panel-overview, Academics | Earlham College Skip to Content

Critical Perspectives and Skills for
Understanding Contemporary Life

Overview   |   Meet An Earlhamite   |   Our Faculty   |   Plan of Study   |   Courses  


It is not unusual to find Earlham's Sociology/Anthropology majors spending nights in a homeless shelter to better understand the economic recession or working with city officials and storeowners on an urban redevelopment project.

Our faculty keep up with current issues and explore them by creating new courses. The “Sensory Experience & Embodiment” class challenges the notion that the “five senses” of Western cultures are universal to human experience.

Collaboration between students and faculty takes place indivdiually and in groups. A senior assisted in gathering and analyzing data for a study on the racial screening practices of college admissions counselors. A number of students analyzed the film Mary Poppins as a story that emphasizes different forms of love and attachment related to the power of nation and empire.

Our department offers courses that pack a semester’s worth of credits into a month, incorporating travel and other kinds of experiential learning. In May 2016 “Race, Class and Gender in Florida” studied social inequality in context by among things exploring how Disney "does gender" at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

More from the Sociology/Anthropology Department:


The SoAn Book Salon, a voluntary reading group, gives students an opportunity to explore topics of interest that fall outside the regular curriculum.

For our majors, the journey culminates in a thesis based on a senior project of the your choice. Current seniors’ topics include: talk of hope within a homeless shelter; food deserts in our city of Richmond; and the world of high stakes, competitive gambling.

Earlham alumni have pursued various graduate degrees in programs throughout North America. Examples of master's degrees completed by recent alumni are one in International Human Rights at University of Denver, and another in International Affairs at Columbia University.

Through the Peace Corps, Teach for America, City Year, and Americorps, Sociology/Anthropology alumni find successful and rewarding careers in schools, social service and community development organizations, public health initiatives, business and nonprofit settings, government agencies and human rights organizations.