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Anthropology and Sociology

Major and Minor

Students majoring in Anthropology/Sociology will become familiar with a wide range of human societies in all regions of the world.

Anthropology and Sociology provide a comparative framework for interpreting and explaining human social behavior. Although each discipline arose in response to different historical circumstances which have resulted in somewhat different traditions of emphasis and approach, the two fields draw from a common body of theory and, increasingly, a common toolkit of research methods. For these reasons, the department presents the two disciplines as interdependent.

The Program
Students majoring in Anthropology/Sociology will become familiar with a wide range of human societies in all regions of the world. They will gain an appreciation for the cultural complexity, historical context, and global connections that link societies and social institutions to one another. They will also learn about key social structures and dynamics embedded in contemporary societies, including the forms of social power and privilege that exist in any society, and how these often unequal power relations are organized, sustained, reproduced, and transformed.

Students contemplating the major are urged to consult with department faculty in order to design a personalized program of study, making use of relevant courses in allied disciplines and/or off-campus study when appropriate.

The department curriculum offers general introductory courses covering broad areas of the disciplines including human evolution, comparative cultures, globalization and other current social issues, as well ethnographic area courses and topical courses ranging from popular culture to urban sociology to psychological anthropology. Departmental offerings also include a two-term course sequence that places students in social service internships within the local community, encouraging an experimental approach to learning about social policies, social problems, and social services. Students with other interests, such as archeology, are encouraged to transfer their credits from off-campus programs and summer field schools.

Aided by one-on-one faculty tutors, you will undertake an extended research project of your own design during your senior year, culminating in a formal paper and a seminar presentation. Some recent topics include:

  • Volunteering Amoung Youth: Motivations and Perceptions
  • "We are the Galesburg Magic Players:" Mediated Interpersonal
  • Just Friends: A Study of Cross-Sex Friendship in College
  • The Pedagogy of Pugilism: Boxers and their Coaches
  • Problems Facing Local Farm Families
  • An Ethnographic Study of an Illinois Menonnite Commune
  • The Role of Folklore in Tabletop Games
  • A Fieldwork-Based Study of Change in a Fijian Village
  • Social Bonding, Religious Commitment and the Role of Contemporary Christian Music
  • Property and Interpersonal Sharing in Knox Student Culture
  • Social Services and Interpersonal Networks in the Daily Lives of Elderly Galesburg Residents

In addition to campus-wide resources such as libraries and technology, the department has equipment and work spaces for transcribing social interviews, extensive reading material on career planning, and files of information on opportunities for graduate study, field schools, off-campus programs, internships and the like.

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