Create your future. Shape your world.
The Sociology/Anthropology Department challenges students to explore the diversity of human experience. Through courses and research, we develop perspectives and skills for understanding social life, drawing on both these closely interrelated fields to analyze the relationship of individual lives to the local and global circulation of beliefs, ideas, practices, opportunities and things.Studies in sociology and anthropology probe the social arrangements that people naturalize in a particular society. Courses investigate configurations of power, the organization of institutions and professions, the performance of gender, the interpretation of race, the distribution of status and wealth, conformity and deviance, and the relationship of people with their environments, to better understand how particular patterns are configured in diverse circumstances.The Sociology/Anthropology major at Earlham emphasizes student engagement with the theories and concepts of the disciplines as well as the methods and practices of research. We encourage students to use the conceptual tools of the discipline as a kaleidoscope of possible interpretations of the social worlds they encounter. We teach students the arts of anthropological and sociological research: creating rapport, participant observations, asking questions, interviewing and listening carefully. In classes, students are challenged with the ethical quandaries posed by competing views of the world, social inequalities, and questions of social justice. We maintain an Ethnographic Research Laboratory with facilities for data analysis and support for developing digital projects including video and photographic research.In addition, the Department participates in Earlham's interdisciplinary majors, including Human Development and Social Relations, Peace and Global Studies, African and African American Studies, Latin American Studies, Women's Studies, Environmental Studies and International Studies as well as pre-medical and pre-law programs.We strive to prepare our students to live, work and interact across the many different boundaries they will cross in a global world. We attract students who are curious about social life, whether it is about the use of language among a group of friends, or the world they encounter in study abroad. A Sociology/Anthropology major might be found “hanging out” on the streets of Chicago with the homeless, working with a dance troupe in Mexico City, studying a religious practice in an Indonesian village, or evaluating the impact of environmental degradation in a Canadian town.Our graduates can be found working in schools, social service and community development organizations, public health initiatives, government agencies, human rights organizations, or computer firms. Of course, many go on to pursue advanced degrees in Sociology or Anthropology. According to information from Higher Education Data Sharing, Earlham is ranked 29th (in the 98th percentile) among 1,469 institutions of higher learning in the U.S. in the percentage of graduates who go on to receive Ph.D.s in the social sciences (sociology is ranked 18th and anthropology 51st).Many of our majors choose to pursue professional degrees, and recent graduates have entered graduate programs in law, public health, human services, public policy, museum studies, education, health professions, criminal justice, information sciences, archeology and landscape architecture. Regardless of the path they follow, our graduates use the skills they have learned to become effective agents of change.