'What excites me most about the major is its versatility and interdisciplinarity'

What inspired you to pursue a degree in Sociology?

I was inspired to pursue a degree in Sociology based on my lived experiences with large societal change. Like many others currently attending Cornell, my adolescence has been shaped by the coinciding events of the explosive 2016 presidential election, COVID-19 pandemic, the remarkable rise in social movements such as Black Lives Matter, and much more. Throughout high school, I started asking more and more questions about how present social institutions and structures were (and weren’t) influencing and responding to broad societal issues affecting people’s lives. When the time came to apply for college, I thought that pursuing my studies in sociology would give me access to the knowledge and skills necessary for beginning to uncover some of these answers.

What excites you most about the major? 

What most excites me about the major is its versatility and interdisciplinarity. The theories, tools, and methods utilized within sociology as a discipline lend themselves to a vast array of different practical applications, especially in collaboration with many other fields. I am not yet sure what I want to specialize in, but am nonetheless passionate about a multitude of different social issues. Thus, I am thrilled to explore the various real-world uses of sociological analysis and imagination in my coursework and beyond. Under the tutelage of Cornell’s talented department faculty, I hope that I will be able to expand my understanding and horizons on topics including culture, networks, crime/prisons/carcerality, racial, gender, and disability justice, labor, education, health (in)equity, and much, much, more.

What's something you imagine or hope you'll take away from your studies as a Cornell graduate with a degree in Sociology?

I hope and imagine that at the end of my studies as a sociology major that I will take away both a set of skills and insights that will prepare me for work as a lawyer or other public interest advocate, and, on a more fundamental level, an enhanced ability to examine societal phenomenon, structures, and institutions and assess how they can be improved for the maximization of human wellbeing.

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Nic Oke