Majors & Minors

Sociology & Anthropology

Students of Sociology and Anthropology at Southwestern develop an advanced awareness and understanding of human diversity and cultural variation both locally and globally. At the heart of the discipline lies an interest in the ways that group membership, cultural context, and social hierarchies affect people’s experiences and worldviews. 


Reggie Byron

Associate Professor and Chair



Reggie Byron

Associate Professor and Chair

Southwestern Students at the Southern Sociological Society (SSS) meeting in New Orleans, La.
Southwestern Students at the Southern Sociological Society (SSS) meeting in New Orleans, La.

The Sociology & Anthropology department combines sociology’s focus on contemporary and historical patterns of social interaction with anthropology’s interests in systems of cultural meanings. We are especially interested in examining the ways that race, class, gender and other social characteristics operate within systems of domination and resistance. Course work in Sociology & Anthropology will challenge students to examine some of their most basic assumptions about the world and will contribute to a critical understanding of how the social world operates. Our commitment to social justice is based on an appreciation of social and cultural diversity and an awareness of social inequality. Faculty members’ teaching and research embrace this commitment in a variety of ways, and we encourage students to use the knowledge, skills and perspectives they have gained through courses and other work with us to promote positive social change.

Sociology & Anthropology Highlights

Diverse Faculty and Curriculum

Our sociology and anthropology professors have diverse personal backgrounds and interests. Our teaching and research interests include: the experiences of African Americans and pregnant women in the workplace; anthropology of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; educational experiences of first-generation Latina/os; environment, nature and race in Belize; and the use of social media to monitor neighborhoods.

Focus on Research Skills

Our students learn research skills that employers value by working on research projects in classes, collaborating on research with faculty, working on summer research projects and developing their own original research projects. Students have the opportunity to learn ethnographic methods, survey methods, in-depth interview techniques, content analysis and quantitative analysis of existing data. A growing number of students publish their original research and co-author scholarly articles with faculty members.

Award-Winning Student Research

In the past 10 years, our students have won a regional anthropology paper competition 4 times, a regional sociology paper competition 7 times, and placed in the top three in a national sociology paper competition 7 times. No other US liberal arts university can match this record.

See Our Award Winners

Post-Graduate and Professional School Advantage

Sociology and anthropology majors develop competitive applications and are admitted to prestigious graduate programs in anthropology, sociology, law, medicine, social work, urban planning, nonprofit administration, and justice studies.

Dynamic Career Outlook

After graduation, sociology and anthropology graduates become writers, teachers, counselors, social workers, administrators, lawyers, medical doctors, ministers, CEOs, photographers, and curators.


Featured Alumni Stories

Dr. Catherine Chappell '03

Alumna Researches the Screening of Hepatitis C in Babies

Alumna Dr. Catherine Chappell ’03 finds that fewer than a third of infants exposed to hepatitis C are later screened to monitor and treat the potentially fatal virus.

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food for thought

Food for Thought

Alumni Spotlight: Julia Poplawsky ’10

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Carlie L. Sulpizio ’13, Distinguished Young Alumna

Carlie Sulpizio’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Her interest in the world and its people knows no bounds—as evidenced by her three-year term in the Peace Corps as the Community Health Development Agent in Burkina Faso and her studies in anthropology, theatre and global health.

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Sociology & Anthropology News

Dakota Cortez '18

Gilman Scholarship Winner Studying Abroad in Morocco

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Winner Dakota Cortez,’19, studying Migration and Transnational Identity in Morocco.

nuestra historia

SU Magazine Features the Latina History Project

Southwestern’s Latina History Project provides context through connections.

Quad From Roof Of Link Fall

Alexandria Overton (Sociology, ‘11) Starts Graduate School

Alexandria Overton (Soc, ’11) is starting graduate school this fall 2013.  She was accepted into graduate programs at New York University, Syracuse University, Columbia University, and Boston University (BU), and has chosen to attend BU’s School of Communication’s Media Ventures Program.