Sociology and anthropology involve
the systematic study of social life and culture in order to understand the causes
and consequences of human action. Sociologists and anthropologists study the structure
and processes of traditional cultures and modern, industrial societies in both Western
and non-Western cultures. They examine how culture, social structures (groups, organizations
and communities) and social institutions (family, education, religion, etc.) affect
human attitudes, actions and life-chances.
Sociology and anthropology combine scientific and humanistic perspectives in the
study of society. Drawing upon various theoretical perspectives, sociologists and
anthropologists study such areas as culture, socialization, deviance, inequality,
health and illness, family patterns, social change and race and ethnic relations.
Combining theoretical perspectives with empirical research allows students an opportunity
to develop new insights and a different perspective on their lives and to understand
everyday social life as a combination of both stable patterns of interaction and
ubiquitous sources of social change.
The sociology curriculum prepares the student for both academic and applied research
careers in sociology and anthropology. It offers an essential liberal arts background
for many careers and professions, including public service and administration, communications
and public relations, law, business, medicine, journalism, arts management, environmental
science, and other professions. In addition to offering a major in sociology, the
department also offers a minor in sociology. Beyond the department itself, the faculty
are centrally involved in the black studies, women's studies, environmental studies,
and international studies programs.
Our aim is to provide students with communicative and interpretative skills that
will allow them to understand the meaning and consequences of human actions and
relationships in society. Student will learn to use theoretical and methodological
tools to analyze culture, human behavior, and social institutions and to understand
the relationship between individual biographies and the functioning of institutions.
The theoretical and methodological courses in the curriculum provide intensive instruction
in the analytical integration and critical application of sociological and anthropological
theory and methodology. The theoretical courses provide an intensive examination
of the various sociological perspective on human social behavior and on the social
systems we create. They evaluate the different ways these perspectives gather and
use evidence to make inference about the world in which we live. The department
also offers extensive instruction and experience in research design and methodology
including courses in research methods, qualitative and survey methodologies, social
statistics, and computer approaches in social research.
The department offers many other opportunities for interested students to engage
in research and practice outside of the classroom. The field study and internship
programs provide opportunities for disciplined sociological exploration and application
of the theoretical and methodological principles learned in the classroom. These
programs encourage the student to explore careers that they feel may interest them
and give them valuable experience that may help them gain employment after college.
Both courses are highly recommended for students planning to do graduate work.
The program also offers study abroad courses to Ghana and South Africa.