The Sociology of Religion, Social Movements and Social Theory Specialization
The Sociology Department has nationally and internationally-known scholars in the sociology of religion (Dr. Roger Finke and Dr. Jenny Trinitapoli), social movements (Dr. John McCarthy), and social theory (Dr. Alan Sica). Some graduate students come to Penn State specifically to work with and be mentored by these scholars.
Under the direction of Roger Finke, the Sociology Department is home to the Association of Religion Data Archives, a national and international data resource on religion which is used by students, professional scholars, journalist, and the general public from around the world (http://www.thearda.com/). Immediate access to this resource is a significant asset to graduate students interested in the Sociology of Religion.
The Social Thought Program at Penn State, founded in 1992 by Alan Sica, is a network of members of the university community in various disciplines (e.g. Errol Henderson, Political Science; Phil Jenkins and Catherine Wanner, History) with shared interests in social, cultural, and political theories. This joint venture in teaching and research has been developed as an interdisciplinary approach to learning that emphasizes an historical understanding of intellectual change. The program is aimed at graduate students whose academic interests are broad, and is taught by faculty with a similar orientation. It offers a doctoral minor in Social Thought that augments a student’s primary field of study.
- Social Movements
- Social Mobilization
- Complex Organizations
- Theories of Society
- Contemporary Sociological Theory
- Great Books and Research Articles
- Sociology of Religion Seminar (alternate years)
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