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Sociology is the science that studies the social relations of people. Knowledge acquired through a variety of research techniques helps explain the social behavior of people and predict what they will do in certain situations. You can get an idea about the range of subject matter we study by our courses: "Marriage and the Family," "Criminology," "Race and Ethnic Relations," "Social Psychology," "Death and Dying", "Sociology of Religion," and "Population Health" to name a few.
Health is the fastest growing field of study in the social sciences. For years the healthcare industry had a one-dimensional approach to health care which was to only identify and manage problems with the physical body of the individual. However, healthcare practitioners have come to understand that health is holistic - it has important mental, social, and spiritual components. The social environment of patients has significant effects on how patients follow and respond to treatment. In addition, changing societal demographics (e.g. immigration, longevity) affect the manner in which healthcare is delivered to groups and individuals. Career opportunities are expanding for those who have expertise in the social dimensions of health.
While there are no particular licensing requirements for individuals concentrating in this area, opportunities are plentiful for those willing to put in the classroom hours. A health sociologist can earn anything from a bachelor’s degree all the way up to a Ph.D. A career in health sociology may appeal to the individual interested in themes such as poverty, socioeconomic status and ethnicity, among other factors, using statistics and other methodologies, as applicable to the medical field.
A background in sociology provides a variety of vocational choices: