Learning Goals

The Department of Sociology-Anthropology aims to cultivate in our majors the following skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  1. Each of our majors will be able to develop either an anthropologically- or sociologically-informed frame of academic inquiry.

  2. Each of our majors will learn how to find, critically read, analyze and critique academic journals within her/his discipline.

  3. Each major will learn how to become fluent in electronic library searches for scholarly literature.

  4. Each of our majors will be able to write a review of the scholarly literature relevant to a particular topic within their disciplinary area of interest.

  5. Each of our majors will become familiar with the Human Subjects Review process, and the ethical dilemmas posed by sociological and anthropological research projects.

  6. Each of our majors will be able to do original research. This involves being able to:
    • Formulate a good research question,
    • Implement research methods to explore the question,
    • Connect theoretical concept(s) in her/his discipline to the data she/he gathers,
    • Write an in-depth journal-length paper on the topic, which includes appropriate professional citation, and
    • Give a professional-quality poster presentation of her/his original research.
    One result of doing original research is that some of our majors will present papers at national or regional professional meetings in their fields.

  7. Our department places a particular emphasis, within both anthropology and sociology, on analyzing systems of privilege—and especially the ways in which race, class and gender shape social and cultural life. As a result, each of our majors will be able to articulate:
    • Ways in which categories of difference are culturally constructed.
    • Connections between individual agency and institutional structure.
    • Interconnections between race, class, and gender.
  8. Majors will be able to compare and contrast theoretical perspectives in either sociology or anthropology and apply theory to a relevant subtopic within one of these disciplines.