Anthropology and Sociology


'Dimeji Togunde, chair, professor of anthropology and sociology, and John S. Ludington Professor of the Social Sciences.
B.S., 1982, M.S., 1985, Obafemi Awolowo University; Ph.D., 1995, Cornell University. Appointed 1996.

Leonard G. Berkey, professor.
B.A., 1969, Colgate University; M.A., 1975, Ph.D., 1982, Michigan State University. Appointed 1978.

Scott A. Melzer, assistant professor.
B.A., 1997, University of Florida; M.A., 2000, Ph.D., 2004, University of California, Riverside. Appointed 2004.

Molly H. Mullin, associate professor.
B.A., 1982, Wellesley College; Ph.D., 1993, Duke University. Appointed 1995.

Hadley Z. Renkin, visiting assistant professor.
B.A., 1988, Swarthmore College; M.A., 1997, Central European University; M.A., 1997, Ph.D., 2007, University of Michigan. Appointed 2006.


Anthropologists study humankind and its diversity from beginnings to the present day. They focus upon humans' many answers to the common problems of existence and their differing understandings of reality. Sociologists study the impact of social institutions upon individual lives, how individuals are affected by family structure; government, economic and religious institutions; schools; hospitals; courts; and other organizations. Anthropology and sociology attract students who are interested in social problems and social services, management, administration and policy development, the development of Third World nations, diversity in lifestyles, world views and value systems, and ancient civilizations.

The Anthropology and Sociology Department emphasizes the mastery of research skills. This is done for two reasons. First, students develop a better grasp of abstract concepts and theories when they can apply them to real life situations. Second, research skills such as problem definition, test design and evaluation of data sets prepare students for employment and for graduate study in a wide range of fields. The department tries to incorporate student research projects into all classes and encourage students to pursue independent research under faculty guidance. Students are also assisted in finding internship placements where their skills can be applied, and those who wish to do so may obtain fieldwork experience in ethnography and archaeology during the summer.

Anthropology and Sociology Department Web site

Career Opportunities

Knowledge and skills gained through the study of anthropology and sociology are valuable in everyday life and in a wide variety of careers. Training in anthropology and sociology may be especially valuable for students interested in pursuing careers in international business, public administration, market research, law enforcement, job counseling, human services, public health, international diplomacy, medical social work, foreign assistance, hospital administration, service agency planning, journalism and management.

A bachelor's degree in anthropology/sociology prepares students for graduate study and employment in fields such as law, urban planning, labor relations, personnel management, hospital administration, corrections, school administration, public health and museum management, as well as research and teaching in the fields of anthropology and sociology. Recent graduates from the department have become biostatisticians, urban planners, lawyers, biological anthropologists, congressional staff workers, physicians, nurses, news reporters and church field staff workers.

Special Features

Students in anthropology and sociology are encouraged to participate in off-campus study programs, pursuing internships in Chicago, Philadelphia, or London or studying in African, Asian, Latin American or European universities. Normally, not more than two units from an off-campus study program may be counted toward the major in the department. They may pursue summer fieldwork opportunities in ethnography and archaeology. Departmental majors are urged to pursue independent research projects during their senior year. Students are often drawn into research projects pursued by departmental faculty.

Requirements for Major

  • A minimum of eight units in anthropology and sociology, following the programs of study outlined below:
    eight units including 105, 343, one course in anthropological approaches to the human past (241 or 242), one course in cultural studies (220, 271, 310, 332, 362 or 366), and one course in an ethnographic area (238, 248, 256, 263 or 264). All anthropology majors are strongly encouraged to study a foreign language for at least two years. Students anticipating graduate work in archaeology, biological anthropology or related applied fields are also strongly advised to take Mathematics 109 or 210 and A&S 224.
    Sociology--eight units including 101, 212, 224 and at least three courses at the 300 or 400 level, not including internships. Majors are also required to take Math 109 or 210 (preferably before enrolling in A&S 224).
    Combined Major in Anthropology and Sociology--Although anthropology and sociology are separate and distinct disciplines, they also have many things in common: theories and methodologies, a focus on cultural similarities and differences and a commitment to international and/or global studies. Nearly all students choosing one of the two tracks outlined above will take courses in both anthropology and sociology, but some students may find that their academic needs are best met by a major that explicitly combines both fields of study.
  • Eight units including 101, 105, 212, 343 and two upper division courses in anthropology and two in sociology. At least two of these upper division courses must be at the 300 level or above where the course requirements should include research-based assignments. Students anticipating graduate work in archaeology, sociology or related applied fields are strongly encouraged to take A&S 224 in order for them to be prepared in quantitative data analysis and software applications.
  • All department majors will be required to take a senior exit exam during the spring semester as part of the department's assessment program. Participation in additional assessment activities may be required.
  • No more than one unit of internship credit may be counted toward the major.
  • All anthropology and sociology courses must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.
  • No more than two units from an off-campus study program may be counted toward the major.

Requirements for Minor in Anthropology

  • Five units in anthropology, including 343.
  • Students majoring in anthropology or sociology may not complete a minor in the department.
  • All anthropology courses must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.

Requirements for Minor in Sociology

  • Five units in sociology, including 212 and 224.
  • Students majoring in anthropology or sociology may not complete a minor in the department.
  • All sociology courses must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.

Requirements for Minor in Anthropology/Sociology

  • Five units in anthropology and sociology, including 212 or 343.
  • Students majoring in anthropology or sociology may not complete a minor in the department.
  • All anthropology and sociology courses must be taken for a numerical grade, except those offered only on a credit/no credit basis.

Introductory Courses

101 An Introduction to Sociology (1) Fall, Spring
(Sociology) Provides students with the analytic tools for adopting a sociological perspective in order to better understand their own lives and the lives of others. Emphasis on how sociologists think about the social world, how they research that world, and what we know about the social world based on sociological research. From our most personal experiences such as our identities and our interactions with others to the broader organization of institutions such as family, government, media, religion, economy and education, students will be encouraged to explore how social forces shape their own experiences and life chances and the experiences and life chances of others. Berkey, Melzer, Togunde.

105 An Introduction to Anthropology (1) Fall, Spring
(Anthropology) The study of human lifestyles comparing tribal peoples, peasants and contemporary Americans. Explanations sought for the similarities and differences in politics, economics and religion among the world's peoples. Recommended for students considering off-campus study. Mullin, Staff.

Biological and Ecological Foundations

242 Biological Anthropology (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Investigates the development of our species and the nature of biological variation within the human species. Examines such topics as evolutionary theory, the fossil evidence for human evolution, primate behavioral studies, the use of primates in research on human language use, human genetics, the relationship between environmental and physical appearance, the links between humans and disease, and the use of skeletal remains to learn about past and present populations and to solve crimes. Staff.

250 Population and Environment (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) Explores the interplay between human populations and their physical environment from a social science perspective. Examines ways in which the dynamics between population processes and environmental resources determine prospects for economic development, urbanization, housing, food, literacy, quality of life for women, and household structure in a variety of countries. Environmental issues will include: desertification and deforestation, food and famine, grassroots environmental movements, eco-feminism, environmental racism and environmental regulation. Assesses policy responses to population and environment. Togunde.

371 Environmental Anthropology (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Examines how and why humans have changed the natural environment in the past, how and why they are changing it in the present and what can be done to halt environmental deterioration. Topics include traditional subsistence techniques, population stability and growth, feeding the world, consumerism, environmental regulation and the impact that heightened ecological awareness (deep ecology, ecofeminism, etc.) might have on human behavior. Staff.


241 Prehistoric Archaeology (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Prehistoric cultures, as revealed by archaeological research. Life in the Stone Age. The origin and development of food production and the emergence of ancient civilizations. An introduction to archaeological methods and theory. Staff.

346 Origins of Social Inequality (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 241 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) In the last 6,000 years people from all over the world have shifted from living in societies in which status and leadership was based on age, gender, and individual achievement to societies in which some people are born into superior social positions. In most societies today—including our own—small groups of people have access to greater resources and economic benefits for little reason other than their family history. The question this course seeks to answer is how did this come about? Why did people allow themselves to become the subjects of others? This class analyzes, in depth, a small number of archaeological case studies in an attempt to understand this fundamental transition in human society. Staff.

Area Studies

238 South Asian Identities (1) Fall
(Anthropology) An introduction to the peoples and cultures of South Asia (Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan). Examines issues including caste, South Asian religions, family life, colonialism, communal violence, popular culture and the South Asian diaspora. Staff.

248 Social Change and Development in Africa (1) Fall
(Sociology) A study of Africa both from historical and contemporary perspectives. Offers insights into Africa's political, socio-cultural and economic systems, population processes, the growing environmental problems facing the continent, and Africa's response to pressures for change. Also covers various policy issues designed to effect a development change for the African continent. Togunde.

256 Native North America (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) The historical and anthropological study of Native peoples of North America, with an emphasis on the twentieth century. Topics include federal policy, political movements, gender, the construction of identities and relationships between scholars and Native communities. Same as History 256. Mullin.

263 Modern China (1)
(Anthropology or Sociology) Same as History 263. Wu.

264 Modern Japan (1)
(Anthropology or Sociology) Same as History 264. Wu.

Society and the Individual

220 Animals and Human Societies (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) A comparative and cross-cultural exploration of how humans have interacted with, thought about, identified with, and represented non-human animals. Readings include classic anthropological approaches as well as more contemporary ethnographic and historical works. Specific topics include gender ideologies and natural history, medieval perceptions of animals, pets as a social phenomenon, animal rights controversies, biodiversity, representations of animals in mass media (e.g., King Kong), and animals as commodities. Mullin.

222 Sociology of Childhood (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) Provides an introduction to theoretical, research and applied issues in the sociology of childhood. Examines how children have been viewed historically inside and outside the United States, while focusing on the impact of gender, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in children's lives (e.g., their identity, socialization, status, etc.). Addresses both macro-level (i.e., the education system and its impact on children) and micro-level (i.e., the nature of children's peer interactions) issues with a particular emphasis on social psychological perspectives to understand the lives of children. Melzer.

225 Criminology (1)
(Sociology) A sociological approach to the study of crime, criminals, victims and the criminal justice system. Melzer.

230 Men and Masculinities (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) Examines how biological males are transformed into boys/men who interact in the social world through shared gendered meanings. Analyzes various socio-historical constructions of masculinity both in the United States and beyond, paying particular attention to how these differ over time, across cultures and within subcultures. Focuses on gender as a central organizing principle of society, and how this socially constructed characteristic affects individuals (men and women), society and, quite literally, the world. Also examines relational aspects of gender including women and femininities, as well as comparing masculinities by race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, etc. Discusses structural inequalities, cultural similarities and differences, and individual issues related to masculinities. Melzer.

271 Sacred Places (1) Spring
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
(Anthropology) An introduction to the study of religion through the techniques of anthropology and archaeology. Examines the ways that sacred places, such as Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt and Central America, Japanese teahouses, Hindu temples and American churches, reflect and shape the religious world of the people who create and use them. Other topics include: sacrifice, the environment, shamanism, death and pilgrimage. Staff.

310 The Anthropology of Art (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Anthropologists have often worked in societies without indigenous categories that clearly translate into "art" and "artist." Do such societies still produce "art"? This course explores the significance of labels such as "art," "craft," "artifact," "tradition" and "trash." It also considers some of the ways anthropologists and scholars in related disciplines have attempted to document and understand art, art markets, aesthetics and taste, particularly in relation to gender, class, race and national identity. Mullin.

313 Death and Dying in World Religions (1) Fall
(Anthropology) Same as Religious Studies 313. Staff.

332 The Anthropology of Sex and Gender (1) Fall, Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) A cross-cultural consideration of sex and gender, drawing on ethnographic research conducted in a wide variety of societies, including societies in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The course covers key theoretical approaches that have informed anthropological research on sex and gender. Specific topics include gendered divisions of labor, the cultural construction of sexuality, gender in colonial encounters and the politics of reproduction. Mullin.

336 Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101.
(Sociology) The study of the relationship between personal experiences and society. Explores how our sense of self, identity, subjective experience, feelings, beliefs, and relationships to and interactions with others are shaped by and influence social life. Focuses on theoretical traditions and trends within micro-sociology and their applications and usefulness for empirical research. Special attention will be paid to connecting the micro-workings of social life to larger institutional, cultural and political processes and issues. Melzer, Staff.

360 Intimate Violence (1) Fall
Prerequisites: A&S 101, 224 (or Psychology 204) or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) Examines violence between intimates, primarily (but not solely) within the United States, covering a range of interpersonal relationships (children, parents, spouses, partners, acquaintances, siblings, etc.) as well as various forms of abuse (emotional, physical, neglect, sexual assault/rape, etc.) Traces intimate violence socio-historically, including theoretical, methodological, empirical and applied issues and debates within the field. Analyzes the incidence and prevalence of intimate violence, and, in the process, attempts to identify causes and solutions. Focuses on the importance of structural gender inequality in shaping individuals' violent behavior and the degree to which gender inequality influences various forms of violence. Melzer.

362 Myth, Magic and Mind (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Survey of anthropological theories of culture and symbolism. Explores non-Western philosophies and value systems with a focus on the symbolic organization of religious experience: myth, ritual, divination, initiation, trance, spirit possession, magical healing, shamanism, millenarianism, fundamentalism, mysticism, priesthood. Examines cosmology in the context of economic, political and social organization. Primary focus on pre-state societies. Mullin.

363 Myth, Symbol and Ritual (1) Spring
(Anthropology) Same as Religious Studies 363. Staff.

366 Anthropology of the Media (1) Fall
Prerequisites: A&S 105 and one other anthropology or sociology course, or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Explores the distinctive perspectives that anthropology brings to media studies. Considers people and their engagements with a wide variety of media in many different parts of the world. Looks at the history of anthropology's use of media (including ethnographic film and photography) and at ways that ``traditional'' anthropological research methods can be used to illuminate how media and media technologies are related to power, inequality and social change. Mullin.

Social Institutions

333 The Sociology of Sex and Gender (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) Examines the social construction and social consequences of gender difference and gender inequality with a specific focus on the United States. Gender theory and research will be used to explore masculinity and femininity as identities, as behavioral expectations and as organizing features of social life. Covers belief systems; broad social institutions such as family, employment, media and health; experiences of sexuality and violence; and individual behavior such as personal styles and modes of interacting with others. Focus on how gender as an organizing feature of social life benefits some and is disadvantageous to others, paying special attention to how race, ethnicity, class and sexuality intersect with gender. Melzer.

345 Race and Ethnicity (1) Fall, Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) Alternative theories of racial and ethnic relations, and their application to groups within the United States. Particular attention will be focused on the reasons for ethnic conflict and strategies for conflict resolution. Berkey.

350 Comparative Families: A Global Perspective (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) What is the family? Is the family a "natural" unit or a social construct? Is the family a dying institution or is it merely changing? How do family structures, values and dynamics vary across cultures? How is family structure in the United States different from those in Nigeria, India, China, Sweden and Saudi Arabia? This course utilizes a comparative perspective to explore the changing family in its historical, cultural, economic, social and political contexts. Topics include variations in family patterns; marriage and related issues such as dating, mate selection, divorce, single parenting and family violence; poverty and stress in family life; communication; power relations; gender roles; and family policies in selected societies. Togunde.

353 Healing, Health and Society (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Covers topics ranging from the embodiment of disease to the social implications of disease. Addresses issues of social inequality to understand health both within a particular culture and between nations. Explores healing within the household, in Western biomedicine, and in other world healing systems such as traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines. Considers the concept of health--what it is, who has the power to define it and whether it is a right or a privilege. Staff.

370 Social Stratification (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) An examination of the changing patterns of social stratification within the U.S. since World War II. Topics include income and wealth inequality, education and social mobility, the reorganization of the workplace, poverty and social welfare. Berkey.

375 Global Transformations (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Is "globalization" just a marketing slogan or does it describe a process involving profound change in life on this planet? Topics include communication and transportation technologies, political and economic developments, commerce and culture. Considers relationships between the global and the local and whether the changes associated with globalization should be considered progress or catastrophe. Looks at how anthropologists and scholars in related fields are developing new research methods and rethinking their objects of study. Mullin.

Theory and Methods

200 Ethnographic Research (1) Spring
(Anthropology) Training in the theory and practice of ethnographic research methods. Topics include participant observation, interviewing, writing fieldnotes, doing research in archives and libraries, using photography and other visual media and the requirements of institutional review boards. Considers theoretical and ethical aspects of ethnographic research. Mullin.

212 History of Sociological Thought (1) Fall
Prerequisite: A&S 101.
(Sociology) An overview of sociological theory from classical to contemporary, with less of an eye toward the contributions of "dead white men" than an assessment of how various theories might enrich current analysis and research. Theorists range from the foundational work of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, to the more recent work of Parsons, Goffman and a number of critical and post-structuralist authors. This course is highly recommended for students who intend to do graduate work in the social sciences. Berkey.

224 Social Research (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 101 or 105 and Mathematics 109 or 210, or permission of instructor.
(Sociology) An overview of social research methods (both qualitative and quantitative) with emphasis on quantitative methodology. Topics include problem formulation and connection between theories and research; research designs, measurement and sampling techniques; ethical issues in research; data processing and data analysis with discussion of descriptive statistics; hypothesis testing and chi-square tests of significance; correlation; and multiple regression models. Students design and carry out their own independent research projects in addition to an extensive application of SPSS in laboratory assignments using secondary data. Togunde.

343 Theory and Method in Anthropology (1) Spring
Prerequisite: A&S 105 or permission of instructor.
(Anthropology) Addresses questions surrounding what anthropologists should study and how they should study it. Considers how the basic assumptions, research methods, and the social conditions of anthropological practice have changed over time. Examines how anthropologists have been rethinking assumptions about culture, nature, power, the primitive and the modern, as well as the social and political conditions of research in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Also explores developments in biological anthropology, archaeology and other subfields. Mullin.

Special Studies

289 Selected Topics (1) Fall, Spring
(Anthropology or Sociology) An examination of issues of contemporary significance within the disciplines of anthropology and sociology. Topics will range from the political economy of developing societies, to the sociology of mental illness and deviant behavior. May be taken more than once for credit. Staff.

391, 392 Internship (1/2, 1) Fall, Spring
(Anthropology or Sociology) Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.

401, 402 Seminar (1/2, 1) Fall, Spring
(Anthropology or Sociology) Staff.

408 Senior Paper (1) Fall, Spring
Prerequisite: Senior standing, a major in the department.
An intensive study and written paper emphasizing a topic in either anthropology or sociology. Staff.

411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1) Fall, Spring