Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

The Ph.D. in Sociology program of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology ultimately rests on the fundamental assumptions and goals which the Department continues to subscribe to and strives to achieve.  The description should thus begin with a restatement of those assumptions and goals.
Sociology is the study of society, in particular, of contemporary society in the throes of rapid social transformation.  Anthropology, the study of humankind, is a quest for principles that underlie physical and cultural development from the earliest appearance on earth to the present.  The Department’s training of its sociology and anthropology students reflects the many interests these fields have in common.  It also reflects a strong interest in applying sociological and anthropological perspectives to understand contemporary Philippine and Third World social issues.  Among these are the crisis of development, the dwindling and degradation of natural resources, the irrational use of political and economic power, the globalization of social life, the widening of traditional institutions, and the fragmentation of consciousness – all of which exact heavy human costs.
It is the Department’s contention that an appreciation of these social issues demands more than knowledge of the technical requirements for improving people’s welfare.  More important are two qualities inherent in the sociological and anthropological imagination:  a deeper understanding of larger social forces which perpetuate these inequalities, a sensitivity to cultural and cross-cultural aspects accompanying these phenomena, and an ability to apply this knowledge in concrete program settings.  The Department expects its students to use the critical intelligence and skills acquired in graduate school to document social phenomena with scientific rigor, to assess prevailing and opposing ideologies of social reform, to offer alternative perspectives in comprehending the ongoing process of rationalization in society, and to make feasible suggestions for designs for enhancing people’s welfare.  To help accomplish these goals, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers four graduate programs:
The Master of Arts, major in Anthropology provides students with a thorough grounding in the theories and methods of anthropology, with an opportunity to specialize in such areas as cultural change, ethnology, and even more focused areas in social and cultural anthropology.
The Master of Arts, major in Sociology gives students a firm grounding in the theories and methods of sociology, with an opportunity to specialize in such subject areas as social change, social problems, social organization, and even more focused areas as urban structures, gender relations, social inequality, and interpretative sociology.
The Master of Science in Social Development, an applied social science program, gives students the practical, analytical, and theoretical tools to engage in social development work upon completion of their studies.
The Master of Science in Applied Sociology and Anthropology, a revived program, responds to a need often expressed by the government and private organizations: personnel who are able to apply knowledge and skills from sociology and anthropology to practical problems.  Thus the program is useful for:  1) individuals who are already directly involved in industry, rural and urban community development and planning, public health, social welfare; 2) teachers who wish to specialize in the teaching of social sciences rather than in a research center.
The Ph.D. in Sociology degree program is the most significant addition to the current programs so far.  Its objective is to provide interested and qualified individuals a program of studies that will enable them to receive the highest academic degree in general sociology.  The training required also reflects the Department’s goal of providing students with the highest level of skills for analyzing social phenomena with scientific rigor, for assessing ideologies of social reform, for comprehending various perspectives on social change, and for searching for designs of programs enhancing people’s welfare.
Additionally, the program is a response to the demand for Ph.D. training in sociology in the Philippines in the face of increasing costs of training abroad and the clamor for professional training in the country.  It takes advantage of the presence of a competent faculty in the Ateneo campus and the University’s access to other highly trained individuals outside, the library and other facilities that the University provides, and the Department’s reputation for providing qualified students a high level of professional training towards a degree within an appropriate amount of time.
The program should thus be considered an opportunity for the interested and qualified to obtain the necessary training and the formal degree bestowed only on those who have undergone that training. It is for the interested, because only individuals with a genuine interest in and commitment to sociology as a field of study are likely to withstand the demands of the training involved.  It is for the qualified, because the rules specified by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Ateneo de Manila Graduate School, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology must be satisfied both for entrance and graduation in the program.
The overlap between the Ph.D. program in sociology and the Master’s program in cultural anthropology is consistent with the Department’s belief that the interests of sociology and anthropology converge in many important domains, and that applying a combined perspective in analyzing Philippine and Third World issues would be more beneficial than applying a single-disciplined perspective.  The Ph.D. in Sociology program thus builds on the current M.A. in Sociology, M.A. in Anthropology, M.S. in Social Development, and M.S. in Applied Sociology and Anthropology programs of the Department.