Sociology and anthropology are two social sciences that seek to understand the relationship between individuals and the social worlds they create and inhabit. Sociologists and anthropologists investigate how societies are organized, how cultures are reproduced, and how these processes shape individual identities.
At Guilford, our courses cover a wide variety of social groups in the United States and around the world, and we study just about every aspect of social life, including science, religion, medicine, politics, family, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, economic systems, and the arts. Integrating scientific and humanistic approaches, we attempt to look at past stereotypes and understand people from their own points of view. In a world characterized by rapid social and technological change, globalization, deepening inequalities, ethnic clashes, poverty, environmental degradation, and changing social norms, anthropology and sociology are more relevant than ever. Our department prepares students to critically analyze social systems and to come up with creative solutions to social problems on various scales.
Students and faculty develop close working relationships both inside and outside the classroom, and our department offers a close-knit learning environment. Our courses promote student discussions and experiential learning, and many also count toward interdisciplinary programs. Our work really gets fun once we engage with the world around us first-hand. Sociology and anthropology students at Guilford have the opportunity to develop and pursue their own interests through independent studies and research, community service, internship opportunities, and study abroad. Students greatly benefit from integrating their academic training and their experiences beyond Guilford, exploring career options, and expanding their horizons. Sociology and anthropology are part of a strong liberal arts education that prepares you for work and life—anything that involves interacting with people in a diverse world.
“The most influential experience I’ve had while attending Guilford was an alternative spring break trip to work with an organization called No More Deaths in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.”
- Hannah Early
Students in the Sociology and Anthropology Department (SOAN) are encouraged to participate in internships, research opportunities, study abroad programs and independent studies to further their knowledge of the discipline and prepare them for graduate school and careers in the field.
Recent placements include:
- International Institute for Refugees and Immigrants in Providence, Rhode Island
- Smithsonian Institution (National Museum of African Art)
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro archaeology lab
- Casa de Guadalupe
- Clara House
- Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center
- High Point Family Services
- Conflict Resolution Resource Center at Guilford College
- Greensboro Urban Ministry
- Lutheran Family Services
- Pathways Homeless Shelter
“From facilitating workshops to attending protests, my time as a SOAN student at Guilford has given me the opportunity to get involved in my community and gain a better understanding of how our society functions. The most influential experience I’ve had while attending Guilford was an alternative spring break trip to work with an organization called No More Deaths in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. We provided humanitarian aid to people crossing through the desert as well as gained a first hand understanding of U.S. immigration policy. In conjunction with knowledge gained inside the classroom, this experience greatly shaped my understanding of structural and institutional inequalities in our society.”
– Hanna Early