Statement in Support of Introductory Sociology as a General Education Course

The Southern Sociological Society strongly supports the inclusion of Introductory Sociology as a course that counts toward general education requirements, such as core social sciences requirements. Introductory Sociology is an important course for understanding society. It allows students to see connections between their individual lives and larger forces, including organizations, institutions, and the state, enabling students to be more informed and better citizens. Sociology addresses power and social control, focusing on the importance of race, class, gender, sexuality, and such on life experiences and broader patterns of inequality.

Calls to remove Introductory Sociology from the general education curriculum will limit opportunities for students to gain a vocabulary to understand their social environment, learn techniques for conducting social science research, and learn theories to explain why specific phenomena are occurring. In short, sociology enables students to think critically, to identify and differentiate good information from bad, to consider perspectives different from their own, to develop empathy for groups to which they do not belong, and to ask and answer questions that get at the root of some of our world’s most serious problems. These skills are as important today as they have ever been.  

The Southern Sociological Society urges legislators, education officials, and other public officials to protect the place of Introductory Sociology within the curriculum. Viewed in a larger context, we challenge all legislation seeking to limit opportunities for students to become well informed and scientifically guided citizens. There is no more important time than now to encourage the instruction of classes like Introductory Sociology that help students understand social, economic, and political structures within society.

SSS Executive Committee