Sociology and Anthropology

The Sociology and Anthropology Department offers an array of courses on various aspects of social life worldwide. We strive to understand humanity in all its social and cultural diversity. Our courses explore the relationship between individual experience and its broader cultural and historical contexts.

We regard our disciplines as liberatory enterprises: we seek to reveal the social structures, power relationships and prejudices that keep people from directing their own lives. As such, ours are value-laden disciplines. We emphasize the possibility of change in human society, rooted in the understanding that social conditions are constructed through human action.

At the same time, we believe that liberation is impossible without clear, empirically grounded analysis of the social structures, institutions and processes that reproduce relations of power and inequality.

Our program thus combines passion and dispassion into a whole that we believe gives our students a well-rounded liberal arts education. We contribute to the University's mission by challenging stereotypes, by promoting pluralistic values and by promoting a reflective understanding of the social and cultural world. In doing so, we encourage students to make enlightened choices and engage in responsible citizenship.