DCF94280-E8F7-F166-A62F886D097067AC
DD020F53-C98F-50DB-CEDFC9E5288EEEAA

Sociology

Your courses will present possibilities for hands-on research, carried out in small classes with support from faculty members. Instructors will provide training in essential principles and standards of scientific and statistical research – and encourage you to think creatively. You will learn to conduct and assess many types of social research.

Crystal Kim '15
Crystal Kim ’15

A student’s progression: a paper, a grant, a year in Korea

When Crystal Kim ’15 was a first-year student, she realized her best approach to college was to toss the precise plan she’d mapped out and open up to all Hamilton had to offer.

More >>

Kim was gung-ho about everything her first year, especially academics, and challenged herself with Anthropology of Education, a 300-level course. For the final paper Kim wrote a thematic review of the problematic framework of the South Korean education system. That paper, she says, turned out to be a precursor to an Emerson research grant from the College. With that she spent a summer researching the Korean education system and ended the project eager to know more from a sociological perspective. Next was a year of study in South Korea.

Long term, Kim hopes to go to graduate school to study education. She’s interested in particular in the social and cultural foundations of comparative education systems.

“Hamilton instilled in me a fiery curiosity – now I want to feed it,” she says.

Chris Takas '05
Chris Takacs ’05

A graduate’s progress: a book and pursuit of a Ph.D.

Chris Takacs ’05 entered Hamilton College expecting to major in philosophy, then discovered the passion that became his career. He’s pursuing a doctorate in sociology at the University of Chicago and recently published a book with a man who was his professor at Hamilton, Dan Chambliss, the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology.

More >>

At Hamilton, Takacs  did well in a beginning sociology class and Chambliss invited him to join a seminar. Takacs felt honored. “And Dan was a great teacher,” says Takacs, who knows better than most the value of a great teacher. He experienced it as a Hamilton student, then he researched it as a scholar – with Chambliss.

Takacs began doing research with Chambliss as an undergraduate and the partnership proved fruitful. They co-wrote a book, How College Works, published in 2014 by Harvard Press. The book shows, among other findings, the impact of excellent professors and strong student-professor relationships on a student’s academic path.

Takacs says his own path exemplifies the book’s findings. Hamilton has an exceptional level of high-quality teachers who have that positive influence, in his experience.

“It was true for me, it was true for a lot of my friends,” he says.