Program Mission

The mission of the anthropology and sociology program is to teach students, within the larger context of the liberal arts, to find answers to the following questions...

Anthropology asks, what shapes us as humans?  How does human evolution intersect with culture?  How are we similar to and different from other species?  Just what is the range of human cultural and biological diversity, and why is that important?  Can we make value distinctions between societies, and how can we understand and assess our own?

Sociology asks, how do social structure, social institutions, and social control shape human behavior and culture?  What is the relationship between nature and nurture in the patterns of social interaction?  How can individuals live meaningful lives within an overarching order?

Both disciplines ask, in various ways, what it means to be human.  Anthropology and sociology bridge the gap between the life sciences and the humanities, revealing the bio-cultural and socio-cultural nature of so much of human experience.  They provide a unifying framework for understanding the totality of the human condition.