Sociology and Anthropology
Go beyond headlines, blogs, and sound bites in your understanding of the world.
Sociology and Anthropology majors come to appreciate human diversity and multiculturalism through their exploration of differences based on such factors as gender, race, class, and sexuality. Off-campus study programs – in such places as Canberra, Australia; Mumbai, India; and Hawaii–provide students the opportunity to connect classroom learning with lived experiences.
A major in Sociology/Anthropology at Wells prepares students for understanding their place in the world in relation to issues of social justice, sustainability, social inequality, cultural survival, and global change. The objective is to offer students a range of perspectives that allow a rich understanding of communities, societies, and cultures found in the United States and around the globe. The curriculum, with a number of required courses in method and theory, as well as elective courses in a wide range of areas, is designed to provide well-rounded preparation for graduate study in sociology and anthropology, as well as many other areas within the social sciences.
The total number of courses required for the major is 12 (36-41 semester hours). At least six of the courses taken for the major must be at the 300-level or above.
Explore the reciprocal relationships among individuals, social context and social institutions; experiences of inequality rooted in processes of segregation and stratification; and the many ways that everyday performances simultaneously allow for the maintenance of social integration and the emergence of social change. Explore such sociological phenomenon as our food system, the belief in the paranormal, mass media, education, neo-colonialism, cities, genocide, US/ Latin American relations, families, and our relationship to animals. Sociology takes you everywhere!
Study the origins of human kind, the archaeology of past cultures, the importance of language to human knowledge, and the cultural variation that exists in the contemporary world. Engage in the exploration of cross-cultural variation and change, the nature of human diversity, the problems with ethnocentrism, the importance of cultural relativism, and the rewards of ethnographic research. Take courses on archaeology, culture and religion, culture and the environment, culture change and globalism, and cultural survival; study cultures in the Pacific, Latin America, and Indigenous North American.
Wells Sociology and Anthropology faculty includes:
- Laura McClusky, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
- Ernie Olson, Professor of Anthropology and Religion
- Daniel Renfrow, Associate Professor of Sociology
Internships and Study Abroad Opportunities
Many Sociology and Anthropology students take internships either as a means to explore various careers or to gain experience, bringing their knowledge of culture and society out of the classroom and into real life. Wells alumnae who are established leaders in their fields often provide internship opportunities for current students. The following is a sample of internships recently held by Wells students in the socio/anthro disciplines:
- Activism: annual Activism Symposium at Wells College
- Cultural Groups: African Immigrants in Paris; Native American Reservations
- Domestic Violence Shelter, Auburn, NY
- Education: Aurora Pre-School, Aurora, NY; Bellevue School, Syracuse, NY
- Health: Hospice of Ithaca, NY
- Human Rights: Human Rights Commission, Syracuse, NY
- Legal: law offices in various cities
- Mental Health: group homes in various cities
- Social Services: Crisis Intervention, Ithaca, NY;
- Salvation Army of San Francisco
Want to study culture, ecology, and society in Hawaii? Or conduct archeological field work here in the Cayuga Lake Basin? Wells makes it possible. Socio/Anthro majors can pursue fascinating programs across our country and around the world. Check out our off-campus study programs.
What comes next?
The major is designed to provide well-rounded preparation for graduate study in sociology and anthropology as well as many other areas within the social sciences. The analytical knowledge and research skills that sociology and anthropology students gain prepare them to go on to a variety of professional positions. Recent graduates of the program are currently working in education, volunteer and community services, counseling, management, social work, and a broad range of administrative positions. They are also found in graduate programs across the country, including the Syracuse University College of Law, City College of New York, the New School for Social Research, and SUNY Albany.