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Why Study Sociology?

  Faculty Expertise

Current Course Offerings

Concentration in Criminology, Law and Society

Pre-Law Minor

Study Abroad

Internships in Washington D.C.

Where to find us… well you virtually have. But we are located in:

The Department of Social Sciences and History
(Mansion, 3rd Floor, Room M31)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Madison N.J. 07940

Tel: 973.443.8721

Facsimile: 973.443.8799

This site was designed by Peter J. Woolley and is maintained by the Department of Social Sciences and History.

Why Study Sociology?

When claims are made that the family is disintegrating, that America is a middle class society, that blacks are making economic progress, that women have come a long way, that the mass media provide audiences with what they want to see and hear, do you know how to evaluate these arguments? Sociology students learn how to assess such statements. They learn not only the facts of social life, but also the methods for analyzing various claims about society.

A sociology education develops the kind of social sophistication that goes beyond mere cynicism. Students are trained to ask: how do we know what is true? From what perspective does this claim or that policy recommendation make sense? Is this a valid study? What techniques or data would provide more reliable results? The sociological perspective enhances one's understanding of both interpersonal relations -- group processes, family dynamics, gender roles, racial and ethnic differences -- and larger social institutions -- the corporation, the social class system, the criminal justice system, the mass media.

Sociologists study the ways in which human behavior is predictably affected by such factors as organizational position, social class, and gender. They examine how social problems -- poverty, crime, and pollution -- are framed by our social institutions. The students of sociology develop an understanding of the social factors that shape their own identities as well as those that may enable them, in turn, to influence their society. They also acquire knowledge and skills that may be applied in a wide array of work settings. Does a corporation need to assess the suitability of a product for a particular market? Does an organization need to understand its personnel problems? Should a parole board adopt a new method of monitoring parolees? What's the best way of handing the placement of abused children? Any of these problems could well be turned over to a person with sociological training.

Sociology prepares students for a variety of careers. FDU graduates become lawyers and social workers, receive master's degrees in business administration, criminal justice, urban planning, gerontology, enter Ph.D. programs in sociology, become personnel administrators in industry, work in advertising, and take jobs in state, local, and federal government agencies. Those with advanced degrees in sociology may be employed as researchers by business, public agencies, or research institutes.

Sociology majors who enter a career directly after receiving a B.A. will be competing with graduates who have majored in a variety of liberal arts subjects; their competitive advantage is likely to be enhanced if they strengthen their background in research methods and statistics. Regardless of the career options chosen, a sociological education can enrich one's understanding of social life and improve one's performance in family, occupation, and citizen roles.

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Faculty Expertise and Courses Taught

Dr. Gloria Gadsden, Ph.D., has specialties in deviance, gender, and sexuality. Her current research explores images of female sexuality in media. She teaches courses on deviance, drugs, violence, criminology, and race, as well as the Introduction to Sociology and The American Experience.

Office-M32A; phone- 973.443.8732; e-mail: gadsden@alpha.fdu.edu

Dr. Gary Jaworski, Ph.D., has published extensively in the areas of American and European social theory and in the rhetoric of social problems analysts. He teaches courses on theory, crime, deviance, and drugs. His recent works include George Simmel and the American Prospect (SUNY Press, 1997). He is currently working on a history of truth serum.

Office- M32A; phone- 201.692.7005; e-mail: jaworski@mailbox.fdu.edu

Dr. David Rosen, Ph.D. specializes in the anthropology of law and has carried out ethnographic field research in Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Israel. Prior to coming to F.D.U. he taught at the American University in Washington, D.C. and Ben Gurion University in Israel. He has published articles on family law, peasant social movements, leadership and development. He teaches courses in cultural anthropology, the sociology of family, the sociology of law, criminal law, cultures of Africa, Israel and the Middle East. He lectures regularly to community groups on family law and on issues of war and peace in the Middle East.

Office- M39B; phone- 973.443.8724; e-mail: rosen@alpha.fdu.edu

Dr. Irene Thomson, Ph.D. teaches Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Welfare Policy, Individual and Society, Crime and Inequality, Sociology of the Mass Media, Sociology of Health and Illness, and others. Her research interests are in the sociology of culture and identity. Her most recent book is In Conflict No Longer. Self and Society in Contemporary America, (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).

Office- M11A, phone- 973.443.8472; e-mail: ithomson@alpha.fdu.edu

Visiting and Adjunct Faculty Include:

Dr. Robert Weyer, Ph.D. teaches Introduction to Sociology (FIS only).

Office- M32A, phone- 973.443.8386; e-mail: rweyer@ccm.edu

John Asimakopoulos teaches Introduction to Sociology, Children and Society, and Work and Occupation.

Office- M32A, phone- 973.443.8386 e-mail: Plato1997@aol.com

Anthony teaches Introduction to Sociology

Office- 20B, phone - 973.443.8857

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Concentration in Criminology, Law and Society

The Criminology, Law and Society Minor is recommended for students interested in applying social scientific perspectives to paralegal careers and careers in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections.

The Minor requires students to select 6 of the following elective courses:

SOCI2306 Crime and Criminology

SOCI2307 Deviance and Social Control

SOCI3308 Drugs in American Society

SOCI3330 Crime and Inequality

SOCI3333 Criminal Law

SOCI3339 Comparative Deviance

SOCI3347 Sociology of Violence

POLS3304 Criminal Justice

POLS3314 Criminal Justice II

POLS3308 Law and Society

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The Pre-Law Minor provides you with the substantive background and specific skills necessary for success in law school. The Minor requires that you complete six courses. The courses in the Minor are:

Writing Skills - ENEW3001 Advanced Writing Workshop

Reasoning Skills (choose one course from among):

PHIL1104 Practical Logic

PHIL1101 Logic

POLS2250 Political Methodology or

SOCI2203 Methods of Sociological Research

Sociological and Anthropological Approaches (choose one course from among):

SOCI2306 Crime and Criminology

SOCI2307 Deviance and Social Control

SOCI3508 Drugs in American Society

Legal and Political Studies (choose three courses from among):

HIST U.S. Constitutional History

POLS3304 Criminal Justice

POLS3306 American Constitutional Law

POLS3307 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

POLS3308 Law and society

For more information, visit our Pre-Law and Legal Studies pages!

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Students are encouraged to spend a semester at Wroxton College, FDU's campus in England. Sample the cultures of Europe and experience a first-rate British education, including tutorials, seminars and visits to major cultural and political events. Because the College's curriculum is carefully planned and coordinated with FDU, all courses are accredited. For information on applying for study and advisement on course selection, see your advisor.


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Internships in Washington D.C.

The Washington Center, located in Washington, D.C., offers internships for every field of study. A Washington Center staff member, called a "program supervisor," will find an internship that matches your area of interest. The program supervisor will assist you during your stay in Washington. He or she will be there to offer support, answer your questions, and help you work through any problems that may arise.

Your internship will be at least 80 percent entry-level professional work and no more than 20 percent clerical, ensuring you the hand-on career experience you need.

In addition to your internship, you will participate in an academic course one evening a week. The Washington Center offers a wide range of courses on topics including issues in the arts and humanities, communications, public policy, business, and law. You also will meet periodically with your program supervisor and other students to discuss your internship experiences.

You will be invited to attend at least two breakfasts at the US Capitol with an influential leader or policy maker. These breakfasts allow you to meet and speak informally with prominent national figures. You will also attend an afternoon speaker series which features experts in a diverse set of issues of national importance.

To participate in our internship program, you must be a second semester sophomore or above at the time you attend with a least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Many students earn 12 to 15 credits while participating in our internship program and the credits awarded will be determined by your school. Dr. Greene is the campus liaison with the Washington Center and will be able to provide you with more information about the Center's programs.

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Last Revised 11/23/00