The Sociology & Anthropology Department provides students with intellectual tools for understanding contemporary social issues, such as globalization, nationalism, race relations, bioethics, and the complex layering of social inequalities in everyday life.
The department attracts students who seek knowledge about societies of the world and the opportunity to conduct independent projects based on primary research and fieldwork. Over 30 students a year choose to major or minor in Sociology & Anthropology, while our introductory courses enroll more than 125 students a year.
Courses cover social theory, the microtechnologies of social change, the symbolic aspects of culture, and the historical development of the disciplines. Methodology courses both generate a firm understanding of research design and explore the social dynamics behind the production of texts and visual representations. These intellectual foundations are brought to bear, in turn, in the study of social institutions such as religion and the workplace, and geographical areas such as the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union, and the United States.
Because of its strong cross-cultural and transnational orientations, the department encourages students to study abroad. For many, foreign study provides a basis for their senior thesis project (see the department's homepage for a listing of students' projects). The senior thesis project allows students to develop their research interests through working directly with a faculty member. This combination of breadth of knowledge, global understanding, and independent research make Sociology & Anthropology an ideal liberal arts major.