2022-2023 Undergraduate Academic Catalogue 
    Jul 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Office: Fernandez Center, Room 256
Telephone: 410‑617‑2742
Website: www.loyola.edu/academics/sociology

Chair: Joshua D. Hendrick, Associate Professor

Professors: Jai P. Ryu (emeritus); Michael Burton (emeritus); M. Antonia Keane (emerita); Mark Peyrot (emeritus)
Associate Professors: Michelle I. Gawerc; Joshua D. Hendrick; Amanda Konradi;  Barbara Vann (emirita)
Assistant Professors: Nicole Shoenberger; H. Lovell Smith
Affiliate Faculty: William Sheppard; Christopher Turner

Mission: Understanding and critically analyzing social issues of our time is essential to the construction of just and sustainable local, national and global communities. To this end, the Sociology Department of Loyola University Maryland cultivates a sociological imagination – the ability to think critically about the social construction of knowledge, power, privilege, difference, and inequality. The department provides students with theoretical, analytical, and methodological tools to engage with poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, war and violence, human rights abuse, religious intolerance, and environmental degradation.

Vision: The Sociology Department of Loyola University Maryland will foster students' capacity to recognize the reproduction of inequality, difference, and patterns of social injustice in the U.S. and the world. We will cultivate students' ability to recognize the intersecting nature of structures of inequality and privilege and the varied ways in which these are experienced by others and themselves. Faculty aim to inspire students to challenge unjust systems, organizations, and communities, and to reflexively examine their own participation in them.

Sociology incorporates the dual traditions of the humanities and natural sciences in an effort to describe, understand, and explain human social behavior. Sociology addresses many of the great questions that humanists have posed with the attitude and methods of the natural sciences. Students of sociology develop a strong appreciation for history, philosophy, and the liberal arts in general, while learning to think scientifically and systematically. Students learn to apply basic sociological research techniques and skills, which graduates will find useful in a variety of career tracks including, but not limited to law, business, medicine, teaching, government, nonprofit organizations, or social work.

Sociology majors and minors have a wide range of interesting and useful courses to choose from, and considerable freedom to design programs of study that match their academic and career goals. Because of its integrative, synthesizing nature and its emphasis on social research skills, sociology complements other disciplines, as in a double or interdisciplinary major.

Learning Aims

Upon graduation, sociology majors will:

  • Understand the discipline of sociology and its role in contributing to an understanding of social reality, as demonstrated by:
    1. Describing and giving examples of how sociology differs from and is similar to the other social sciences.
    2. Describing how sociology contributes to the liberal arts understanding of social reality.
    3. Applying the sociological imagination, sociological principles, and concepts to their own lives and to social problems.
  • Be able to think critically, as demonstrated by:
    1. Using sociological research and analytical skills in critical evaluation of claims made about social reality.
    2. Showing how patterns of thought and knowledge are influenced by culture and social structure.
  • Master fundamental sociological theory and concepts, as demonstrated by:
    1. Defining, giving examples, and demonstrating the relevance of the following: culture, social change, socialization, stratification, social structure, institutions, and differentiations by race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class.
    2. Comparing and contrasting basic theoretical orientations; 
    3. Applying sociological theories and concepts to social phenomena, both locally and globally.
  • Understand diversity and inequality in the U.S. and the global context, and the ways in which they and others are socially situated as racialized, regionalized, classed and gendered actors, as demonstrated by:
    1. Describing the significance of empirical variation by race, class and gender / sexuality in various U.S. and international contexts.
    2. Describing how the U.S. fits into the larger global context.
    3. Utilizing sociological knowledge to analyze the great moral issues of our time including poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, genocide, war and peace, religious tolerance and intolerance, the defense of human rights, and the environmental impact of human activity.
    4. Utilize sociological knowledge to describe their own contributions to social inequality.
  • Understand the role of evidence and empirical methods in sociological thinking, as demonstrated by:
    1. Defining and explaining the relevance of key qualitative and quantitative methodological concepts.
    2. Describing the general role of empirical investigation in building sociological knowledge.
    3. Designing a research project in an area of choice and explaining why various decisions (concerning sampling, data collection, analysis, and informed consent, etc.) were made.
    4. Critically assessing a research publication.
  • Understand the importance of using sociological knowledge to inform policy debates and promote public understanding, and do so, as demonstrated by:
    1. Bringing a sociologically-informed perspective to bear in assuming the responsibilities of citizenship, locally and globally, as envisioned in the Jesuit motto "men and women for others."
    2. Being able to express sociological ideas in a clear and coherent manner in both written and oral communication.
    3. Describing the kinds of work sociologists do and how sociological knowledge and skills can be used in the workplace.
    4. Using and understanding the value of sociological theories and knowledge when participating in public discourse and civic life.


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