Florida Removes Sociology from Core Courses at State Universities

Florida’s State University System has made the decision to no longer allow sociology to fulfill core course requirements for students. Instead, they have approved a replacement course focused on factual history. This news comes after a period of strong opposition from sociology professors in the university system, including at the University of Florida and Florida State.

This decision, made by the 17-member board of governors, is seen as part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ efforts to challenge what he sees as liberal orthodoxy in education. The new history course will cover topics such as America’s founding, the horrors of slavery, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era.

Sociology professors and the American Sociological Association have expressed outrage at the decision, emphasizing the importance of sociology as a discipline. They argue that sociology is a scientific study of social life and is essential for civic literacy and a wide range of careers.

This move is not the first by the Florida administration to challenge educational norms. In 2022, Governor DeSantis signed legislation restricting the teaching of racism and historical aspects in schools and workplaces, which opponents have dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act”. Some professors and supporters of the governor’s actions view sociology as having become overly political and advocate for more varied perspectives in its teaching.

However, opponents argue that the removal of sociology courses could have severe consequences for sociology departments in Florida, leading to plummeting enrollments and potential department eliminations and layoffs.

This news is part of ongoing debates in the United States about the role of education and the teaching of history, race, and social issues. It coincides with broader discussions about the impact and influence of political ideologies on academic disciplines.

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