Shannon Morrison didn’t know what she wanted to major in when she chose the College of Charleston, but she knew that she wanted to study people. Thanks to the College’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum, she earned credit in a broad spectrum of courses before settling on sociology. “For me, it’s a way of looking at the world that I hadn’t seen before,” she says. “A way that really makes sense to me.”
Initially, Shannon thought she’d study history, but then an Introduction to Sociology course steered her in a different direction. “One of our texts,” she recalls, “was an anthropological study that was analyzed from a sociological perspective. It described how it is that class affects the way a child is raised. The way it was presented made me see a perspective different from my own. Immediately, I wanted to learn more about this. I actually had fun writing the research paper for that book, which is always a good sign.”
Shannon also recalls being drawn to the narrative and quantitative nature of studying modern cultures and civilizations. “In sociology you have the satisfaction of asking questions and getting an answer directly from the source,” she explains.
Of all the courses she’s taken, Shannon says that Women in Film has helped her grow the most academically. Instead of the standard classroom format, this course requires students to hold online discussions about the academic papers and films that they study. “I had never thought that an online course could have that depth of analysis,” she says. “It gave me a chance to catalog my thoughts and organize them before I posted them for discussion, and it gave everyone else the same opportunity.”
At the recommendation of her advisor, Shannon has been able to apply those skills to an independent study project, which has helped prepare her for a fruitful career of research and discovery. “My professors are extremely excited about my personal development,” she says. “They want sociology majors to become experts in the field and continue to do more in the future. And every single professor in the department has been incredible.”
Our majors get broad exposure to the scientific study of social life, social change and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. The program’s curriculum includes a wide array of courses ranging from “Contemporary Social Issues” to “Medical Sociology,” and from “Child Welfare” to “The Sociology of Music.”
❱❱ Our faculty possess a broad range of expertise, with research specialties in environmental sociology, crime and deviance, international migration and more.
❱❱ Our department regularly brings distinguished sociology scholars to campus for lectures and round-table discussions.
❱❱ We assist students in finding pivotal internship opportunities in the field.