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Sociology and Anthropology

The disciplines of sociology and anthropology share common philosophical roots and concern for the social and cultural conditions of human life, although the two fields have developed independently over the last century. Historically, sociology dwelt more on the modernizing world, while anthropology focused on nonindustrial societies. Such distinctions of subject matter no longer prevail, and the line between sociology and sociocultural anthropology today is neither firm nor fixed.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology builds on the overlapping concerns and distinctive strengths of sociology and anthropology. Instead of maintaining separate curricula in the two fields, the department has developed a single curriculum dedicated to providing solid preparation in social theories and qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The department is strongly committed to teaching a variety of methodological perspectives including ethnographic fieldwork and interviewing; survey research techniques; texts, discourse, and the practices of representation; computer-mediated modes of inquiry; and historical methods. This methodological pluralism is in keeping with recent trends in both disciplines.

The department’s curriculum stresses the relationship between cultural formations and social structures set in historical context. Among the areas of emphasis in the department are the study of inequality and difference by race, gender, class, and region. Sociology and anthropology courses in the department draw heavily on cross-cultural examples. Students are encouraged to participate in an overseas program. In addition to providing classroom study, the department provides majors and nonmajors opportunities to conduct field research in the Portland area, elsewhere in the United States, and abroad. All majors complete senior theses, many based on overseas work or local field research. 


October 25th, 2014

  • All Day: Explore Potential Majors
    Free food!!
    until October 29
  • Image preview 7:00pm: An Evening with Bill Nye the Science Guy

    Tickets for An Evening with Bill the Science Guy in the Pamplin Sports Center are now SOLD OUT. A free simulcast of An Evening with Bill Nye the Science Guy will be shown in the Agnes Flanagan Chapel. Tickets are not required for the simulcast.

    Bill Nye — scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor—will bring his special brand of pop culture science literacy to Portland on Saturday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at the Pamplin Sports Center at Lewis & Clark, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road. The event is open to public; doors open at 6 p.m.

    At the event, Nye will delve into his early history, the importance of science education, and inspiring others to change the world through it. Nye has worked to make science entertaining and accessible for most of his life. He initially discovered a talent for tutoring in high school, and spent afternoons and summers demystifying math for his fellow students.

October 26th, 2014

October 27th, 2014

October 28th, 2014

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Sociology and Anthropology

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