Academic Catalog and Handbooks

2023-2024 Edition


Sociology Department Chair: Ellen Block

Sociology Faculty: Ellen Block, Jake Jantzer, Michael Rosenbaum, Megan Sheehan

The Sociology Department offers courses in both Sociology and Anthropology. Sociology is the study of groups, the ways people behave in groups and how an individual's attitudes and actions are influenced by them. These groups include families, schools, religious associations, peer groups, political parties, and work organizations. Thus, sociologists are called on to interpret group conflicts, the assimilation (or non-assimilation) of new persons into a social system and the patterned behavior of people in organizations, to give just a few examples.

Anthropology is the study of humankind, and our department focuses on cultural anthropology, the study of humanity as cultural beings. Traditionally, anthropologists study indigenous cultural groups around the world, though contemporary anthropology focuses on cultural processes inherent in globalization, transnationalism, and migration. Anthropologists know that people globally are in movement and in contact with each other, so the study of human culture is always intercultural. Therefore, anthropologists study culture to help translate cultural difference and the multitude of human experiences with a particular attention to underrepresented and marginal groups.

Sociology and Anthropology's goals are to chart the interconnections between the various realms of thought and conduct, to find the balance between social and individual components in personal identity and to locate the social and cultural origins of harmony and strife in every area of experience. Our methods are varied, from large scale, statistical analyses, to longitudinal ethnographic case studies of a small community.

Sociologists and Anthropologists work professionally as researchers, policy consultants, professors, technicians, advisors, and counselors in private organizations and governmental agencies. Sociology and Anthropology help prepare students to work in a variety of fields such as public policy, social service, nonprofit organizations, law, community organizing, education, healthcare, counseling, human resources, criminal justice and corrections.


The Sociology Department utilizes a process of course-embedded assessment. Various departmental objectives are assessed through assignments given in the courses which have primary responsibility for those specific objectives.


The sociology department offers a major in sociology and a major in Sociology with a concentration in Anthropology.