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Courses & Requirements

Requirements for the Sociology & Anthropology Major

Required discipline courses:

  • Anthropology 101
  • Sociology 101
  • Sociology 251 or Anthropology 354
  • Anthropology 390 or Sociology 390

Four electives:

  • One 200-level elective
  • Three 300-level electives (at least one in each discipline -- one SOC, one ANT)

Recommended courses for the major:

  • SOC/PSY-206 Research Statistics
  • Non-English language course beyond 202-level

Anthropology Courses

ANT-101: Cultural Anthropology (4.00)

Overview of cultural universals and cultural diversity, using comparative analysis of African, American, Asian and other cultures. Examination of the impact of contact between cultures and the contemporary condition of indigenous peoples, using case studies (ethnographies), ethnographic film and class activities.

ANT-122: First Contact (1.00)

FIRST CONTACT: SPACE EXPLORATION, SCIENCE FICTION, AND NATIVE PEOPLES--This is an interdisciplinary course that examines first contact between alien peoples, through the disciplinary perspectives of astronomy and anthropology. By reading and discussing first contact scenarios found in science fiction and the historical record, students will confront the logistical, ethical, and philosophical challenges involved in encountering new peoples. These challenges include questions about how to prepare for first contact, how to communicate between peoples, the ethics of exploration, reconciling cultural and religious differences, and the potential of first contact to create unequal power relations between peoples and technologies. Cross-listed with AST-122.

Course requisites: Prereq or coreq: ANT-101, AST-120 or AST-121

ANT-201: Race and the Other (4.00)

This course examines the social construction of racial identities, paying special attention to the role of "otherness" (alterity) in relations between whites and non-whites in local contexts around the world. We will consider the production of racial categories during colonialism, and the continued salience of racial otherness and white supremacy in postcolonial settings. Using theories and concepts from cultural studies, anthropology, literature, and fine arts, this course engages in key debates about ethnocentrism, essentialism, exoticism, language, power, and the role of whiteness in the constructions and creative expressions of identity and social inequality. Students will work in groups to create a digital product that analyzes race and otherness in a part of the world that they choose.

Course requisites: ANT-101, SOC-101 or GBL-102

ANT-202: Human Origins (4.00)

Overview of evidence of the biological, social and ecological bases of human behavior, from East African fossils to the present; modern biological variation and its effect on society. Examination of fossil material, artifacts and contemporary skeletal material. Theoretical explanations for physical and cultural development of humans and other primates, including evolution and ecology, with specific attention to the origins of race and gender and implications for contemporary society.

ANT-214: Anthropology of Religion (4.00)

This course examines the nature of religious institutions, rituals, beliefs, and experiences. By drawing upon anthropological theories of religion and selected ethnographies, we seek to understand the complex interplay between the beliefs, practices, and experiences of religion(s) and the socio-cultural contexts in which they are embedded. How do religions relate to the social order? Are they reflections of it or contested sites upon which political, economic, and cultural struggles are fought? Is religion primarily a social or psychological phenomenon? What is the nature of religious rituals and what role do they play in the construction of identity? How do sex and gender inform the nature of religious experience? What are myths and symbols? In order to explore these questions, students will be asked to engage with the anthropological corpus of theoretical and ethnographic writings on religion. In addition, there will be an opportunity to apply these concepts to the students' own lived realities through field exercises that combine theoretical analysis with participant observation. Cross-listed with REL-214.

ANT-219: Transatlantic Voodoo (4.00)

Traces Voodoo/Vodun religious traditions from West Africa to the Caribbean and North America, including the history of European contact and the slave trade, European views of African religions, and the cultural and symbolic meanings of Voodoo spirits and dancing. Cross-listed with AS/REL-219.

ANT-231: Environments, Gender and Cultures (4.00)

Relations between cultures and environments in the past and the present, with a focus on gendered perspectives. Includes sustainability, development and indigenous knowledge. Case studies on such topics as Environmental Health and Latinos (Atlanta) and Organic Coffee (Mexico).

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

ANT-240: Medical Anthropology (4.00)

This course provides an introduction to medical anthropology, incorporating both cultural and biological approaches to the subfield. The course will examine the variation of experience, meaning, and response to human health and illness across cultures. Particular emphasis will be placed on the application of theoretical concepts in medical anthropology to public health and development work. Cross-listed with PH-240.

Course requisites: Take ANT-101 PH-101 or SOC-101

ANT-245: Marriage, Sexuality and Power in Cross Cultural Perspective (4.00)

This course reviews marriage around the world, such as polygyny, monogamy, polyandry, and homosexual and heterosexual unions, and discusses the consequences for emotional bonds, power, sexuality, children, and financial arrangements. Cross-listed with WS-245.

ANT-295: Topics in Cultural Anthropology (4.00)

TOPICS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY. Varies by semester. This course focuses on special topics that highlight emerging theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues in the discipline.

Description for topic "INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, SETTLER COLONIALISM AND DECOLONIZATION"--This course investigates Indigenous histories and social movements in the US and Canada, foregrounding critiques of settler colonialism and visions of futures that do not take the settler state as a primary reference point. The course is organized around the assertion that Native American peoples are not fixed in a "prehistorical" past, but still exist - and unpacks the robust implications that this simple assertion has for social/political analysis and critique (e.g., in terms of the politics of education and settler nation-building). We will survey a wide range of issues, including identity, sovereignty, boarding schools, truth and reconciliation commissions, language revitalization, Indigenous feminisms, two-spirit/queer identities, environmental justice, and Indigenous futurisms.

Description for topic "FOOD AND CULTURE"--This course provides a survey of the anthropology of food with a primary focus on issues of food and power. It explores how food constructs bonds of belonging and forges identity, as well as how it brings issues of power, control and exclusion to the surface. This course gives students a thorough grounding in: key theoretical approaches to the anthropology of food. Topics include the historical and contemporary political economy of food, the social and cultural significance of food in different world areas, commodity chain analysis of the "social life" of particular commodities, food-related social movements such as the sustainable agriculture movement, issues of food access, food sovereignty, and collective attempts to address food systems concerns. We will also discuss the connections between ethnic cuisines and nationalist movements. Throughout, we will seek to draw connections between scholarly analysis, our personal choices, and Agnes Scott's commitments to sustainability by conducting a mini-ethnography of Agnes Scott's position in food systems.

Course requisites: ANT-101

ANT-325: Ethnography of Religion (4.00)

This course will guide students as they pursue a semester-long independent ethnographic study of a religious community in the Atlanta area. Students will conduct participant observation fieldwork in a religious setting of their choosing. Prerequisite: One course in religious studies or anthropology. Cross-listed with REL-325.

Course requisites: One course in Religious Studies or Sociology/Anthropology

ANT-330: Linguistic Anthropology (4.00)

Introduces students to the anthropological study of language in human social life. In addition to examining the definition and origins of human language, students will learn phonetics and the social functions of language in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

ANT-335: Anthropology of Human Rights (4.00)

Anthropology and human rights are fields that promote respect and protection of diverse and marginalized peoples around the world. How can anthropological theories and techniques be marshalled in the interest of human rights? What are the challenges to finding common ground between anthropology and human rights? This course explores the language, research, and philosophical positions underlying the work of anthropologists and human rights advocates. We will examine competing ethical positions and debates between universal rights and cultural relativism. Course topics will include cross-cultural approaches to issues such as LGBTQ rights, public health, international development, refugee rights, women's rights, civil rights, political freedom, genocide, indigenous rights, and religious freedom.

Course requisites: One of the following courses: ANT-101, PH-101, PHI-101, SOC-101, PHI-112, REL/POL/WS-125

ANT-340: Worlds of Culture: Global Ethnography (4.00)

A sample of ethnographies offering detailed anthropological studies of a range of geographic regions and cultural themes. The course probes other cultures' ways of knowing and how they deal with religion, ecology, economics, kinship, gender, health, language, and globalization.

Course requisites: Anthropology 101

ANT-345: Anthropology of Public Health (4.00)

This course examines anthropological perspectives and practices for understanding public health and medicine. It considers a variety of health issues, discourses, knowledge, and practices among different societies and social strata within various societies. It likewise explores globalization effects on health.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

ANT-350: Anthropology of Violence (4.00)

This course explores violence across the modern world, including political, structural, symbolic, and "everyday violence." Case studies of genocide, ethnocide, femicide, and rape will be considered through a human rights framework, with particular emphasis on reparation, rebuilding, and prevention. Cross-listed with PH-350.

Course requisites: Take 1: ANT/PH/SOC-101 or REL/POL-125

ANT-354: Human Culture in Anthropological Perspective (4.00)

Advanced course on anthropological understandings of culture and humanity. Students read ethnographies and theoretical works to examine different ways of understanding behavior.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

ANT-360: Ethnomusicology Issues/Methods (4.00)

Special interest topics, such as issues and methods in ethnomusicology, area studies, and history of the discipline, offered on an occasional basis according to student interest and as the need arises. Cross-listed with MUS-360.

Course requisites: MUS-110

ANT-371: Women, Health and Society (4.00)

Cross-cultural concepts of women's bodies and health, including reproduction and child care, health practitioners and disease. Focus on gender, ethnic and class differences in health, health concepts and health practices around the world and locally, as well as research methods (kinship, interviews) relating to health. Cross-listed with WS-371.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

ANT-380: Culture and Ethnography of Africa (4.00)

This course offers an examination and appreciation of African cultures in the present context and in historical perspective. Course topics include kinship, gender, politics, religion, economics, and colonialism. Students read several ethnographies for an in-depth understanding of specific cultures. Cross-listed with AS/REL-380.

Course requisites: Take 1 of these classes (ANT-101, ANT/REL/AS-219, SOC-101, AS-170, HIS-257, OR AS-140/REL-217

ANT-390: Foundations of Social Research (4.00)

Introduction to social research, including developing research questions, reviewing literature, carrying out field research and data analysis. Involves teamwork. Basic skills include kinship, ethnography, interviews and surveys. Topic varies by semester. Cross-listed with SOC-390.

Course requisites: ANT-101, SOC-101 and junior standing

ANT-391: Special Areas in Social Science Inquiry (4.00)

Topics vary by semester, according to the professor teaching the course. Each student will design and carry out a research project. Required for majors. Cross-listed with SOC-391.

Course requisites: Sociology 390 or Anthropology 390

Sociology Courses

SOC-101: Intro to Sociology (4.00)

Current sociological theory and research as they relate to primary units of social life, social processes, and social institutions. Emphasis on relating concepts to contemporary American society. Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101 is the prerequisite for all other courses in Sociology except 336. SOC-101 meets the Social/Cultural Analysis standard.

SOC-206: Research Statistics (4.00)

Basic theory, principles and applications of statistics in behavioral science research. Cross-listed with PSY-206.

Course requisites: One 100-level course from ANT,PH,POL,PSY, or SOC

SOC-211: Marriage and the Family (4.00)

The family as a basic social institution. The range of alternative behaviors in contemporary family life. Role relationships within the family and changes in family patterns. Family organization in different social classes, ethnic groups, and utopian communities. Cross-listed with WS-211.

Course requisites: ANT-101 or SOC-101

SOC-212: Religion and Immigration (4.00)

An examination of how immigration shapes religious life in the United States, using historical and sociological approaches. The course will also attend to the role of religious organizations and practices for immigrant incorporation into U.S. social and cultural life, and to religious voices in contemporary policy debates on immigration. Cross-listed with REL-212.

SOC-213: Sociology of Religion (4.00)

Religion shapes and is shaped by the society in which it lives. This course will introduce students to basic concepts and methods used by sociologists to explore this relationship. Over the course of the semester, classic texts will acquaint students with the fundamental questions sociology has asked of religion, and contemporary accounts will model strategies by which one might analyze the current religious landscape of the United States. Students will link theory and practice by conducting their own sociological investigation of a local religious community. Cross-listed with REL-213.

SOC-217: Schools and Society (4.00)

Education in cross-cultural perspective. The role of education in the transmission of values and culture. The conflict between family and school. The inequality of educational opportunity.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

SOC-221: Social Problems in Global Contexts (4.00)

Examines competing definitions of and solutions to social problems. Topics vary, but may include issues related to wealth and poverty, racism, gender, work, family, education, and globalization.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 or Anthropology 101

SOC-225: Urban Lives (4.00)

An exploration of social changes in urban settings in the United States, the Caribbean, and Western Europe, particularly the ways societal processes and social structures influence community and cultural life. Issues such as urban poverty, environmental pollution, "global city" formation and residential segregation will be discussed. Cross-listed with AS-225.

Course requisites: SOC-101, AS-170 or ANT-101

SOC-230: Race, Class and Gender (4.00)

Survey of the history, basic theories and recent research integrating these key concepts for modern society. Systematic examination of the effects of these variables on different groups in society. Cross-listed with WS-231/AS-230.

SOC-251: History of Social Theory (4.00)

Introduction to theory in social science, review of the major theoretical constructs of the 19th century and application in modern social science.

SOC-295: Topics in Sociology (4.00)

TOPICS IN SOCIOLOGY. Varies by semester. This course focuses on special topics that highlight emerging theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues in the discipline.

Description for topic "RACE, SPACE AND IDENTITY"--This course offers an intensive introduction to recent scholarship about black geographies, and the relationship between race and the production of space. We will focus on the complex spaces where black life happens, theories of diaspora, racial capitalism, and postcolonialism. We will try to answer two interrelated questions. First, how can insights from sociology, critical human geography and black migration studies help us understand the lived experiences, practices, and meanings of blackness? And second, how can focusing a "black sense of place" transform the way we think about space, place, and power?

Course requisites: ANT-101, SOC-101 or AS-170

SOC-301: Collective Behav & Soc Mvments (4.00)

This course examines organized collective efforts to bring about social change. It applies social science research methods, perspectives, and case studies to evaluate the effectiveness of activists' practices and outcomes. Analysis will include, but is not limited to, U.S. and international collective action such as the civil rights, workers', environmental, and women's movements.

Course requisites: SOC-101 or ANT-101

SOC-310: The "Other" African Americans (4.00)

Seminar on diversity within black America, focusing on the experiences of Caribbean, African, and Latin American immigrants. We consider the implications of reconceptualizing "the" black community as several overlapping communities made up of African-Americans, West Indians, diasporic Africans, and Afro-Latinos. Cross-listed with AS-310.

Course requisites: ANT-101, SOC-101 or AS-170

SOC-333: Race and Place in the New South (4.00)

This course is designed for majors. By focusing on questions of race and place, we will examine the "New South" using an approach that is sensitive to issues of representation, local histories, and racial mythologies. As a class, our goal will be to develop a critical understanding of the region and its redevelopment in the post-Civil Rights Movement era. Our work will include, but is not limited to, issues of segregation, gentrification, "Latinization," and community organizing. Atlanta, the so-called capital of "New South," will be a particular focus. The central assignment for this class is an independent "place study" of a metro Atlanta neighborhood. Some field trips and film screenings will take place outside of class time. Cross-listed with AS-333.

Course requisites: ANT-101, SOC-101 or AS-170

SOC-356: Comparative Black Feminisms (4.00)

Interdisciplinary analysis and critique of the history of ideas which make up African and African Diasporic feminist thought and practice. Cross-listed with AS/WS-356.

Course requisites: ANT-101, SOC-101 or WS-100

SOC-370: African Am.Images in Pop.Cultr (4.00)

Emphasis given to the influence of race on U.S. culture and the interplay of race and culture with politics. Pervasive attention paid in this course to representations of women and to the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. Cross-listed with AS-370/WS-377.

Course requisites: SOC-101 or ANT-101

SOC-390: Foundations of Social Research (4.00)

Introduction to social research, including developing research questions, reviewing literature, carrying out field research and data analysis. Involves teamwork. Basic skills include kinship, ethnography, interviews and surveys. Topic varies by semester. Cross-listed with ANT-390.

Course requisites: Sociology 101 and Anthropology 101; junior standing

SOC-391: Special Areas in Social Science Inquiry (4.00)

Topics vary by semester, according to the professor teaching the course. Each student will design and carry out a research project. Required for majors. Cross-listed with ANT-391.

Course requisites: Sociology 390 or Anthropology 390

Requirements for the Sociology & Anthropology Minor

  • Anthropology 101
  • Sociology 101 and 251
  • Anthropology or Sociology 390
  • Four additional credits in anthropology or sociology
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