, power and politics, poverty, changes in various kinds of inequalities such as class, race, ethnicity and gender, cultural adaptation and clash of cultures, nationalism, transnationalism, and emerging international social systems, technology, religious change and clash of religions, rising population environment factors such as pollution, depletion and storage of waste, and terrorism. Open to first-year students only. Spring Term.
SOC 164
Introduction to Sociology
Examines links between micro and macro (institutional, national and global) levels of social interaction and the impact of macro level social forces on our everyday lives. Topics include group influence on individuals, socialization, culture, deviance, race, class and gender inequalities; institutions and organizations, population trends, and social change. Partially satisfies the HS CCR.
SOC 216
Juvenile Delinquency
Examination of juvenile crime and the juvenile justice system. Explores the nature and extent of delinquency, theories of delinquency, empirical research on delinquency, and historical and contemporary efforts to control and prevent delinquency. Prerequisites: Soc 164. Satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 217
Deviance and Social Control
Examines sociological approaches to deviance, with a focus on power relations and the social construction of deviance in everyday life through the exploration of various examples of deviance. Prerequisites: SOC 164.
SOC 219
Social Problems
Analysis of causes and consequences of and possible solutions to social problems. Issues include such topics as poverty, racial and gender discrimination, crime, population, environment, prostitution, pornography, sexual orientations, and problems of family and work. Prerequisite: Soc 164.
SOC 222
World Ethnographies
Examines vastly different cultures from around the world through the reading and study of ethnography--richly descriptive and analytic accounts of particular cultures.. Identical to Anth 222. Prerequisite: Anth 162 or Soc 164. Partially satisfies the LA CCR and satisfies W1 and CP ACE.
SOC 223
Art & Social Life in Taiwan
Examines how material culture was created, viewed, and used by different peole in Ancient China and modern day Taiwan through visits to museums, cultural sites, and public places in Taipei, Taiwan. Uses art historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives to understand cultural representations and human social behaviors. Offered during Spring Term only. Satisfies the CP ACE. Identical to ANTH223/ARTH223/SOC223. Not open to students with prior credit in these cross-listed courses.
SOC 225
Sociology of Families
Systems analysis of marriages and families; diversity of family types; mate selection processes; changing functions, structures, and roles; socio-legal issues; elements of healthy and dysfunctional families; break-up and reconstitution; and family policy. Prerequisite: Soc 164 or GndS 111.
SOC 227
Sociology of Public Places
Applies social psychological theories to public place social interactions; introduces nonparticipant observation research methods to examine the "interaction order" created by social actors; analyzes the roles that age, gender, race, and class play in public place interactions; includes field trips to public places. Prerequisite: Soc 164. Offered Spring Term.
SOC 228
Sociology of Gender
A comparative study of gender roles. Topics include: origins of gender roles, gender role stereotypes and consequences, androgyny and gender roles, gender roles in developed and developing nations, changing patterns and the future. Prerequisite: Soc 164 or GndS 111.
SOC 229
Environmental Sociology
Examines a sociological approach to the environment, including the social construction of nature; how inequality along the lines of race, class and gender affect the distribution of environmental impacts; and the importance of attitudes and behaviors to our interactions with the environment. Prerequisite: Soc 164.
SOC 235
Confronting Poverty in Indiana
An experiential learning course which examines poverty and addiction in a regional context. Explores religious and philosophical models of community engagement and social justice. Combines theological perspectives with sociological examinations of a regional social problem both inside and outside the classroom. Identical to Ths 235. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
SOC 236
Social Justice in the Internet Age
An interdisciplinary course which examines contemporary social justice movements. Explores sociological, religious and philosophical models of social justice. Combines theological perspectives with sociological examinations of Internet activism. Identical to THS 236. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
SOC 259
Immigration and Transnationalism
Examines how various immigrant groups negotiate cultural landscapes as previous identities conflict with present national loyalties and expectations. Also explores pan-ethnic cultural affiliations in urban America and investigates the impacts of transnational citizens on the home culture. Identical to ANTH 259. Prerequisite: ANTH 162 or SOC 164. Partially satisfies HS CCR and satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 315
Political Sociology
An examination of the sociology of power and community at the national and international levels. Identical with PlS 315. Offered alternate Fall terms. Prerequisites: a 100-level Political Science course (except PlS 160) or Soc 164.
SOC 318
Race & Ethnic Relations
Historical and global perspectives on racial and ethnic group contacts and conflicts; social psychology of prejudice and discrimination; mechanisms of institutional discrimination; minority group strategies for change. Prerequisite: Either Soc 164 or Anth 162. Satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 319
Urban Sociology
. A study of the origin and development of cities throughout the world. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Soc 164.
SOC 320
Research Methods & Statistics
Methods of collecting and analyzing social research data. Emphasis on student research participation. Prerequisites: Soc 164.
SOC 327
Sociology of Children and Youth
Examines sociological approaches to the study of children and youth; analyzes children's own lives shaped by gender, race, and class; requires field research at a community partner site to complete ethnographic research project. Prerequisites: Soc 164. Satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 328
Sociology of Mental Health
Examines the topic of mental health and mental illness from critical sociological perspectives, with a focus on the social construction of mental illness in American society. Prerequisites: SOC 164.
SOC 330
Sociological Theory
Historical review, major theorists, major theories, sociological theory today and its application to modern society. Prerequisite: Soc 164.
SOC 333
Self and Social Interaction
Investigation of the self in social context. Explores processes of interaction and interpersonal influence, social boundaries, and social and institutional impacts on individuals. Prerequisite: Soc 164. Satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 334
Sociology of Sport
Sociological theories and concepts are applied in analyzing how sport affects society and how society affects sport. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: Soc 164.
SOC 336
Crime and Corrections
An examination of the criminal justice system; nature and extent of crime; past and present practices used to control crime and deal with criminals. Prerequisites: Soc 164. Satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 338
Social Class and Inequality
A study of the causes and consequences of inequality domestically and internationally and predictions for the future. Prerequisites: Soc 164.
SOC 348
Race, Gender and Sexuality
A study of theories of intersectionality as they apply to race, gender and sexuality. Prerequisites: Soc 164. Satisfies CP ACE.
SOC 349
Sociology of Change
Causes and consequences of social change in the United States and at the global level. Topics include: globalization, deindustrialization, technology, population, environment, social movements, revolution, sociological theory, and intentional and unintentional social change. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: Soc 164.
SOC 359
Social Movements
An examination of theories of movements of protest, reform, and revolution, and of resistance to change. Comparison and contrast of case studies, including movements such as abolition, temperance, civil rights, and environmentalism. Identical to PLS 359. Offered alternate Fall Terms. Prerequisites: a 100-level Political Science course (except PlS 160) or Soc 164.
SOC 461
Senior Seminar
A comprehensive, linking analysis of the major areas of Sociology as well as an introduction to new areas of sociological concern. Prerequisites: Soc 164, 320, 330, and senior major status.