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Hi guys! 

Im interested in understanding how societies condition, control and punish people who step outside the boxes assigned by virtue of their gender, race, orientation, caste, religion, class etc. On understanding the above, I wish to study and research on how individuals can break free of the box drawn up for them, allowing themselves to be their own true, authentic selves.

I wish to get a PhD in sociology to help me achieve the above listed broad goals. Which specific research cluster areas should I be looking at? Which colleges are better suited to them? And what research interests of faculty would you suggest I look at? Also, since I don’t have a bachelors degree in sociology, what other information do you think I should know before preparing a shortlist of colleges? 

Edited by outside.the.box
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I'm not super familiar with this area, but it sounds like you're interested in studying social norms from a social psychological perspective.

Have you read any Erving Goffman? I think the Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a must-read given your interests, but I bring it up because I think Goffman would argue that's there's no such thing as a "true, authentic" self. In determining your area of specialization, I think it's best that you browse the academic literature that engages with these questions of what constitutes the self, as well as on social norms more broadly. 

Since you don't have a bachelor's in sociology, you'll need to convince admissions committees with your SOPs that sociology is the discipline for you. The best way to do that is to read enough actual sociological research in your area of interest that you can speak clearly to which lines of research you might wish to pursue or build upon. 

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