What is Sociology?
For many of us, both faculty and students here at NTU Sociology, encountering sociological knowledge has led us to see the world with fresh eyes.
Things we took for granted—how people behave, how organizations function, what people think, how rules are made and implemented—became things to be curious about and to ask questions of.
Once we asked the questions and then went on to answer them by systematically generating data, we saw that the usual explanations are wrong. When people are poor, it is not because they are lazy. When students do poorly at school, it is not because they are unintelligent. Being religious is not only about beliefs and doctrines, and so on.
Sociology empowers us to ask new questions and provides us with powerful tools to answer them with concrete empirical evidence.
Why does this matter?
As the world turns toward greater complexity, a multiplicity of information sources, and “alternative facts,” having the skills to be discerning and analytical about what we read and what we hear is more important than ever. How we come up with solutions to problems depends strongly on how we diagnose those problems; if our assumptions about the world are wrong, then our solutions will not solve.
Sociological knowledge enables us to tackle the complexities of the contemporary world in dynamic, agile, and empirically rigorous ways.
At NTU, our faculty are passionate about research, committed to teaching, and engaged in public conversations about social change and the greater good of society.
As sociologists in a public institution, faculty members are committed to playing our part in the larger society. Although we hail from different parts of the world, we live, work, and build families in Singapore. Over the years, we have shared our research with key stakeholders—policy makers, non-profit organizations, and the general public.
Faculty do research in these areas:
Health, wellbeing, and ageing
Science, Technology, and Culture
Urbanization and Sustainability
We take on questions about the present and future of societies, about the wellbeing of persons through the life course, and about the search for meaning and dignity in a difficult world.
Research and teaching are deeply intertwined, and we consider working with young persons a privilege. As teachers, we bring our curiosity about the social world and our commitment to positive social change into our classrooms.
Through a wide range of courses, faculty members challenge students to rethink their assumptions and prejudices about the world; we strive to give students tools—lenses, language, logic, creativity—for critically evaluating various social phenomena; finally, we work to motivate and empower students to see that they have responsibilities as members of society and to imagine the ways in which they may participate in generating positive social change.
Our students go on an exciting range of careers—education, policy-making, business, marketing, media, non-profit work, civil service and more. At NTU Sociology, we strive to enable students to build durable and necessary skills for critical thinking, writing, and verbal communication. More importantly, we aim to forge in them the skills and confidence for lifelong learning and social engagement so that they can continually adapt to a complex and changing world.