Sociology and Anthropology

Joining two disciplines as it does, the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Carleton seeks to present a truly unified vision of the disciplines, both in the major as a whole and in many of the individual courses. Our principal goal is to give students a comparative perspective on human societies, exploring the vast range of similarities and differences among them in space and time.

The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above.

Requirements for the Sociology/Anthropology Major

Seventy-two credits including:

It is recommend but not required that majors and students considering a major take both 110 and 111, preferably by the end of their sophomore year

Students must fulfill the statistics requirement before taking Sociology/Anthropology 240

Students should plan on taking the theory courses, 330 and 331, and the research methods course, 240 no later than their junior year

The integrative exercise is spread out over the senior year, with most of the work falling in winter term.

A maximum of 12 credits can be applied toward the major from relevant courses in off-campus programs. The following courses may also be applied toward the major:

  • AFST 125 New African Migrations (not offered in 2020-21)
  • AMST 218 Asian American Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ARCN 246 Archaeological Methods & Lab
  • ARCN 395 Archaeology: Science, Ethics, Nationalism and Cultural Property (not offered in 2020-21)
  • GWSS 200 Gender, Sexuality & the Pursuit of Knowledge
  • GWSS 398 Transnational Feminist Activism
  • WGST 140 Politics of Women's Health (not offered in 2020-21)
  • WGST 200 Gender, Power and the Pursuit of Knowledge (not offered in 2020-21)
  • WGST 240 Gender, Globalization and War (not offered in 2020-21)

 

In keeping with our philosophy of comparative studies and commitment to understanding human societies other than the one we live in, majors are strongly urged to develop an in depth study of a culture other than their own. This may be done through regular courses, independent study, or on off-campus programs. Early in their junior year, students should discuss ways of integrating such an in-depth study into their work in the major with their advisers.

Sociology/Anthropology Courses

SOAN 100 Asian Americans Are Asian Americans forever foreigners or honorary whites? This class introduces you to the sociological research on Asian Americans. We begin by a brief introduction of U.S. immigration history and sociological theories about assimilation and racial stratification. Paying particular attention to how scholars ask questions and evaluate evidence, we will cover research on racial and ethnic identity, educational stratification, mass media images, interracial marriage, multiracials, transracial adoption, and the viability of an Asian American panethnic identity. The course will examine the similarities and differences among Asian Americans relative to other minority groups when applicable. 6 credits; AI, WR1, IDS; Fall; Liz Y Raleigh
SOAN 108 In & Out of Africa: How Transnational Black Lives Matter In our contemporary world-on-the-move, people forge ties across countries and continents. This course introduces students to an Africanist transnational anthropology, emphasizing practices of care and connection among African migrants in both the U.S. and Europe. In families, migrant organizations, and workplaces, diasporic Africans circulate stories and strategies that respond to nationalist and often racist attitudes they encounter in their places of migration. Through readings by African/diaspora scholars and creative multi-method assignments, this course engages with the back-and-forth, profoundly transnational movement of connections, people, ideas, and institutions. 6 credits; QRE, SI, IS, WR2; Spring; Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg
SOAN 110 Introduction to Anthropology An introduction to cultural and social anthropology which develops the theoretical rationale of the discipline through the integration of ethnographic accounts with an analysis of major trends in historical and contemporary thought. Examples of analytical problems selected for discussion include the concepts of society and culture, value systems, linguistics, economic, social, political and religious institutions, as well as ethnographic method and the ethical position of anthropology. 6 credits; SI, IS; Fall, Winter, Spring; Colin McLaughlin-Alcock, Ahmed S Ibrahim
SOAN 111 Introduction to Sociology Sociology is an intellectual discipline, spanning the gap between the sciences and humanities while often (though not always) involving itself in public policy debates, social reform, and political activism. Sociologists study a startling variety of topics using qualitative and quantitative methods. Still, amidst all this diversity, sociology is centered on a set of core historical theorists (Marx/Weber/Durkheim) and research topics (race/class/gender inequality). We will explore these theoretical and empirical foundations by reading and discussing influential texts and select topics in the study of social inequality while relating them to our own experiences and understanding of the social world.  6 credits; SI; Fall, Winter, Spring; Liz Raleigh, Wes D Markofski, Annette M Nierobisz
SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family What makes a family? How has the conception of kinship and the 'normal' family changed over the generations? In this introductory class, we examine these questions, drawing on a variety of course materials ranging from classic works in sociology to contemporary blogs on family life. The class focuses on diversity in family life, paying particular attention to the intersection between the family, race and ethnicity, and social class. We'll examine these issues at the micro and macro level, incorporating texts that focus on individuals' stories as well as demographics of the family. 6 credits; SI, QRE, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 134 Economic Anthropology This course examines the ways that economies are embedded in social relations. How should we define affluence? Is barter a useful system for today? What relationships exist between ecology and culture? Formulating an anthropological perspective for the interpretation of pre-capitalist economies, what practical lessons can we learn from the study of hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists, and peasants?  We will also discuss the meaning of money, articulation between local and global economies, gender bias in classical exchange theory, Mauss on gift-giving, and Marx on "commodity fetishism." Theoretical material will be illustrated with ethnographic examples from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. 6 credits; SI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 140 Animals and Society Other-than-human animals are an overwhelming presence in our collective and individual lives. In this course, we will explore questions regarding the intersection of the lives of human and non-human animals from a sociological perspective. Such questions include: Why do we love some animals to the point of considering them family members, but vilify and even eat others? Are “pets” monsters of dependence created by human oppression, or do pets and people coexist interdependently? Is human treatment of non-human animals related in significant ways to such enduring social problems as racism, sexism, and violence against vulnerable groups? 6 credits; SI; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State The state of Minnesota, like the rest of the U.S., has been formed by the migration and settlement of peoples from across the world at different historical moments. Though often hidden from public view, the state is home to peoples with diverse cultural and religious practices, making Minnesota a microcosm of the global. This course will provide an anthropology of Minnesota by examining the different migration histories and experiences of Minnesota’s varied population groups. Through a study of the making of Minnesota and its population groups, the course will examine borders and movement from a global and historical perspective, as well as explore the presence of different cultural and religious groups in Minnesota and the social relations they form. This course will help students see Minnesota and the people that call it home in new ways. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IDS; Fall; Ahmed S Ibrahim
SOAN 170 Investigating (In)Equality: Comparative Welfare States Is health care coverage a right of citizenship, or a commodity purchased in the marketplace?  Where does the responsibility of caring for children and the elderly lie?  Nations around the world answer these and similar policy questions quite differently, resulting in wide-ranging consequences. Sociologists use the phrase “welfare state” to refer to the role the government plays in protecting and promoting citizens’ well being. By comparing the U.S. welfare state with that of other countries, we will examine the socio-cultural mechanisms that shape equality/inequality and investigate the impact of the welfare state on both social institutions and people’s life chances. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 180 Anthropology and Colonialism in Africa How has Africa been shaped by colonialism and what has been the relationship of anthropology to colonialism? Between 1884 and 1960, Africa was restructured by colonial rule. This course will examine how colonialism transformed the laws, political structures, political economy, and religion of different colonial states. It will also examine the complicated relationship between the discipline of anthropology and colonialism. In doing so, we will draw from ethnographies and historical studies and analyze the role of anthropologists in Africa during the colonial era and its aftermath. 6 credits; SI, IS, WR2; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 203 Anthropology of Good Intentions Is the environmental movement making progress? Do responsible products actually help local populations? Is international AID alleviating poverty and fostering development? Today there are thousands of programs with sustainable development goals yet their effectiveness is often contested at the local level. This course explores the impacts of sustainable development, conservation, and AID programs to look beyond the good intentions of those that implement them. In doing so we hope to uncover common pitfalls behind good intentions and the need for sound social analysis that recognizes, examines, and evaluates the role of cultural complexity found in populations targeted by these programs. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS; Fall; Constanza C Ocampo-Raeder
SOAN 206 Critical Perspectives on Work in the Twenty-first Century The American employment landscape continues to shift rapidly. In this course, we explore how social statuses such as gender, race, social class, age, and disability impact different types of workers who find themselves also challenged by work overload, new technologies, downsizing, and an unstable economy that mandates a reconsideration of retirement goals. Both ethnographic and statistical accounts inform our study of the academic field called, “Sociology of Work, Occupations, and Organizations.” While reviewing course material you will concurrently investigate a career of personal interest, learning what your “dream job” encompasses and how it functions in the contemporary world. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IDS; Spring; Annette M Nierobisz
SOAN 208 Gentrification Gentrification, a process of neighborhood-level class displacement, whereby devalued urban areas are redeveloped into trendy hubs, is one of the predominant modes of urban change in the twenty-first century. In this class, we will first develop a general understanding of how gentrification works. Then we will direct ethnographic attention to explore how gentrification takes place in specific contexts around the globe. We will examine how social boundaries, power relationships, and identities are reorganized through gentrification; how class and racial disparity are produced and enforced; how the social meaning of place impacts neighborhood change; and how communities have resisted gentrification. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS; Winter; Colin McLaughlin-Alcock
SOAN 222 Anthropology of Humor Laughter is found in all human societies, but we do not all laugh at the same things. In this course we will discuss why, cross-culturally, some things are funny and others are not, and what forms humor may take (jokes, riddles, teasing, banter, clowning). We will look at such topics as joking relationships, evolutionary aspects of laughter and smiling, sexual inequality in humor, ethnic humor, and humor in religion and language. Some prior exposure to anthropology is desirable but not required. The main prerequisite for the course is a serious sense of humor. Not open to students who have taken Sociology/Anthropology 122. Prerequisite: Previous coursework in Sociology/Anthropology. 6 credits; SI; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 226 Anthropology of Gender We all lead gendered lives, in our felt identities as well as through how we are perceived, advantaged, and disadvantaged by others. This course examines gender and gender relations from an anthropological perspective, centering and contextualizing the global human diversity of gendered experiences. Key concepts such as gender, voice/mutedness, status, public and private spheres, and the gendered division of labor—and their intellectual history—let us explore intriguing questions such as how many genders there are, and whether gender is mutable. The course focuses on two areas: 1) the role of sex, sexuality, and procreation in creating cultural notions of gender, and 2) the impacts of colonialism, globalization, and economic underdevelopment on gender relations. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IS; Winter; Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg
SOAN 228 Public Sociology of Religion From the discipline’s earliest days, sociologists have considered religion a fascinating and perplexing object of study. Classical sociologists devoted enormous attention to the topic of religion, famously linking it to the development of capitalism and Western modernity (Weber), to social solidarity and symbolic classification systems (Durkheim), to political passivity and social conservatism (Marx), and to the varying forms of social, economic, and political life found in the world’s great civilizations. This course focuses on special topics in the contemporary sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on religion in public and political life in American and global civil society. Prerequisite: The department recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses number 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS; Winter; Wes D Markofski
SOAN 233 Anthropology of Food Food is the way to a person's heart but perhaps even more interesting, the window into a society's soul. Simply speaking understating a society's foodways is the best way to comprehend the complexity between people, culture and nature. This course explores how anthropologists use food to understand different aspects of human behavior, from food procurement and consumption practices to the politics of nutrition and diets. In doing so we hope to elucidate how food is more than mere sustenance and that often the act of eating is a manifestation of power, resistance, identity, and community. Class fees apply. 6 credits; SI, IS; Winter; Constanza C Ocampo-Raeder
SOAN 239 Social Statistics What does it mean for something to be statistically significant? This course will ask and answer this question by teaching social science students how to interpret data. This elementary statistics course covers descriptive and inferential statistics up to regression. Whenever possible, we will 'flip' the classroom--using class time for activities and problem sets, and using out of class time for online lectures to introduce new material. We will focus on calculating and applying social statistics, rather than statistical theory. No prior knowledge of statistics is required. 6 credits; FSR, QRE; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 240 Methods of Social Research The course is concerned with social scientific inquiry and explanation, particularly with reference to sociology and anthropology. Topics covered include research design, data collection, and analysis of data. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are considered. Student will demonstrate their knowledge by developing a research proposal that is implementable. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111; Sociology/Anthropology 239, Mathematics 215 or Statistics 120. 6 credits; SI, QRE, WR2; Spring; Liz Y Raleigh
SOAN 248 Genocide: An Anthropological Perspective Why is genocide particularly associated with modernity? What is the difference between ethnocide, genocide, and other forms of mass violence? Can there be genocide without the intent to commit genocide? What are the ethical implications of relativism and limits to state sovereignty? How can genocide be prevented? This course considers these and related questions though the lens of the field’s foundational thinkers, such as Raphael Lemkin, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, and Zygmunt Bauman, and focuses on specific cases of genocide, including those of indigenous peoples (with emphasis on Native America), Armenia, Stalin’s Terror, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. 6 credits; SI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 256 Africa: Representation and Conflict Pairing classics in Africanist anthropology with contemporary re-studies, we explore changes in African societies and in the questions anthropologists have posed about them. We address issues of representation and self-presentation in written ethnographies as well as in African portrait photography. We then turn from the visual to the invisible realm of African witchcraft. Initiation rituals, war, and migration place selfhood and belonging back in this-world contexts. In-depth case studies include, among others: the Cameroon Grassfields, the Bemba of Zambia, and the Nuer of South Sudan. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS, WR2; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 257 Culture and Politics in India India is a region of immense diversity where more than one billion people live. We will explore social structures in India--through a focus on key areas of everyday life such as family, religion, economy, systems of stratification and social movements. Close attention will be given to religious nationalism, globalization and militarism as dominant trends affecting contemporary India. We will consider: How has India been represented in the Western imagination and why do such representations matter? What are the forces of modernity and tradition in India? What are the similarities and differences in systems of stratification in India and the United States? 6 credits; SI, IS; Fall, Winter; Meera Sehgal
SOAN 259 Comparative Issues in Native North America This course examines the cultural and historical situation of indigenous groups in the United States, Mexico, and Canada to develop a comparative perspective for understanding native peoples in North America. How have indigenous peoples variously coped with continuity and change? What strategies have they employed in pursuit of political sovereignty, economic survival, and cultural vitality? In answering these questions, we will explore the politics of representation regarding "the Indian" as a symbol in national consciousness; the negotiation of identity in inter-ethnic contexts; patterns of resistance; the impact of European powers and state agendas; and the resurgence of tradition. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 262 Anthropology of Health and Illness An ethnographic approach to beliefs and practices regarding health and illness in numerous societies worldwide. This course examines patients, practitioners, and the social networks and contexts through which therapies are managed to better understand medical systems as well as the significance of the anthropological study of misfortune. Specific topics include the symbolism of models of illness, the ritual management of misfortune and of life crisis events, the political economy of health, therapy management, medical pluralism, and cross-cultural medical ethics. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IS; Fall; Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg
SOAN 263 Terrorism In recent years, Muslim communities in Western countries have come to be seen as national security threats. In tandem, efforts to stem the flow of Muslim migrants into the U.S. and Europe, under the logic of combating terrorism, has shaped world events, from Trump’s election to Brexit. Through a reading of works in political ethnography and the anthropology of religion, this course will examine the presuppositions that inform discourses on Muslim migration as a threat, as well as the “countering violent extremism” (CVE) programs directed at Muslim communities here in the U.S. We will look at the assumption of an affinity between religion, particularly Islam, and violence that undergird CVE programs; the tensions such programs expose between a liberal secular democracy’s commitment to religious freedom and its aspiration to govern and reform religious traditions; and the culture of surveillance and the marginalization of Muslim communities these programs spawn. Prerequisite: Previous courses in anthropology or religion would offer helpful background, but are not required. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 268 African Popular Culture Contrary to popular imaginaries in the Global North that posit African cultural production in the tradition versus modernity debate, contemporary African popular culture is part and parcel of cosmopolitan, transnational, and diasporic exchanges of rhythms, sounds, images, and movement. In this class, we will engage several different forms of popular culture in Africa to ask how social worlds are made and remade in the public sphere. The anthropologists we will read in this class have tackled topics ranging from Egyptian soap operas to Ghanaian rap music to South African rugby to understand how people produce shared forms of meaning-making in their everyday lives. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States The purpose of the course is to provide a broad overview of the scholarly literature on race and ethnicity from a sociological perspective, paying particular attention to racial inequality in the U.S. When feasible, we will include research to highlight how social class, citizenship, and to a lesser extent gender and sexuality, intersect with race and ethnicity. Drawing on population-based research and qualitative studies, we will explore several facets of racial identity and racial categorization including (but not limited to): the evolution of racial categories and the U.S. Census, the role of genetic testing and racial/ethnic identity formation, and racial disparities in housing and health, and the movement toward multiracial identification.  Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IDS, QRE; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 278 Urban Ethnography and the American Experience American sociology has a rich tradition of focusing the ethnographic eye on the American experience. We will take advantage of this tradition to encounter urban America through the ethnographic lens, expanding our social vision and investigating the nature of race, place, meaning, interaction, and inequality in the U.S. While doing so, we will also explore the unique benefits, challenges, and underlying assumptions of ethnographic research as a distinctive mode of acquiring and communicating social knowledge. As such, this course offers both an immersion in the American experience and an inquiry into the craft of ethnographic writing and research. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Spring; Wes D Markofski
SOAN 288 Diversity, Democracy, Inequality in America Does social difference always lead to conflict and inequality? Can we forge common ground with justice across deep differences? What forms of respect, recognition, reciprocity, and redistribution do democratic citizens owe one another? We will explore these and related questions through a roughly equal mix of democratic theory and empirical studies of race/class/gender/religion diverse grassroots democratic movements in the U.S. We will consider the demands and challenges of "different types of difference" (racial-ethnic, gender-sexuality, class-culture, citizenship, language, and religion) for fighting inequity and pursuing ethical democracy in the United States (and beyond).  Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses number 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Spring; Wes D Markofski
SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology In this course we examine contemporary criminological issues from the critical perspectives offered by sociologists. Topics under examination include: how crime is conventionally defined, measured, and theorized; societal reactions to crime; and punishment of those who are deemed criminal. While exploring these topics, we will consider the impact of race, gender, and social class in shaping individuals’ interactions with the U.S. criminal justice system. Students will also seek a cross-national comparative understanding. Course readings primarily consist of theoretical and ethnographic accounts supplemented with statistical summaries. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IDS, WR2, QRE; Winter; Annette M Nierobisz
SOAN 322 Buddhist Studies India Program: Contemporary Buddhist Culture This course introduces students to the complexity and plurality of Buddhist traditions that have flourished in diverse societies and cultures in the modern era. This course enables students to sympathetically understand and critically investigate various Buddhist traditions and their historically and culturally specific configurations of philosophical beliefs, cultural values, everyday practices, social institutions, and personal experiences. Focusing on Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia, Japan, and Tibet, we explore topics including syncretism and popular religion, monasticism, gender, economic development, social movements, political violence, and religious revival. Students expand their research skills in anthropology through field assignments in Bodh Gaya. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Buddhist Studies Program required. 7-8 credits; NE, IS; Fall; Arthur P McKeown
SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment Why are so many sustainable development projects anchored around women's cooperatives? Why is poverty depicted as having a woman's face? Is the solution to the environmental crisis in the hands of women the nurturers? From overly romantic notions of stewardship to the feminization of poverty, this course aims to evaluate women's relationships with local environments and development initiatives. The course uses anthropological frameworks to evaluate case studies from around the world. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 325 Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Where do babies come from? Whereas once the answer was relatively straight forward, the growth of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and adoption has changed the field of potential answers. Nowadays babies can come from birthmothers, egg donors, and surrogates. In this course we will examine the meaning and making of families across these different types of formations and contextualize the popularity of ART relative to the decrease in adoption. We will take a sociological approach to analyzing these issues, paying particular attention to questions surrounding women's rights, baby "markets," and the racialization of children placed for adoption in the U.S. Prerequisite: Prior Sociology/Anthropology course or instructor permission. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Winter; Liz Y Raleigh
SOAN 326 Ecology and Anthropology Tanzania Program: Cultural Anthropology of East Africa The course introduces students to East Africa--its geography, people groups, and their cultures. The focus will be on the peoples of Tanzania and their linguistic groupings. We shall look at what scholars and the citizens themselves say about their origins, social, economic, ecological, and modern conditions. The course explores the history, social structure, politics, livelihood and ecology, gender issues, and the changes taking place among the Maasai, Arusha, Meru, Chagga, and Hadzabe cultural groups. Homestays, guest speakers, and excursions in northern Tanzania offer students and instructors enviable interactions with these groups and insights into their culture and socio-ecology. Prerequisite: One Anthropology, Biology or Environmental Studies course or instructor consent. 7-8 credits; NE, IS; Fall; Anna B Estes
SOAN 330 Sociological Thought and Theory Many thinkers have contributed to the development of sociology as an intellectual discipline and mode of social inquiry; however, few have had the influence of Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. This course focuses on influential texts and ideas generated by these and other theorists from sociology’s “classical era,” how these texts and ideas are put to use by contemporary sociologists, and on more recent theoretical developments and critical perspectives that have influenced the field.  Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, WR2; Fall; Wes D Markofski
SOAN 331 Anthropological Thought and Theory A systematic introduction to the theoretical foundations of social and cultural anthropology with special emphasis given to twentieth century British, French and American schools. The course deals with such seminal figures as Morgan, Boas, Malinowski, Radcliffe-Brown, Levi-Straus, Harris, Sahlins, Bourdieu, Geertz, and Appadurai. The reading strikes a balance between ethnographic accounts and theoretical statements. Prerequisite: Socilogy/Anthropology 110 or 111, and at least one 200- or 300-level SOAN course, or permission of instructor. 6 credits; SI, IS, WR2; Winter; Constanza C Ocampo-Raeder
SOAN 333 Environmental Anthropology Can we learn to use resources sustainably? Are there people in the world that know how to manage their environment appropriately? What are the causes behind environmental degradation? These questions are commonly asked in public and academic forums but what discussions often overlook is the fact that these are fundamentally social questions and thus social analysis is needed to understand them fully. This course aims at exploring key issues of human/nature interactions by using anthropological critiques and frameworks of analysis to show how culture is a critical variable to understanding these interactions in all their complexity. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IS; Spring; Constanza C Ocampo-Raeder
SOAN 335 The Politics of Public Art In this class we will explore the politics of public art. While we will look at the political messaging of public art, we will also seek to understand how public art, through its integration into a social geography, has a political impact beyond its meaning. We will see how art claims public space and structures social action, how art shapes social groups, and how art channels economic flows or government power. By tracing the ways that art is situated in public space, we will examine how art enters into urban contest and global inequality. For the purposes of this class, we will focus primarily (but not exclusively) on public art in urban settings. Class activity will include exploration of public art and students will be introduced to key concepts of urban spatial analysis to help interrogate this art. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI; Spring; Colin McLaughlin-Alcock
SOAN 343 Advanced Ethnographic Workshop This advanced methods course is designed to have students think about the complexities of ethnographic fieldwork by showcasing a powerful and rigorous mode of inquiry that informs societal questions in unique ways. The main goals are to explore classic ethnographies with an eye towards methods and experience ethnographic research in its entirety: from exploratory observations, into the process of defining cultural hypotheses, to the coding of various kinds of qualitative and quantitative ethnographic evidence. Ethnographic methods explored include: participant observation, semi-structured interviewing techniques, cultural mapping, pile sorting activities, photo-essays, and network analysis.  Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 350 Diversity, Democracy, and Inequality in America Does social difference always lead to conflict and inequality?  Can we forge common ground with justice across deep differences?  What forms of respect, recognition, reciprocity, and redistribution do democratic citizens owe one another?  We will explore these and related questions through a roughly equal mix of democratic theory and empirical studies of race/class/gender/religion diverse grassroots democratic movements in the U.S.  We will consider the demands and challenges of "different types of difference" (racial-ethnic, gender-sexuality, class-culture, citizenship, language, and religion) for fighting inequity and pursuing ethical democracy in the United States (and beyond).   Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses number 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Not offered 2020-21
SOAN 353 Ethnography of Latin America This course explores the origins and development of contemporary lived experiences in Latin America as interpreted through ethnographic works in anthropology. We will examine and analyze the structural processes that have shaped contact among indigenous, European, and non-European immigrants (e.g. African and Asian peoples) in Latin America since the Conquest and through colonial periods to understand today's Latin American societies. We will pay special attention to the impacts of global capitalist expansion and state formation, sites of resilience and resistance, as well as the movement of Latin American peoples throughout the world today. Course themes will address gender, identity, social organization, indigeneity, immigration, social inequality and environment. Prerequisite: The department strongly recommends that Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 be taken prior to enrolling in courses numbered 200 or above. 6 credits; SI, IS; Spring; Constanza C Ocampo-Raeder
SOAN 395 Ethnography of Reproduction This seminar explores the meanings of reproductive beliefs and practices in comparative perspective. Using ethnographies, it explores the relation between human and social reproduction. It focuses on (but is not limited to) ethnographic examples from the United States/Canada and from sub-Saharan Africa (societies with relatively low fertility and high utilization of technology and societies with mostly high fertility and low utilization of technology). Topics examined include fertility and birth, fertility rites, new reproductive technologies, abortion, population control, infertility, child survival and child loss. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 and 226 or 262; or instructor permission. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IS; Spring; Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg
SOAN 396 Advanced Sociological and Anthropological Writing This course explores different genres of writing and different audiences for writing in the social sciences, focusing particular attention on scholarly articles published in professional journals in sociology and anthropology. To that end, students both analyze sociological and anthropological articles regarding commonalities and differences in academic writing in our two sister disciplines. Students work on their own academic writing process (with the help of peer-review and instructor feedback). The writing itself is broken down into component elements on which students practice and revise their work. Prerequisite: Completion of Sociology/Anthropology 240 or submission of a topic statement in the preceding spring term and submission of a comps thesis proposal on the first day of fall term. Senior Sociology/Anthropology major or instructor permission. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; SI, WR2; Fall; Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg
SOAN 400 Integrative Exercise Senior sociology/anthropology majors fulfill the integrative exercise by writing a senior thesis on a topic approved by the department. Students must enroll in six credits to write the thesis, spread as the student likes over Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. The process begins with the submission of a topic statement in the preceding spring term and concludes with a public presentation in spring of the senior year. Please consult the Sociology and Anthropology website for a full description. 1-6 credit; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring; Ahmed S Ibrahim, Wes D Markofski, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Liz Y Raleigh, Constanza C Ocampo-Raeder, Annette M Nierobisz

Other Courses Pertinent to Sociology/Anthropology:

  • AFST 125 New African Migrations (not offered in 2020-21)
  • AMST 218 Asian American Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
  • ARCN 246 Archaeological Methods & Lab
  • ARCN 395 Archaeology: Science, Ethics, Nationalism and Cultural Property (not offered in 2020-21)
  • GWSS 200 Gender, Sexuality & the Pursuit of Knowledge
  • GWSS 398 Transnational Feminist Activism
  • WGST 140 Politics of Women's Health (not offered in 2020-21)
  • WGST 200 Gender, Power and the Pursuit of Knowledge (not offered in 2020-21)
  • WGST 240 Gender, Globalization and War (not offered in 2020-21)