A Message from the Chair of Sociology

Dear Colleagues, Students, and Friends,

Sociology is the systematic study of societies. Sociologists study what societies are, how they are organized, how they change, and how they persist. We also investigate how social networks and institutions affect the behavior, cognitions, and emotions of people and groups.

Sociology is more important than ever. Many of the most urgent controversies today involve basic questions about how we humans organize our societies. But sociology is also in peril. We live in a time when powerful voices in politics, media, and government invent their own alternative facts, and express contempt for expertise and scholarly inquiry. Some have attempted to intimidate scholars into silence by directing insults and threats of violence against immigrants, women, Muslims, people of color, Jews, disabled people, and others, both inside and outside the university, with whom they disagree.

I would like to reaffirm that the Department of Sociology at the University of California - San Diego stands where it has always stood. We strongly condemn any attempt to silence scholars, particularly those underrepresented in the academy, through the use of intimidation or threats of violence. Many founding figures of our discipline were refugees. Many of us today are immigrants or the children of immigrants. All scholars are vulnerable when disagreements about society are settled by who has the loudest voice or the biggest fists—instead of by reasoning and evidence. Our department will continue to uphold the values of social inclusion and scholarly inquiry that are now under threat.

The Department of Sociology at UC San Diego has a particularly distinguished tradition of scholarship in comparative and historical sociology, the sociology of culture, the study of social inequalities, and the sociology of science. We offer broad training in social theory and in methods for collecting and analyzing social data. We are distinguished by our global reach, with scholars who study—and teach about—societies in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

An undergraduate major in sociology offers rigorous preparation for graduate study in sociology, political science, and other social and behavioral sciences. It is also an excellent preparation for professional training in law, medicine, business, education, and social work. A sociology major provides a strong foundation for careers in the private sector, government, and non-profit organizations. I invite students interested in pursuing a sociology major or minor to meet with our undergraduate coordinator for more specific information and advice on requirements, courses, and departmental activities in general.

Isaac Martin
Chair, UC San Diego Department of Sociology
July, 2017

Click here for more information about Isaac Martin.

Click here for more information on the history of UC San Diego Sociology Department.