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Welcome to the Department of Sociology!

Established in 1950, the Department has grown steadily over the years and is currently the largest in the School of Social Sciences, College of Humanities, with a student population of 3,039, which includes 2,969 undergraduate students, 45 Masters students and 25 Doctoral students. The 23 faculty members teach on the Main Campus, the Accra City Campus, and on the Distance and Continuing Education programme.

Sociology is the systematic study of human social interaction, making the analysis of society perhaps the most exciting social science discipline of our times. It offers a scientific approach to the understanding of the nature, organization and functioning of human society. It examines human behaviour, social relationships, social institutions, and their consequences. Sociology is interested in what holds society together and what causes social change. It uses various concepts, theories, and research methods to provide a distinct perspective called “sociological” for understanding many aspects of society as well as social problems. Sociology’s subject matter is broad as evident in its numerous sub-disciplines that focus on, for example, the family, ethnicity, culture and cultural diversity, crime and social control, work and organizations, health and illness, politics, urbanization, law, religion, gender, population and demography, mass media and communication, science and technology, globalization, and tourism. Sociology equips students with cutting-edge knowledge, analytical minds, and research skills for personal intellectual development and also for understanding how human societies are organized and function.

The Department trains students at undergraduate (BA) and postgraduate (MA, MPhil, PhD) levels. Thus, sociology students have a wide range of career prospects in teaching and research institutions, industrial organizations, the civil service, the public sector, the banks, the telecommunication industry, Non-Governmental Organizations, international development agencies, and in other areas where services are delivered. Some of our former students are playing crucial roles in national and international life. Some are academics, journalists, bankers, Ghana Revenue Authority officials, and politicians, just to mention but a few.

Students of the department are trained to combine theoretical knowledge with practical research and fieldwork in their various fields of specialization. Some of our main areas of specialization include Criminology, Gender Studies, Industrial and Development Sociology, Medical Sociology, Rural/Urban Sociology, and Sociology of Religion. Also, since the inception of the new PhD programme, our departmental graduate committee has enhanced the quality of graduate work, an achievement we wish to build on.

Faculty members are mainly engaged in their individual research and projects for national and international organizations and institutions, while some have collaborative research with both local and international colleagues. Some significant achievements of the Department in the recent past include several published research studies on social issues such as child labour, chieftaincy, funeral celebrations, poverty in Ghana, religion, public culture and social change, tradition and change, traditional medicine, and Fulani pastoralism in Ghana. Published research is good, but should be useful to society. In this vein, the Department has a long history of works on tradition and change, religion, and medical systems, which have gained national/international recognition. And in recent times, works of a good number of our academics are in the scopus academic database, attesting to their international quality. The 2014 Departmental Reader also brings our discipline home to our students. The Department also publishes the Legon Journal of Sociology annually.

The Department is leading the way in reviving the Ghana Sociological Association now to be re-named Ghana Sociological and Anthropological Association (GSAA). To this end, a maiden conference of the association was held here at Legon from 26th to 28th November, 2015 on the theme “Social Science Knowledge Production in Africa: Interrogating the Past for Future Directions and Actions”.

 

Head of Department

Prof  Michael P K Okyerefo

BA (Gh); MPhil, D.Phil (Vienna), PGCE (Cantab)

Email: mokyerefo@ug.edu.gh