Investigating the Apathy toward Applied Sociology

Publication Date: 
September 2011
Journal of Applied Social Science 5(2):53-65

The number of students either majoring in or enrolling for applied sociology degrees at the undergraduate level is small. This paper investigates two questions spurred by this dilemma: what factors have led to a proportionately low number of students majoring in applied sociology? And what steps can applied sociologists take to increase student interest in applied sociology as a major? A review of literature around the problem indicates that sociology may be invisible to the general public, including many college-bound students, and what can be seen of the sociological world portrays an image that does not appeal to that student “market.” Research conducted through e-mail-based questionnaires sent to sociology students and department heads reinforces the notion that the sociological community is failing to act cohesively and reveals a few potential steps applied sociologists could take to help their recruitment efforts.