Sociology & Anthropology

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.

DEGREE OFFERED

The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in sociology and anthropology.

Sociology & Anthropology Major

Bachelor of Arts

The sociology and anthropology major requires a minimum of 32 credit hours (eight courses).

SOAN 100 Introduction to Sociology - 4 credits
SOAN 103 Cultural Anthropology - 4 credits
One elective at the 200 level - 4 credits
One elective at the 300 level - 4 credits
One elective at any level - 4 credits
SOAN 337 Social Research Methods - 4 credits
SOAN 342 Social Theory - 4 credits
One elective at the 400 level taken either in the senior year, or after all other requirements have been fulfilled - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in sociology and anthropology – 32 credits

Notes: A student may substitute one internship or independent study at the 200 or 300 level for one elective at the same level. Students may not receive credit at the 400 level for an independent study.

Under special circumstances, with the approval of the department chair, a student may substitute a second 300-level elective for the required 200-level elective.

Students considering graduate school in sociology or social work are strongly encouraged to take an elementary statistics course at Guilford or elsewhere.

Credit for courses taken at other institutions or while studying abroad: Before attending other institutions, students should obtain a “Request to Take Coursework at Another Institution” form from the Registrar’s Office and have their courses approved in writing by the SOAN department chair. Departmental approval to take a course off campus is contingent upon the content and evaluation requirements of the course (which should meet SOAN departmental standards), whether the course is regularly offered by the SOAN Department, the student’s academic standing and level, and the extent to which the course is consistent with the student’s educational goals. SOAN 337 Social Research Methods, SOAN 342 Social Theory and the 400-level elective will not be accepted as transfer credit and may not be taken at a consortium school.

Sociology & Anthropology Minors

Anthropology

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology promotes the study of society and culture. Since people live every aspect of life within a complex socio-cultural environment, it is possible to develop the self fully only with extensive knowledge of that environment. Both disciplines focus on the ubiquitous processes of social organization and the ways in which human knowledge, behavior and institutions are socially and culturally influenced. Anthropology, in particular, focuses on the study of cultural relativity and enables students to understand and appreciate ways of life and cultural systems different from their own.

The minor in anthropology is not available to SOAN majors.

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (four courses).

SOAN 103 Cultural Anthropology - 4 credits
CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
SOAN 215 Anthropology of Slavery - 4 credits
SOAN 216 Anthropology of Colonialism - 4 credits
SOAN 234 Culture and Sexuality in Africa - 4 credits
SOAN 235 African Families in Transition - 4 credits
SOAN 250 Special Topics* - 4 credits
SOAN 261 Native North America - 4 credits
CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 credits)
SOAN 321 Development Anthropology - 4 credits
SOAN 322 Environmental Anthropology - 4 credits
SOAN 337 Social Research Methods - 4 credits
SOAN 342 Social Theory - 4 credits
SOAN 350 Special Topics* - 4 credits
SOAN 358 African Culture in Films - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for anthropology minor – 16 credits

* Note: Only certain SOAN special topic courses can count toward the anthropology minor; check course listings and syllabi to make sure.

Internships and independent studies cannot count toward the minor.

A student interested in taking a 400 level anthropology course must receive permission from both the instructor and department chair; if the course is successfully completed it may then count for one of the 300 level elective requirements.

Credit for courses taken at other institutions or while studying abroad: before attending other institutions, students should obtain a “Request to Take Coursework at Another Institution” form from the registrar’s office and have their courses approved in writing by the SOAN department chair. Departmental approval to take a course off campus is contingent upon the content and evaluation requirements of the course (which should meet SOAN departmental standards), whether the course is regularly offered by the SOAN Department, the student’s academic standing and level, and the extent to which the course is consistent with the student’s educational goals.

Sociology

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (four courses). 

SOAN 100 Introduction to Sociology - 4 credits

CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
SOAN 245 Race and Ethnicity in Latin America - 4 credits
SOAN 250 Special Topics* - 4 credits
SOAN 265 Racial and Ethnic Relations - 4 credits
SOAN 267 Race and Gender in Media Focus - 4 credits

CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 credits)
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender - 4 credits
SOAN 323 Gender Health and Illness - 4 credits
SOAN 330 Inequality in Latin America - 4 credits
SOAN 337 Social Research Methods - 4 credits
SOAN 342 Social Theory - 4 credits
SOAN 350 Special Topics* - 4 credits
SOAN 362 Popular Culture and Media Studies - 4 credits
SOAN 431  Latino/a Migration Patterns - 4 credits 

Total credit hours required for sociology minor – 16 credits

* Note: Only certain SOAN special topic courses can count toward the sociology minor; check course listings and syllabi to make sure.

Internships and independent studies cannot count toward the minor.

A student interested in taking a 400-level anthropology course must receive permission from both the instructor and department chair; if the course is successfully completed, it may then count for one of the 300-level elective requirements.

Credit for courses taken at other institutions or while studying abroad: Before attending other institutions, students should obtain a “Request to Take Coursework at Another Institution” form from the registrar’s office and have their courses approved in writing by the SOAN department chair. Departmental approval to take a course off campus is contingent upon the content and evaluation requirements of the course (which should meet SOAN departmental standards), whether the course is regularly offered by the SOAN department, the student’s academic standing and level, and the extent to which the course is consistent with the student’s educational goals.

Sociology & Anthropology at Guilford

Why Sociology & Anthropology at Guilford?

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.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

 

“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 Department of Sociology and Anthropology  (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