Sociologists begin with the premise that everyday life, including our interactions and relationships with others, is embedded in and shaped by larger social structures: globalization, labor markets, educational systems, political institutions and culture, to name a few. Sociologists analyze how cooperation and conflict, action and interaction are differentiated by socioeconomic class, gender, race and ethnicity, citizenship, age and other major axes of social stratification. They seek to discover the main forces that unite and separate social groups and to determine the conditions that lead to a transformation of social life. They also examine the forces for social change, including legal and governmental institutions, social movements and community organizations. As a sociology major at UC Davis, you can tailor your major to suit long-term personal and professional goals, whether they include law school, entering business or nonprofit management, or a career in social services.
UC Davis sociology graduates have found employment in such areas as law, social work, counseling, human resources management, education and international trade. Many go on to graduate school in law, human service fields and business administration. If interested in pursuing a career of teaching and research, others pursue the Ph.D. in sociology.
As a sociology major, you can choose an emphasis in law and society, social services, comparative studies and world development, or general sociology. A sociology degree provides a broad background in sociological theory and valuable methodological training. Depending on your area of interest, you may study such topics as (to name just a few) race and gender discrimination, the interactional and institutional mechanisms enabling them to persist, and how to change them; patterns of immigration in contemporary society and how they intersect with labor markets, schools, and the health care system; the organization of the criminal justice system; the politics of health care; or why precarious employment has become so widespread.c