Massachusetts Hall at bowdoin College

The goal of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology is to develop students’ insight into the nature of society, the diversity of cultures around the world, and the similarities that all peoples and societies share. Course work, independent study, and collaborative research work with faculty all provide a basis for later graduate study, as well as for a wide variety of occupations upon graduation.

The Department regularly supports student research, and many of these projects are based in Maine:

  • social interactions and behavior at a local skate park and teen center
  • Maine’s traditional boat building community
  • the changing potato industry in Northern Maine
  • educational experiences of 1.5 generation Somali immigrants
  • migrant strategies for navigating the US/Mexico border

Students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty members on ongoing research projects and in some cases these are paid positions:

  • outpatient hospital care for immigrant and refugee patients
  • depictions of Chinese residents of Hawai’i in tourist magazines
  • terms of mergers and acquisitions involving regional electricity companies
  • volunteer tourism in Cusco, Peru  
  • cataloguing material from excavations at the Joshua Chamberlain Museum and at Stowe House, Maine

Our courses in Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, and Archaeological Anthropology often focus on specific cultures: Africa and African American cultures, Latin America and the Caribbean, Native America, the Arctic, China, and South Asia.