Why Study Sociology Here?
What is Sociology?
Sociology is both science and passion. Scientifically, sociologists use theory and data to analyze society beyond the singular viewpoint of the individual to reveal social systems, structures, and inequalities that are hidden by conventional wisdom, force of history, habit, beliefs, and/or the exercise of power. The capacity to see the world beyond our own personal perspectives is what sociologists call ‘the sociological imagination. The sociological imagination is the ability to conceptualize how larger social forces affect the lives of individual people and groups as well as how individual and group choices can direct and redirect those larger social forces. This quality of mind — the capability to understand the connection between the personal and the political — is what drives the passion of sociologists. Sociologists believe that through the science of society, we can improve the human condition, particularly for those who are disadvantaged or harmed by hidden patterns and structures. This commitment to bettering human life for all is the gravitational pull of sociology; students are drawn to the energy, drive, and moral compass of our discipline.
Why Study Sociology Here?
The Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech is particular in its approach to developing and applying the sociological imagination. Virginia Tech is a top-tier land grant research university dedicated to advancing knowledge through multidisciplinary, experiential, and problem-solving approaches to learning, community engagement, and discovery in order to make a positive impact on the world.
VT’s dedication to meaningful and engaged academic work is driven by both its mission of inclusive excellence and Principles of Community that value contributions from all, especially those in our location in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. We stand by the university’s commitment to its core motto: Ut Prosim – That I May Serve. This commitment to people and place is what animates the learning, discovery, and engagement of the SOC@VT faculty, staff, and students.
Beyond the Classroom
Our commitment to using data, theory, and discourse to improve the human experience requires us to engage with the world beyond the university. Through community engagement, experiential learning, and study abroad, we prepare our students to live and work as global citizens who possess the necessary tools and knowledge, as well as the humility, respect, empathy, and courage to change the world.