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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. 

SOAN Diversity and Inclusion Statement

 The Department of Sociology and Anthropology commits to diversity, equity and inclusion in providing support for all its students, faculty and other members of the Lewis & Clark community. Representing academic disciplines that have perpetuated and now critique different forms of discrimination, we seek to use the tools of our scholarship to address persistent structures of inequity and exclusion. Our scholastic approach thus inspires a personal and departmental responsibility towards the support of diverse identities and perspectives. To further this mission we convene a joint group of students and faculty to target specific issues each semester and work towards creating a more inclusive, diverse, and creative learning environment.

Events

October 17th, 2018

October 22nd, 2018

October 23rd, 2018

November 7th, 2018

  • 2018 Ray Warren Symposium poster for Bitter Pills. All Day: Bitter Pills: Race, Health, and Medicine - 15th Annual Ray Warren Symposium

    How do systems of oppression make people sick? Who has access to healthcare, and whose well-being is prioritized through public health policies? Though science and medicine are often considered neutral and objective, how have culturally created classifications of race shaped biomedical research and clinical practices? How, in turn, does medical science perpetuate racial ideologies? 

    Critical questions like these are at the center of the 15th Annual Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies, which will explore the racialized dimensions of health and medicine in institutions, communities, and individual experiences.
    until November 9

November 8th, 2018

  • 2018 Ray Warren Symposium poster for Bitter Pills. All Day: Bitter Pills: Race, Health, and Medicine - 15th Annual Ray Warren Symposium

    How do systems of oppression make people sick? Who has access to healthcare, and whose well-being is prioritized through public health policies? Though science and medicine are often considered neutral and objective, how have culturally created classifications of race shaped biomedical research and clinical practices? How, in turn, does medical science perpetuate racial ideologies? 

    Critical questions like these are at the center of the 15th Annual Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies, which will explore the racialized dimensions of health and medicine in institutions, communities, and individual experiences.
    until November 9

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Sociology and Anthropology

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