Sociology & Anthropology
Southwestern undergraduates research how social patterns and cultural groups affect human attitudes and behaviors.
In Southwestern’s highly interdisciplinary sociology and anthropology courses, students discover and interpret how different social and cultural groups understand what it means to be human in the world. We consider relationships between the public and the private, examining patterns of human behavior at the individual, interactional, and structural levels. We unpack assumptions about gender, race, ethnicity, class, and religion and consider how these social and cultural characteristics shape our thinking and actions, especially within systems of differential power relations. Our commitment to social justice is based on an appreciation of social and cultural diversity and an awareness of social inequalities.
Studying anthropology and sociology at Southwestern is distinctive because every major conducts original research—or collaborates with faculty on their research programs—and has the opportunity the present at professional conferences and publish in scholarly journals. Anthropology majors, for example, engage in ethnographic projects, often while studying away or abroad; recent topics have included the impacts of tourism on Peruvian textile production and the relationship between race and environmental conservation in Tasmania. Sociology majors engage in both qualitative and quantitative research; recent projects have examined the racialized experiences of French-born individuals of North African ethnicities in France and elementary-school teachers’ views on campus safety in the wake of Sandy Hook.
Equipped with graduate-level research skills as well as empathy and a broader perspective on the human experience, our graduates learn to engage with the world in thoughtful, positive ways. They have gone on to explore a range of 21st-century careers, from museum studies, law, social work, public health, and medicine to sustainable development, nonprofit work, government, and education.
Featured Alumni Stories
Sociology & Anthropology News
Maria Lowe, Southwestern professor of sociology, discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has revealed and exacerbated racial disparities.READ FULL STORY
Anthropology major Alex Bell ’21 will study comparative education and social change in Santiago, Chile.READ FULL STORY