Sociology and Criminology

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Welcome to the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Rider University

Sociology helps us understand how social groups, organizations, social institutions and societies function, how they change over time, how they impact our lives – and how we create and sustain them, and can change them.

Sociology is often referred to as the “queen” of the social sciences because it encompasses all the components of society – including the relations of society to the individual. It studies the economy, politics, crime, law, media, education, family and how these influence each other. In doing so, it offers its own unique disciplinary perspective on society and social life.

Consider some questions sociologists explore:

  • How does the society we live in impact our opportunities and experiences (e.g., the likelihood of career success or failure; singlehood, marriage, divorce or widowhood; illness or wellness)?

  • How does our culture differ from others?  How do cultural differences shape understandings of people and events and potentially result in misunderstandings?

  • Does our society have more crime and violence than some other societies? If so, why? What kinds of social policies can effectively deal with these problems so that citizens can feel, and be, safer?

  • How is globalization changing our society and our lives?

  • How do our daily actions recreate and sustain organizations, and how is the power and responsibility to change them in our hands?

  • How have social policies created negative, but unintended, social consequences?

The Department of Sociology and Criminology at Rider University offers a wide range of sociology and anthropology courses. Our faculty areas of specialization include: aging; art; cities/suburbs; deviance, crime, and the justice system; demography; the economy and work organizations, the environment, families; gender; health & medicine; media; law; politics; race & ethnicity; social interaction; social change & social movements; social diversity, and social inequalities.

Career Pathways | How can I succeed with this major? (pdf)

To find out more, please contact:

Victor Thompson
Associate Professor and Chair, Sociology and Criminology
Fine Arts 281

Dr. Victor Thompson (Ph.D., Stanford University) received his Ph.D. in sociology in 2010 from Stanford University. While at Stanford, he was a fellow at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from 2005-2007 and taught courses on race and ethnicity, political sociology, and urban sociology. He has written on race, crime and public opinion in addition to racial classification.