Maureen Buckley, Interim Dean
Stevenson Hall 2078
The social sciences are intimately concerned with human behavior in all its global complexity including the many kinds of social relationships and interactions that influence us as we grow and change as unique individuals throughout our lives. To comprehend adequately the state of the human condition, the interaction of people with their social and physical environments – past, present, and future – must be examined. Social scientists are interested in discovering the ways people are affected by their associations with various human groups, both large and small, including the multiplicity of organizations and institutions that characterize our globalized world. Through the social sciences, the history of social institutions and the continuing processes of social cultural change are studied.
The School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State encompasses a particularly interesting combination of departments and programs. A student can choose from a variety of opportunities, ranging from the core of “traditional” social science fields with an emphasis on understanding human behavior and applying this knowledge (anthropology, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology), to various cross-disciplinary programs (environmental studies and planning, gerontology, women’s and gender studies, and human development), to programs with a professional emphasis (counseling, criminology and criminal justice studies, and public administration).
The school oversees several respected centers and institutes, including the Anthropological Studies Center, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies,the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis, the Institute for Community Planning Assistance, and the Center for Sustainable Communities. These centers and institutes generate a number of contracts and grants that come to the University and provide many paid student internships in a large variety of funded projects.
Students in the social sciences have opportunities to study with faculty who are working in a wide spectrum of interests, including such areas as primatology, archaeology, human services,demography, cross-cultural and multicultural competence, globalization, development, social justice, and energy studies.
The School of Social Sciences is dedicated to achieving the University’s goal of preparing critically thinking, creative, collaborative citizens actively engaged in building a more enlightened and just global society.