Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Sociology and Anthropology both explore human society and culture. The two disciplines instill in students an awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of human experience—insights which help students place their own lives in broader social contexts and prepare students well for future life and work experiences.
While distinct in many ways, both Sociology and Anthropology are driven to understand the human experience by analyzing the social world empirically, comparatively and historically. Sociologists and Anthropologists study how individuals are shaped by their social environments, and how individuals continually work together to shape and change those social environments. This dynamic interplay between individuals and the larger social worlds they inhabit is at the center of both disciplines. The social world and human experience are infinitely variable.
Students of Sociology and Anthropology tend to be people who are intensely curious about this variation of the human experience. They tend to wonder how life experiences differ as a result of when and where we live, our race and ethnicity, gender, age, social class, sexual orientation, and many other life variables. Students of Sociology and Anthropology also tend to be people concerned about the implications of human variation. How can humans be so different and yet live harmoniously in an increasingly interconnected global world? Why do some humans have so much wealth, pleasure,and leisure while others are victims of hunger, violence and oppression (often at the hands of other humans)? How can the global community be organized so that a maximum number of people enjoy safe, just, happy, healthy and productive lives?
Students of Sociology and Anthropology come away better able to critically analyze society and social issues, including contemporary issues such as poverty and homelessness, educational inequality, healthcare, crime, the effects of globalization and international conflict.
An undergraduate education in Sociology and Anthropology provides students with a practical basis for pursuing a diverse range of careers in both private and public sectors including law, education, social work, business, public administration, and many others.