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Your courses will present possibilities for hands-on research, carried out in small classes with support from faculty members. You may even do research over the summer with a professor. Instructors will provide you with training in essential principles and standards of scientific and statistical research – and encourage you to think creatively.

About the Major

Sociology at Hamilton is a rigorous but creative program in which accomplished professors and engaged students work closely together on a broad range of topics. Students learn to conduct and assess many types of social research. Majors receive instruction in both the methodology of research and the theoretical debates and principles that make social inquiry vital to human understanding. And they are trained to write and speak effectively to a variety of different audiences.

My sociology professors have embraced my inquisitiveness, motivated me to stretch my mind, and fostered in me a love of learning.

Crystal Kim ’15 — Sociology major

Sociology students can study politics, economics, religion, sex, race, power, ethics, history, mathematics and just about anything else involving human beings. Humans are social creatures, shaped and in some ways defined by their interactions, and sociology is the study of that process. It explores patterns of social life and examines how social structures and cultures influence our personalities, families, attitudes, behavior, work, leisure — our very identities.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Professor/Sociologist, Florida Atlantic University
  • Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque
  • Director, Digital Media & Advertising, L'Oréal Paris
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
  • Special Education Bilingual Teacher, Bronx Preparatory Charter School
  • Co-Founder/Treasurer, Planting Seeds in Africa
  • Men’s Basketball Coach, Rhode Island College
  • First Assistant Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Dentist, Kids First Pediatric Dentistry

Contact Information


Sociology Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4404 315-859-4649 sociology@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Social Class in American Society 204F


Consequences of inequalities in wealth, income, power and prestige. Social mobility, poverty, class differences in values and lifestyles, social class and politics.

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Consumer Society and Culture 208F


Shopping and buying are significant social actions and we use them to analyze various aspects of contemporary society. Our daily lives as consumers shape how we identify ourselves, yet at the same time our choices are shaped by politics, gender, social class, race, ethnicity, and education. This course introduces sociological issues connected with mass consumption and modernity; the global commodity chain that connects producers and consumers, commodity fetishism; sources and spaces of aspirational consumption, such as Starbucks; corporate responsibility in the market; and ethical consumption.

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Sociology of Immigration 256S


This course examines international migration as a social process, with a main focus on immigration to the United States. It provides sociological perspectives to understand why immigration happens, how it occurs, and what consequences and outcomes it produces. We will explore theories of migration and compare and contrast trends in old world and new world migration systems, as well as the American migration experience.

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Classics of Modern Social Thought 290


Reading and discussion of major thinkers in the development of modern Western social thought. Authors include Machiavelli, Rousseau, Burke, Marx, Darwin, Weber, Freud, Mannheim and de Beauvoir. Emphasis on class presentations, debates, book notes and class protocols. Works examined from historical, sociological, psychological and philosophical perspectives.

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Issues in Higher Education 308F


An exploration of major issues facing higher education today, especially as applied to liberal arts colleges, including admissions practices; financing and student debt; challenges of social class, diversity and the integration of first-generation students; sexual relations and assault; the role of digital technology; and the meaning and relevance of liberal arts.

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Seminar: Globalization and Its Discontents 319S


Globalization has been taking place for centuries, but its impact has accelerated over the last hundred years. The effects of globalization are widely debated among passionate supporters and critics. This class aims to explore different facets of the complex, evolving phenomenon of globalization. The course introduces the main debates about the global economy. We will discuss what globalization is. Then we will develop an historical perspective on the roots of globalization. Lastly, we will investigate primary dimensions of globalization such as trade, finance, aid, and migration.

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