Sociology at Georgetown University has had a long history. Mentioned in a course description that appeared in 1891-92 postgraduate catalogue, Sociology first appeared on campus as part of a course on metaphysics and ethics. At about the same time (1890), the University of Chicago established the first Department of Sociology in North America. In 1905, the American Sociological Association was established.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Sociologists regularly gave invited lectures at Georgetown. In 1928, the Graduate School established a Graduate Department of Sociology. Sociology was also a topic of study in other departments, with courses on Economics and Sociology and on Population. At Georgetown’s 150th anniversary, Professor Pitrim A. Sorokin, Chair of Harvard’s Department of Sociology, spoke at Gaston Hall. Fr. Robert L. Hoggson, S.J., later joined the Georgetown faculty to teach Sociology in the School of Business Administration and in the School of Nursing.
In 1967, the Graduate School established a Department of Sociology to house a new M.A. Program in Demography. Soon afterward, in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, an undergraduate major in Sociology emerged. The Department graduated its first majors in May 1971.
Since then, many faculty have had appointments in Sociology. Between the 1970s through the 1990s, the department housed Sociologists, Demographers, and Anthropologists. In the late 1970s, the university separated the M.A. Demography program from Sociology and created a separate department of Demography. In 2005, the Sociology department because the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. In 2008, the university established a separate Department of Anthropology.
Since then, the Department of Sociology has hired new faculty whose research interests address race and ethnicity, culture, religion, urban life, demography, and the environment. These faculty teach a variety of related courses, of which almost all have robust enrollments each semester. For more information about the current Sociology faculty, click on People at the top of the department’s homepage.