Sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. At McDaniel, sociology coursework takes a scientific, humanistic and cross-cultural approach when investigating the structure of groups, organizations and societies. It also analyzes the relationships that unite societies in the world system. Topics of interest to sociology include community life, family patterns and relationships, social change, social movements, intergroup relations, race, gender, social class, the environment, and technology.
The sociology major provides a good foundation for students wishing to pursue professional degrees in social work, education, public health, business administration, and community planning, in addition to law, medicine, and divinity school.
Lewis Recitation Hall, 2nd floor
Dr. Debra C. Lemke
Majors & Courses
Sociology majors have some long term career advantages when compared to students with specialized degrees. Many employers now realize that liberal arts majors such as sociologists are often better able to think abstractly, formulate problems, ask appropriate questions, get answers, analyze situations and data, organize material, write well and make oral presentations.
Professor and department chair Debra Lemke
(Ph.D., Iowa State University), who coordinates a Jan Term trip to China and advises six campus clubs including the Asian Community Coalition and Belly Dancing Club, focuses her research collaborations with students on student designed projects relevant to the biannual campus survey and college pedagogy while her course topics include introductory sociology, sociological theory, social stratification, and asian culture.
Professor Lauren Dundes
(Sc.D., Johns Hopkins University), who has published with students research papers that include such topics as combatting dental anxiety to perceptions of recommended portions of various foods, teaches the introductory sociology course, criminology and criminal justice and medical sociology while pursuing such research interests as the analysis of Disney films and crime.
Associate Professor Sara Raley
(Ph.D., University of Maryland), whose research and teaching interests include family, gender, sexuality, demography, and child well-being, regularly teaches introduction to global societies and the sociology of work and occupations and helped develop the popular sophomore interdisciplinary studies course, “South Park and Contemporary Issues,” which she team teaches with Philosophy senior lecturer Josh Baron.
Associate Professor Linda Semu
(Ph.D., Indiana University), teaches urban sociology, introduction to global societies and global social change, in which she encourages her students to think about global inequality, international human rights issues and the cultural aspects of development in various countries, and has research and teaching interests in social change, international development, globalization, gender, comparative studies/Africa, family, social policy, social demography and political sociology.
Associate Professor Richard Maurice Smith
(Ph.D., Temple University), focuses his research and teaching on issues of racial relations and racism in the US, African-American culture, and the interconnection of race and religion. He is currently doing research on the persistence of African-American movements and backlash to those movements as well as African-American vegan culture. He is an active speaker on race and social justice issues and has led discussions and taught seminars on the current Black Lives Matter movement and its connection to the history of movements for racial equality.
Interested sociology students have the opportunity to conduct independent research with any of our professors. In addition, we strongly encourage sociology students to pursue internships.
Recent Internship Placements for Sociology Majors:
• NCIS – acquisition and logistics
• Suffolk County Police Department, NY
• Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes of Johns Hopkins University- assist program coordinator
• Maryland State Police Forensic Lab- assist with handling and cataloging evidence
• Maryland State Police Fire Marshall Office- assist with arson investigations, fire safety, and K-9 training
• Sisters of Bon Secours — develop and update social media options
• Silver Oak Academy — mentoring young males
• National Security Scholarship Program — work with classified data
• Baltimore City Police
• Carroll County Detention Center Pre-Trial Services
• Emergency Management Homeland Security Prince Georges County Youth Program — design and give emergency preparedness seminars
• Voices for Children Carroll County, MD
• Abused Persons Program, Montgomery County, MD — assist with English/Spanish translation for domestic violence victims
Recent student–faculty research collaboration
|Shelby Dolby||Dr. Lauren Dundes, Dr. Debra Lemke||Managing Time for the College Climb|
|Joseph Timpanaro||Dr. Lauren Dundes, Dr. Debra Lemke||Parents’ Divorce Limiting Your Straight A Course?|
|Rula Zaru||Dr. Sara Raley||Sexting Among College Students: Who Does It and How Do they Feel About It?|
|Ja’Nairra Myers||Dr. Richard M. Smith||Building a Church in the City|
McDaniel has a chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the national Sociology honor society, that seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of Sociology, research social problems and engage in social activities that will improve the human condition. To qualify, students must be at least a junior in credit standing, have taken at least 4 Sociology courses at McDaniel, have maintained a 3.0 average GPA in those courses, as well as a 3.0 overall GPA, and rank in the top 35% of their class.