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The College Catalogue

Sociology and Anthropology – Overview

  • Susan E. Bell, Department Chair
  • Lori A. Brackett, Department Coordinator

  • Professors: Susan E. Bell, Sara A. Dickey, Susan A. Kaplan, Scott MacEachern, Nancy E. Riley
  • Associate Professor: Krista E. Van Vleet
  • Assistant Professors: Greg Beckett, Kelly N. Fayard, Marcos F. Lopez, Ingrid A. Nelson
  • Visiting Faculty: Shaun A. Golding, H. Roy Partridge Jr.
  • Fellow: Melissa L. Rosario

Requirements for the Major

In consultation with an advisor, each student plans a major program that will nurture an understanding of society and the human condition, demonstrate how social and cultural knowledge are acquired through research, and enrich his or her general education. On the practical level, a major program prepares the student for graduate study in sociology or anthropology and contributes to pre-professional programs such as law and medicine. It also provides background preparation for careers in urban planning, public policy, the civil service, social work, business or personnel administration, social research, law enforcement and criminal justice, the health professions, journalism, secondary school teaching, and development programs.

A student may choose either of two major programs or two minor programs:

The major in sociology consists of ten courses, including Sociology 1101 {101}, 2010 {201}, 2030 {211}, and 3010 {310}. One or two of the ten courses may be advanced courses from anthropology (or, if approved by the department chair, from related fields to meet the student’s special interests) or off-campus study courses (with departmental approval). In all cases, at least seven of the courses counted toward the major must be Bowdoin sociology courses. Sociology 2010 {201} should be taken in the sophomore year.

The major in anthropology consists of ten courses including five core courses (Anthropology 1101 {101}, 1102*, 2010 or 2020 {201 or 202}, 2030 {203}, 3010 {310}) and five electives. One elective must be an advanced course (numbered 3000–3999 {300–399}) other than 3010 {310}, and one elective must focus on a geographical area. Only one elective below the intermediate level (numbered below 2000 {200}) will be counted toward the major. One or two of the ten courses may be taken from the advanced offerings in sociology and/or, with departmental approval, from off-campus study programs. In all cases, at least eight of the ten courses must come from offerings of Bowdoin College.

Requirements for the Minor

The minor in sociology consists of five sociology courses, including Sociology 1101 {101}, and four other courses at or above the intermediate level (numbered 2000 {200} or above). One of the elective courses may be from anthropology (at or above 2000 {200}) or from off-campus study.

The minor in anthropology consists of five anthropology courses, including Anthropology 1101 {101} and 1102*, and three intermediate or advanced courses (numbered 2000–2969 {200–289} and 3000–3999 {300–399}). One of the elective courses must be an area study course, and one of the courses may be from off-campus study.

For the anthropology major or minor program, one semester of independent study may be counted. For the sociology major program, two semesters of independent study may be counted, while for the minor program one semester may be counted.

* Note that Anthropology 1102 will be taught for the first time in Spring 2014.

Core Courses

The core courses in sociology (1101 {101}, 2010 {201}, 2030 {211}, and 3010 {310}) and the core courses in anthropology (1101 {101}, 1102, 2010 {201}, 2030 {203}, and 3010 {310}) must be taken at Bowdoin. Courses that will count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail). In order for a course to fulfill the major or minor requirements in sociology or anthropology, a grade of C- or above must be earned in that course.

Off-Campus Study

Study away in a demanding academic program can contribute substantially to a major in sociology and anthropology. Students are advised to plan study away for their junior year. A student should complete either the Sociology 2010 {201} or Anthropology 2010 {201} research methods course, depending on their major, before studying away. Students must obtain provisional approval for their study away courses in writing by department faculty before they leave for study away, and then seek final approval upon their return to Bowdoin.

Departmental Honors

Students distinguishing themselves in either major program may apply for departmental honors. Awarding of the degree with honors will ordinarily be based on grades attained in major courses and a written project (emanating from independent study), and will recognize the ability to work creatively and independently and to synthesize diverse theoretical, methodological, and substantive materials.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.