Course Offerings | Anthropology/Sociology

Division of Social Studies

Beau Weston (chair), Stephanie Arnett, Gareth Barkin, Sarah Goodrum, Endre Nyerges, Phyllis Passariello (acting chair, fall); students: Adam Heckman, Kate Humphrey, Sarah McKain, Alex Plamp

The Anthropology and Sociology Program explores the common intellectual foundations of these disciplines as well as noting where their emphases diverge. Certain core questions are at the base of this interdisciplinary program: What makes us human? How are we different from other creatures? What is the range of human diversity and why is it important? Can we make value distinctions between societies, and how can we understand and assess our own? Anthropology and sociology deal with philosophical concepts as well as with particular cultural details to bridge the gap between life sciences and humanities. The diversity of courses in this interdisciplinary program provides a unifying framework for understanding the totality of the human condition and experience.

Recommended Freshman-Sophomore Preparation
ANT 110, 120;
SOC 110, 120

Requirements for the Major
ANT 110 and SOC 110;
ANT 120 or SOC 120;
ANT 301/SOC 301 or ANT 302/SOC 302 or ANT/SOC 305 or ANT 380;
ANT 304 or SOC 303 or SOC 306;
ANT 500/SOC 500;
Four additional anthropology or sociology courses (at least three numbered 300 or above).

Requirements for the Anthropology Minor
ANT 110 and 120;
ANT 301 or 302 or 305 or 380;
Three additional anthropology courses numbered 300 or above.

Requirements for the Sociology Minor
SOC 110;
SOC 303 or 306
SOC 305;
additional sociology courses, at least two of which must be numbered 300 or above.
(MAT 130 may substitute for one of the elective courses; this substitution is strongl
y recommended .)

Anthropology Courses

ANT 110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
An introduction to the perspectives and methods of cultural anthropology. Topics covered include the nature of culture; the relation of culture to language; the importance of the environment for human societies; and a cross-cultural examination of family structure, social organization, political and economic systems, religion, arts and folklore, and the impact of social and cultural change.

ANT 120 Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology
An introduction to major topics in physical anthropology and archaeology, including studies of human biological and cultural evolution, conflicting theories over the genetic and cultural bases of human behavior, history and methodology of archaeology, and on-going debates and new directions in these areas of anthropology.

ANT 301/SOC 301 Qualitative Field Methods
An introduction to the research process. Students are prepared to conduct research, including fieldwork, to evaluate and present research in a scholarly manner, and to critically evaluate the research of others. Basic techniques such as participant-observation, interviewing, and the use of documents are practiced in the field and evaluated. Prerequisite: ANT 11 or SOC 11.

ANT 302/SOC 302 Classics of Ethnography
An examination of classic anthropological field studies, focusing on the works and lives of key figures in the field. Course readings show how ethnographic data are gathered and how these findings are analyzed and interpreted. In this course, the interpretive search for meaning confronts the scientific quest for truth. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110. (Formerly offered as ANT 15 Studies of Culture.)

ANT 304 History of Anthropological Thought
A critical analysis of the history of anthropological theory and method, tracing the development of this Western discipline through its various understandings of humankind in general, and of non-Western cultures in particular. Prerequisite: ANT 11 or SOC 11 or permission of the instructor.

ANT/SOC 305 Research Methods
An introduction to the process of social research, data collection, and data analysis, with a focus on survey research methods. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 310 Language and Culture
This ethnolinguistic course examines the relationship between speakers’ communicative choices (language, dialect, formality, style) and the social groups to which they claim membership (based on region, gender, age, social class). Topics include: the ethnography of communication, language and power, universals and cross-cultural differences in communicative strategies, and the nature and consequences of language variation. The linguist’s methods of studying language and working with language data are introduced, and field work among regional speakers of English as well as local non-English-speaking populations are conducted as research projects. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor. (Formerly offered as ANT 25/45.)

ANT 320 The Anthropology of Tourism
The course includes an examination of the cultural, structural, and psychological aspects of the phenomenon of tourism, concentrating on its history, meaning, and growth cross-culturally, and its relationships to other types of recreation, pilgrimages, lifestyles, and world views. Other concerns are the social, cultural, ecological, and economic impacts of tourism on host communities and consideration in general of the relationships between tourism and acculturation. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 340 Introduction to Folklore
A cross-cultural survey of the major forms of folklore and a consideration of the methodological and theoretical approaches used by anthropologists and folklorists in the study of folklore. Major genres of folklore are identified, methods for collecting folklore are discussed and analyzed, and folklore theory of the 19th and 20th centuries is identified and assessed. The place of folklore in the study of anthropology is explored. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 350 Ecological Anthropology
A study of interrelationships between populations, organization, environment, technology, and symbols. Established materialist paradigms in anthropology are critiqued and evaluated. New approaches to understanding issues of environmental degradation, world hunger, and Third World development and change are addressed, including historical ecology, political ecology, the ecology of practice, and remote sensing analysis. Prerequisite: ANT 110
or ANT 120.

ANT 360 GIS and the Environment
An introduction to the basic concepts and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as used in environmental studies. Students in the course receive hands-on training in the use of ArcView, the industry-standard GIS software, and the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Students also learn how to integrate data into GIS from sources such as maps, aerial photographs, and Landsat satellite images.

ANT 380 Archaeology: Theory and Practice
This course integrates the concepts of both research and cultural resource management, and prehistoric and historic archaeology. Utilizing classroom and field experience, new technologies and traditional methods of archaeological site excavation and interpretation are presented. Prerequisite: ANT 120.

ANT 381 Archaeology, Prehistory and Ancient Civilizations
An introduction to the methods and practice of archaeology as one of four subfields of anthropology, concentrating on world prehistory and the rise of ancient civilizations. The course includes a brief historical survey of archaeology as well as an overview of contemporary archaeological techniques. A focus on archaeological evidence for the major turning points in human history such as the domestication of animals and plants, the rise of agriculture and sedentary life, the relates rise of cities and, ultimately, ancient civilizations, underlies the organization of the course. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or 120 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 391 Native Peoples of North America
An introductory cultural survey of the native peoples of North America from their arrival in the New World to the present. Focus is on several selected native groups of the United States and Canada, exploring the complexity and diversity of their cultures, and their relationships with the "white" culture. Particular concerns are survival, change, identity, perceptions of self and others, and the Native American cultures of today. Prerequisite: ANT 110 and 120.

ANT 393 The Maya
An ethnohistoric, archaeological, and contemporary survey of Mayan culture. Emphasis is on the prehistory and history of the Maya, the traditional culture of the Maya including intensive examination of Mayan art and architecture, and the vital Mayan culture present in Mesoamerica today. Prerequisite: ANT 110 and 120.

ANT 394 Peoples of the Middle East and North Africa
A cultural survey of the native peoples of the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the ethnology and ethnohistory of specific cultural groups as well as the important influence, sometimes unifying, sometimes divisive, of Islam on the area. General cultural patterns as well as specific cultural differences are explored. Theoretical, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary issues are raised using a variety of sources. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 395 Peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa
An introduction to the history, ethnography, and ecology of the diverse cultures and societies of sub-Saharan Africa. The course begins with a survey of the geography, prehistory, and history of the continent, and proceeds to an examination of the social and economic organization of small-scale African societies, a discussion of African thought and religion, and a discussion of gender issues and social change. Finally, the course focuses on experiences of ethnographers as they encounter rural African society. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instuctor.

ANT 500/SOC 500 Advanced Seminar
A seminar study of important works in anthropology and sociology. Topics change with the instructor; this course may be repeated. Prerequisite: Major or minor in anthropology/sociology and 15 hours of anthropology/sociology courses, or permission of the program.

Special Topic Courses Offered 200

ANT 321 Anthropology of Development
An introduction to the concept, practice, and discourse of ‘development.' Using the perspective of anthropology, the course critiques the ‘development' ideology of the Western Powers and examines its role in institutionalizing the so-called Third World . Several cross-cultural situations are compared, exemplifying a continuum of the successes and failures of various development projects. Alternative, indigenous versions of development possibilities are highlighted as offering potential paths for sustainable development, cultural survival, and human dignity. Contucted in Ecuador . Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

ANT 331 Anthropology of Gender
This course uses the theory and methods of cultural anthropology to examine the particular concerns of gender roles in various settings, as well as a consideration of sex and sexuality. The course begins with a focus on classic ideas in feminist anthropology and common conundrums in the cross-cultural study of gender. The class particularly focuses on new concerns of gender in an era of globalization and impacts upon labor and economics. In addition, the course considers the ways that gender as a category is cross-cut with issues of race and class—rather than a single idea, even within a given cultural context. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 396 Anthropology of South Asia
A study of the history and culture of South Asia and the ways that this area has influenced and been influenced by the rest of the globe. We will seek to understand the pathways along which knowledge about South Asia has been created and the ways that the cultures of those who live in the region have been shaped by their engagement with the world. To investigate these issues, we will discuss many of the anthropological frameworks under which South Asia is often discussed, including tradition vs. modernity, sanskritization, colonialism and village life. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.

ANT 397 Native Peoples of Mexico
An historical and ethnographic survey of the major cultures of Mexico . Conducted in Mexico with a focus on cultures in areas to be visited: Quiche Maya, Lacandon Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec. The course demonstrates the history and development of major points of unity among the cultures of Mesoamerica , as well as noting obvious and specific cultural differences, prehistorically, during colonial times, and in contemporary Mexico.

ANT 451 Cultural Maya
An introduction to the cultures of Maya peoples in Mexico and Central America. Provides a basic knowledge of the historic and contemporary Maya indigenous people on site in Latin America. Interacting in the classroom with a Maya storyteller provides an opportunity for understanding the subversive potential of oral tradition and the role that language plays in a world of multiple identities. Visiting a pueblo and interacting with Maya indigenous people allow students to explore the dialogical nature of speaking: we actually expect to hear our own answers echoed by the others. Offered in Mexico.

Sociology Courses

SOC 103 Introduction to Family Life
An introduction to marriage and family life, focusing on the contemporary United States.

SOC 104 American Denominational Religion
A study of how the nation’s religious experience, and the student’s own religious experience (or lack of experience), have been shaped by denominationalism. A review of American religious history and visits with denominational leaders are included.

SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
A survey of sociological concerns, including explorations of social solidarity and social conflict at the macro and micro levels, through classic texts and field research.

SOC 120 Social Problems
An examination of how social problems are constructed by society, taking examples from U.S. history, including abolition, alcohol, and abortion.

SOC 301 Field Methods
(See ANT 301.)

SOC 302 Classics of Ethnography
(See ANT 302.)

SOC 303 Macro
sociological Theory
An examination of the major theoretical traditions and some classical theoretical texts of sociology. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 305 Research Methods
(See ANT 305.)

SOC 306 Microsociological Theory
An examination of the major microsociological theories in sociology. These theoretical perspectives attempt to interpret and explain the social behaviors that arise in face-to-face settings. Prerequisite: SOC 11, ANT 110, or permission of the instructor.

SOC 310 Sociology of Family Life

A study of the structures and functions of family life as they have changed over time and varied from culture to culture. Special attention is given to the role of marriage and of gender relations in family life. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 320 Race and Ethnicity
A study of the concept of "race" and the impact of that concept on the relations of ethnic groups. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 340 Sociology of Religion
A study of the major theoretical approaches to religion used in sociology. Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or REL 110 or REL 120 or permission of the instructor. (Also listed as REL 349.)

SOC 341 Calvinism and Modern Culture
Calvinism, the Reformed Christian tradition that includes Presbyterianism, has had a pivotal role in shaping modern culture. The “Protestant work ethic” laid the foundations for modern capitalism. The “revolution of the saints” of the Puritans promoted a new idea of democratic citizenship. Reformed scientists sought to read the divine order in the “book of nature.” The Presbyterian mission to educate the laity led to the creation of many schools and colleges. This course explores the several ways in which the Reformed tradition shaped modern society, including a case study of the history of Centre College . Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or REL 120 or permission of the instructor. (also listed as REL 325.)

SOC 350 Criminology
This course provides an introduction to the field of criminology. The course includes material on sociological theories of crime, research methods used to study crime, and empirical research on the predictors of crime and criminal behavior. Additional course topics include criminal law, the distribution of crime, explanations for criminal behavior, and selected types of crime (e.g., robbery, assault, homicide, white-collar). Prerequisite: SOC 110 or ANT 110 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 351 Sociology of Law
An examination of the theoretical approaches to understanding law-in-society and a review of the empirical research on the relationship between law and society, including research on juries, criminal justice (e.g., police, courts, prisons), civil justice, and social change. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 360 Social Psychology
A study of individuals in their social and cultural settings. Emphasis is placed on empirical research into the social factors involved in perceptual-cognitive processes, attitude organization and change, intergroup relations, group productivity, the socializing process, and the effects of culture on personality. Students perform laboratory and field experiments designed to investigate basic processes of social psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 110 or senior standing and permission of the instructor. PSY 210 and 220 are recommended. (Also listed as PSY 360.)

SOC 380 Death and Dying
A sociological overview of death and dying. Topics include definitions of death, social epidemiology, the demographics of health and mortality, the social meaning of death and dying, and survivors' experiences with grief and bereavement. Prerequisite: ANT 110 or SOC 110 or permission of the instructor.

SOC 500 Advanced Seminar
(See ANT 500.)

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