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Sociology and Anthropology

Sociology and anthropology share a common intellectual history aimed at investigating the social and cultural conditions of human life. Historically, sociology focused predominantly on the modernizing world, while anthropology studied so-called nonindustrial societies. Sociology pioneered and promoted quantitative research methods; cultural anthropology defined itself in terms of its distinctive qualitative methods, rooted in ethnographic research. Although the two fields have developed independently over the last century, such distinctions of subject matter and method have never fully prevailed. Today, the line between sociology and cultural anthropology is neither firm nor fixed.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) builds on the overlapping concerns and distinctive strengths of our two disciplines. Rather than establishing separate tracks in the two fields, the department follows an integrated curriculum dedicated to providing solid preparation in the theories and methodologies that bring the disciplines into dialogue. The department’s curriculum stresses the relationship between cultural formations and social structures set in historical context. Courses in the department draw heavily on cross-cultural examples, focusing on areas of faculty expertise in Asia, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East. The study of inequality across race, gender, class, and other forms of social difference provides a critical point of conjuncture for our joint curriculum in sociology and anthropology.

The department is strongly committed to teaching a variety of methodological perspectives including ethnographic fieldwork and interviewing, statistics and survey research techniques, textual and discourse analysis, historical methods, and computer-mediated modes of inquiry. In keeping with recent trends in both disciplines, this methodological pluralism provides a foundation for engaged student research throughout the SOAN curriculum, culminating with a senior thesis project. Students graduating from our department are well-equipped with research, writing, and analytical skills that lead to a wide range of professional endeavors and graduate programs.


February 15th, 2016

February 22nd, 2016

February 25th, 2016

  • Image preview 3:00pm - 6:00pm: On-Campus Career Fair
    On February 25th, Lewis & Clark will host an on-campus Career Fair featuring local employers and grad schools! Current Lewis & Clark students, as well as recent alumni (one year out), are invited. All participating employers have jobs and/or internships available. This event, along with other Career Fair Week events, provides an incredible opportunity for students to network and take the first steps towards their next jobs, internships, and education.

March 3rd, 2016

  • 12:00pm: SOAN SPRING 2016 COLLOQUIUM

    March 3              Robert Goldman

    “Gentrification as Spectacle” 

    April 14               Claire Robison:  

    Fashioning an Indian National Identity through Performance: Public Festivals and the Use of Media in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Mumbai”


March 4th, 2016

  • Image preview 2:00pm - 3:00pm: Women’s History Month: Karen Haberman Trusty
    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee member Karen Haberman Trusty talks about her experiences working for racial justice in Georgia and Mississippi in the 1960’s.

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Sociology and Anthropology

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