Sociology Department of Social Sciences
…While taking a sociology class which explored different types of prejudices in society, we had a discussion on different groups and I realized that I actually agreed with some of the stereotypes about a particular group. In other words, I was blind to my own biased views. However after completing the class, the big takeaway for me was not to be so quick to judge someone else and to try to see people for who they are through their own scope or lens. At this point I knew that in order for me to become a better individual I had to confront and change some of my personal viewpoints. The more I read about people from different ethnic backgrounds and learned about the discriminations they face on a daily basis, I began to relate to their struggles and become more accepting. This new knowledge and understanding of the world, and how racial, class, and gender issues are weaved so tightly into the fabric of our culture was a defining moment for me. I have to admit that this class was a valuable learning experience for me because it changed my perception on how I perceive individuals in society. Since then it has become much easier for me to make sense of our society and the world around us……
…I decided to become a Sociology major during my freshman year here at Clayton State University because I truly enjoy working with people and take pleasure in helping people meet their needs to overcome any setback they may experience. The Sociology program has prepared me to do this…..
…I discovered that Sociology is not just a major to learn more about human social behaviors and their origins in general. I learned it is also a major that caused me to explore and find my true self and purpose in life. Being in this major has changed my outlook on life and how I view others around me. Now I look at people and problems in the world and I passionately believe that all should have equal opportunities regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. Sociology has taught me to be more tolerant of others and their ideas even if those thoughts and ideas may conflict with my personal views…..
…Often in my sociology classes the professor would introduce concepts that would cause me to challenge my own personal beliefs and value system and this in turn pushed me to question and think more about what I believe in and why I held the beliefs that I did. As a result, many of the sociology classes helped me to think more critically and independently about world issues and how society works. I have learned about various groups, institutions and people in society and this knowledge has made me more aware of what goes on below the surface of our culture and society. The study of Sociology has helped me to see the world in a different light…..
…There are some classes you will take in college that will not be relevant to you beyond the final exam but with regard to the sociology classes I took, the materials I studied and learned had an impact on my thinking way beyond the final exam and I always found the information relevant as I was able to apply it to my everyday life. The material truly helped me to open my eyes and my mind in a way that I can now think outside the box. I learned to empathize and communicate with people who may come from different backgrounds than me. The class material also helped me to see things through another person’s eyes and not just mine. Being in the field of Sociology has answered many of the questions that I often pondered regarding race, class, gender and sexual orientation and I was forced to face a lot of touchy issues head on instead of sweeping them under the rug and not dealing with my own personal hang-ups…..
…One of the concepts that influenced the way I see society was learning about “social construction”. Social construction teaches you how to perceive any given issue such as race or socioeconomic class and to recognize how over time this concept may shift or change. This caused me to realize that we do not have to live the life that has been constructed and programmed for us by society…..
…Being in the sociology major helped me to step outside of myself and see the social dynamics of the world in a whole new way. At the same time, I also gained a better understanding of how others may perceive me as both a woman and a person of African American heritage. This further challenged me to think about any possible misconceptions I might have had about others in the African American race and in debunking these notions, to enhance my role within the society around me. Sociology has taught me a lot and I hope to eventually use it to contribute to a more just world for everyone…..