The Department of Sociology contributes to the liberal arts mission of the University of Maine. We are committed to excellence in teaching, research, and public service. We emphasize critical thinking and analysis in our teaching and provide our majors intensive training in research methodology. We seek in this manner to prepare our students for the complex intellectual and vocational demands of modern society.

As sociologists we try to seek beneath the surface of common sense definitions of social reality and identify the more fundamental social processes that affect us. To further this goal, our work in all three areas of our mission emphasizes cultural diversity and pluralism, a focus integral to the sociological tradition. Through our application of the sociological imagination we contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of society and social change.

In the spirit of public sociology, the Sociology Department’s commitment to quality of life for all reflects the value we place on the components of the “good society”: public spirit, concern for the common good, and strong social institutions stemming

from an active citizenship. We strive to achieve the good society in our teaching, scholarship, and service. We especially aim to shed light on the structural bases of social inequality and the possibilities for achieving a society truly guided by the American creed of liberty and justice for all.

Many efforts by our faculty focus on understanding and improving the quality of life in Maine and beyond. These efforts include numerous workshops in Maine and around the world on Christian mysticism and alternative therapies and a focus on crime and criminal justice through articles and textbooks as well as conference presentations. Our faculty also regularly contribute to the public conversation via op-eds and other outlets on topics such as the experiences of Maine workers, family diversity, mass incarceration, and racial prejudice. We are proud that our alumni have contributed to Maine’s common good through their work in agencies such as the Mabel Wadsworth Center and the Maine Department of Corrections as well as through many types of social activism.

Student Testimonials give you more information about how our students feel about this program.