Though we are a Department that houses two key disciplines in the social sciences, our faculty are committed to the same over-arching mission: to pursue rigorous and creative research agendas in a collegial, diverse, and collaborative environment, to expose students to the critical study of social patterns and processes, to provide strong training in theorizing, measuring, and addressing social issues and problems, and to engage local and global communities in an effort to better our state, region, nation, and world.
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers undergraduate (B.A.) and graduate (M.A.) degrees in sociology and anthropology. Both programs of study train students to understand and utilize a variety of theoretical frameworks and research methods well suited to the examination of the structure, dynamics, and processes of human social life. The Department is unified in our research interests involving contemporary and historical manifestations of inequality. The programs serve students who desire general introductions to sociology and anthropology, as well as undergraduate majors and graduate students who seek more advanced skills and background in our disciplines.
Research and Teaching
Broadly defined, our areas of research and teaching emphasis in sociology include social inequality (race, class, gender, and sexuality), culture, social change and development, theory, and research methods including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches. In anthropology, our areas of strength include migration, diet, landscape use, material culture, political economy, health and the body, manifestations of inequality in the archaeological record and in contemporary societies, contemporary social and intellectual movements, race and ethnicity, and the impacts of colonialism and slavery across the archaeological record and into the present. We are committed to a four-field approach with emphasis in cultural anthropology, archaeology, bioanthropology, and linguistics, and a regional emphasis in Latin America and the American South. We offer field schools and rigorous theory and methods training.
The Department’s commitment to developing a worldview that connects local problems to broader global issues is evidenced in the number of faculty jointly appointed in Southern Studies, African American Studies, and Croft Institute for International Studies as well as the international focus of many of our faculty.