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.

Among the topics explored in this department: gender and family; educational inequality; population; global health; global sexualities; food and agriculture; environmental, urban, and political crises; construction of racial and ethnic identities; economic initiatives in Native communities; the interrelationship of human societies and the environment; humans and other animals; kinship; discourses of emotion; state formation and ethnicity in Iron Age Central Africa; anthropology and archaeology of the North American eastern Arctic; and the relationship between culture and performance.

Courses also focus on specific cultures: Africa and African American cultures, Latin America and the Caribbean, Native America, the Arctic, China, and South Asia.

Students are encouraged to work with faculty members on ongoing research projects; in some cases, these are paid positions.