English

Hone your writing skills while deepening your appreciation of literature. Through discussion and close personal attention, you’ll develop analytical, critical reasoning, and communication skills highly sought after by employers in many fields. These skills will also provide you with an excellent foundation for graduate study.

Degree Offered: B.A.
Offered on the Augusta and Bangor campuses


NEW in the Fall of 2013:  Sociology Minor

The Social Sciences faculty is pleased to announce the development of a Minor in Sociology.  

This minor is designed for individuals who are non-Social Science majors who wish to explore the content area of sociology further.  It provides students with a distinctly sociological approach to social phenomena.  The methods and concepts of sociology yield powerful insights into the social processes shaping lives, experiences, problems and possibilities in the contemporary world. The ability to identify and understand these processes, or what C.W. Mills called the "sociological imagination," is valuable preparation for personal and professional participation in a changing and complex society.

In addition to mastery of General Education outcomes, upon completion of the Minor, students will:

  • Be able to describe, orally or in written communication, the defining characteristics of sociology within the scientific community.  Student can describe the origin, scope and selected contributions of sociology within the social sciences as well as the greater scientific community.  
  • Demonstrate through written or oral work a knowledge of theories, concepts, substantive problems, and methodologies related to sociological practice.
  • Articulate an understanding of the intellectual and ethical importance of the sociological imagination and sociological mindfulness.
  • Critique the sociocultural and international contexts that influence individual and collective behavior.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the connections and differences between diverse historical and cultural positions in society.
  • Develop an ability and inclination to encounter cultures different from their own and understand their institutional and individual manifestations and the appreciation and respect for a diversity of viewpoints, interpretations, and diverse perceptions of reality, due to biases resulting from individual cultural screens of the observers.
  • Evaluate, propose and engage in research projects using their knowledge of the research enterprise and specific disciplines.  

 

  1. REQUIREMENTS (18 credit hours):

 SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3)

 SOC 201 Social Problems (3)

 SOC 311 Social Theory (3)

 SSC 320 Research Methods in Social Science (3)

 SOC XXX elective (3)

 SOC 3XX or 4XX upper-division elective (3)

Professor Cook to Present Research on Social Media and Politics at Upcoming Conference

 

jamescookfall2012Assistant Professor James Cook travels to Halifax, Nova Scotia in September to make a presentation at Dalhousie University for the 2013 Social Media & Society Conference. Dr. Cook will be presenting the results of his research into patterns of social network contact between Senators and constituents over Twitter.  Fittingly, announcements regarding the conference are being shared through the Twitter hashtag #smsociety13.

 

ABSTRACT

Are Twitter accounts of the U.S. Senate used as points of collegial connection, constituent cultivation or coalition construction? Who is connecting with whom? To address these questions, this paper considers three types of social network data for senators collected between January and February of 2013: communication between official Twitter accounts of senators, overlap in mentions of non-Senate accounts, and overlap in mentions by non-Senate accounts. QAP analysis reveals the extent to which Senate social media relations resemble two forms of Senate political action: shared bill cosponsorship and similarity in voting. The impact of homophily, party, region and social media style on the strength of connection and similarity of action shows consistency in some aspects but varies significantly in others. Members of the Senate connect differently in different contexts; to know one form of connection is not to understand them all.

 

In addition to his research activity, Prof. Cook teaches courses in Social Networks and Analyzing Social Media for the UMA Social Media Certificate, a set of ten classes that develop students' skill in creating, analyzing and marketing social media.

Professor Lake-Corral to Present Research on Culture and Pedagogy at ASA 2013

 

Assistant Professor Lorien Lake-Corral made a presentation at a regular session at the 108th annual conference of the American Sociological Association this August in New York City. Dr. Lake-Corral presented her research on the presentation of 'culture' in introductory sociology textbooks and the pedagogical and canonical implications of her findings.  

 

ABSTRACT

This paper reports the results of a content analysis of Introductory Sociology textbooks in order to assess their coverage of, and approach to, the teaching of “culture” in the hopes of ultimately creating a unified approach for the introduction of students to the sociology of culture.  Looking at introductory sociology textbooks, the current study documents if and to what extent the topic of culture is included; and if so, analyzes which topics are included, how much space is dedicated to culture, and particularly which frames (in Goffman’s (1974 [1986]) sense) are used to present sociology of culture.

The results of this research highlight three important tendencies of introductory texts.  Firstly, there is an apparent inconsistency between current academic work in the sociology of culture and inclusion of that work in introductory textbooks.  This is particularly true of cultural production.  Additionally, textbooks are extremely likely to treat culture as a concept in an anthropological sense (including a discussion of language, norms, and values) or in terms of diversity or multiculturalism.  Finally, textbooks on the whole do not appear to change over time in significant ways.  This is certainly not the case from edition to edition (usually a span of one to two years), but also among textbooks from different time periods (the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s).

NEW SOCIAL SCIENCE COURSE IN FALL 2013:

SOC 330: SOCIOLOGY OF HEALTH AND HEALTH CAREbarbarasnowadzky

 

The health care system is one of the most influential institutions of our times.  If you want to know more about how the field of modern medicine grew to be so powerful, from a sociologist’s perspective, then the upcoming class in the “Sociology of Medicine” is for you.

The course will examine the social context of health and illness: who gets sick, who gets help, and how some social problems become known as medical conditions.  The class will also explore the historical development of the health care system, medical education in our country, the roles of various medical professionals, and institutional settings.  The interaction between people and their health care providers, health care reforms, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and health care systems in other countries will also be explored.

 

This upper level social science class will be offered on site at Augusta in the Fall Semester 2013 on Thursdays from 1 to 3:45 PM.  It will be taught by Barbara Snowadzky, who holds a Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialty in Medical Sociology.  She has taught courses at University College at Rumford/Mexico and Thomaston/ Rockland, as well as on the UMA campus. 

This course is appropriate for anyone concerned about how medicine affects society, as well as those working in or aspiring to careers in health care settings.  Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology.

 

The social sciences are a diverse set of disciplines, but one feature they hold in common is a commitment to professional association.  In research, teaching, and community action, the disciplines of the social sciences meet across institutions and in spite of physical distance to coordinate with and inform one another.  The following is a list of professional associations of which our program faculty are members and which support the generation of understanding in the social sciences: