Every sociology major has heard a million different opinions on their major, good and bad. For me, I always smile back to the person who ask, and take any comment as a compliment for my major. Or maybe, I'm just being too optimistic. Here are four typical comments I get when I tell someone I'm a sociology major.
1. It's the easiest major in college
If you are a genius for skipping tons of readings or writing ten-page papers, the answer would probably be yes. Otherwise, it needs some time to understand the fancy theories, and remember these words for exams. When you see the book list for each class, you probably would have a feeling that these materials take forever to finish. What's more, it's impossible to skip the reading most of time, because you have to understand everything to write a satisfying paper. A good sociology paper usually combines sociological theories and real examples. For example, my professor asked us to interview a family member and use sociology to analyze his/her past experiences. I talked about how class, race and education factors assisted him achieving social mobility. We can see that it's never easy to be a sociology major in college. You have to prove that you are considerate in each paper and sometimes even need to finish up to two books in a single week.
2. Sociology sounds cool, but it's boring.
I definitely agree for the first part, and that's why I chose it as my major. For the second part, I would say it depends. For the theory part, it might sound boring for some people, but it's the fundamentals for this major. If you don't understand what "sociological imagination" or "cultural capital" are, you can't use them to explain the social phenomena correctly. It's pretty much like a math major who doesn't know how to use a calculator. Without memorizing those theories, you are unable to be persuasive or interpretive when asked to apply them or write papers. Other than the relatively boring part, it's always fun to read stories for class. Last semester, I have read about New York book vendors, kids who live in low-income neighborhood and even strippers. It's a great chance to take a look at different people's life which are different than mine.
3. You are the first sociology major I have ever met!
Well, I'm glad to hear this. As the only person who majors in social science among my best friends, I have heard of this millions of time. Every time I heard this, I would take it as a chance to introduce my awesome major. Sociology contains all sides of the society, including topics such as race, gender, class, education, education, family life, environment, etc. The cool thing that sociologists do is go through each common social phenomena and explore the reasons behind them. For example, why does the divorcing rate become higher and higher nowadays? Why do we have inequality in education? It's a social since that closely connects to our real life.
4. What can you do with a sociology degree?
The answer is not only being a social worker. After understanding how the society works, you can be an expert for everything. A successful sociology major has a lot of choices relating to fields like the human resources department for businesses, health professionals, social services and government. A crucial thing is that you need to show your employer that you're a well-trained writer and speaker because of this major. And if the academic part really attracts you, you can get a PhD, and go on to teach. No matter what, a sociology degree can take you to a lot of jobs, and you don't need to worry any more than the next biology or English major.