Shimer College

Social Science Courses At Shimer Liberal Arts College

Paulo FreirePaulo Freire

Shimer’s Social Science Courses are grounded on the principle that specialized knowledge is of limited value without breadth of knowledge.


The study of the Social Sciences at Shimer College includes not only sociology and its application in economics, demographic analysis, and social psychology—often the focus of the social science major at other institutions—but rather encompasses the wide range of thought on society, culture, and the individual. At Shimer, Social Sciences comprises the disciplines of political philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and linguistics.

Moreover, core courses in the Social Sciences at Shimer, like those in the Humanities and the Natural Sciences, consist of reading and seminar discussion of original and influential works.  The student is not merely expected to absorb concepts and terms but to critically engage landmark ideas after reading their original, and often controversial, exposition. 

A student taking college “Soc” courses is likely to learn, for example, that “correlation is not causation.”  But will you read the original argument for this now well established-principle of statistical sociology, and have the opportunity to critically examine it?  At Shimer you will.