Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Sociology & Anthropology

Southwestern’s Sociology and Anthropology Department offerings encourage awareness and understanding of human diversity and cultural variation both locally and globally.

Why study with us?

  • A Diverse Faculty and Curriculum.  Our sociology and anthropology professors have diverse personal backgrounds and interests.  Our teaching and research interests include:  the experiences of African Americans and pregnant women in the workplace; anthropology of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; educational experiences of first-generation Latina/os; environment, nature and race in Belize; and the use of social media to monitor neighborhoods.
  • Develop Research Skills.  Our students learn research skills that employers value by working on research projects in classes, collaborating on research with faculty, working on summer research projects and developing their own original research projects.  Students have the opportunity to learn ethnographic methods, survey methods, in-depth interview techniques, content analysis and quantitative analysis of existing data.  A growing number of students publish their original research and co-author scholarly articles with faculty members.
  • Award-Winning Student Research.    In the past 10 years, our students have won a regional anthropology paper competition 4 times, a regional sociology paper competition 7 times, and placed in the top three in a national sociology paper competition 7 times (see a list of award winners here).  No other US liberal arts university can match this record.
  • Position Yourself for Post-Graduate and Professional School.  Sociology and anthropology majors  develop competitive applications and are admitted to prestigious graduate programs in anthropology, sociology, law, medicine, social work, urban planning, nonprofit administration, and justice studies.
  • Prepare for a Wide Variety of Careers.  After graduation, sociology and anthropology graduates become writers, teachers, counselors, social workers, administrators, lawyers, medical doctors, ministers, CEOs, photographers, and curators.  You can see a partial list here.
Check out what our Faculty, Students, and Alums are doing.

Department News

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    Congratulations to Dr. Melissa Johnson, Professor of Anthropology, who has been selected as one of two Southwestern University Social Justice Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year. In this role, Dr. Johnson will work to strengthen the social justice component of classes throughout the university curriculum and will also offer faculty development opportunities. 
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    Congratulations to Dr. Reggie Byron, Associate Professor of Sociology, who received a prestigious Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD) Award from the American Sociological Association for his work titled, “Discriminatory Race and Gender Termination from Low-Wage Work” and was also invited to present at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Washington D.C. His talk was titled, “Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses of Employment Discrimination Charge Data.”
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    Congratulations to Guillermo Alvarado (Sociology, Dec 2015) for winning first place in the national Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) Undergraduate Paper Competition for his capstone study titled “’That Gay Gangsta Shit’: Identity Construction and Community Membership in Queer Rappers’ Musical Careers.” As the first place winner, Guillermo will receive a $500.00 check that will be presented at the AKD Distinguished Lecture during the August 2016 American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. 


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