College of Arts and Sciences
Bentley Annex 162
Christine Mattley, Chair
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is a diverse department that combines two distinct academic disciplines, as well as different programs within each major. We have a long distinguished record as one of the oldest departments of sociology in the U.S., dating back to the early years of the twentieth century. Anthropology joined us in 1970, giving the department four undergraduate majors–Anthropology, Sociology, Sociology-Criminology, and Sociology-Prelaw–as well as an M.A. program in Sociology.
Both sociology and anthropology study human behavior, social interaction, and social organization. Both are concerned with how societies are organized and why people act as they do, but they approach these issues from different perspectives and traditions. Anthropology takes a holistic and comparative approach that focuses on humanity as both biological and cultural beings. Courses explore the similarities and differences in the ways through which humans organize their lives. Anthropologists in the department examine human origins and evolution, the prehistoric past, recent and contemporary forms of human culture and society, patterns of communication, and forensics in a variety of places spanning the globe.
Anthropology can be defined broadly as the scientific study of humankind. This discipline has two major foci: humans as biological organisms and as cultural beings. This department concentrates on three of Anthropology’s subfields: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. Anthropology is a holistic and comparative discipline that provides a broad framework through which human activities, adaptations, and changes can be meaningfully interpreted in time and in space. Much of anthropology deals with non-Western societies. If you are interested in becoming a professional anthropologist, you can prepare for graduate school in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. The anthropology major offers training in the methods and analytical frameworks of cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and anthropological archaeology.
Anthropology offers the following undergraduate programs:
Anthropology (B.A.) - BA4252
Ohio University’s Field School of Archaeology gives students the chance to receive hands-on experience in current archaeological techniques and laboratory analysis of archaeological material in a field school taught by Ohio University anthropology faculty. The Field School teaches students all stages of archaeological research, including research design, survey, mapping, excavation techniques, and laboratory methods.
The Anthropology Internship Program enables students to explore various career options by working with sponsoring organizations to apply their anthropology training in real-world professional situations. The internship experience will vary according to the interests of students and the needs of the sponsoring organization. Anthropology internships may focus on any of the three fields represented by departmental faculty: archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology.
All Anthropology majors of senior rank are eligible to write a Senior Honors Thesis. In addition to rank, the student must have a 3.5 GPA overall and in Anthropology, must have a research topic of sincere anthropological interest, and must have a faculty sponsor. The student who succeeds receives a diploma which recognizes the “Honors” status in Anthropology upon graduation.
Anthropology students who qualify can become life-long members of the Delta Chapter of Lambda Alpha, the National Honor Society for Anthropology. Members join with thousands of others who identify nationally as successful Anthropology students.
The Anthropology Program offers an Honors Tutorial degree through Ohio University’s nationally unique Honors Tutorial College. It extends an Oxford-style education to gifted students, in which many courses in that student’s area of specialization are taught in a tutorial fashion. The Honors Tutorial College requires entering students to be in the upper 10% of their high school class, and have a combined SAT score of at least 1200 or an ACT of 27. Students interested should contact the Honors Tutorial College directly for additional information.
Sociology focuses on the social causes and consequences of individual and group behavior and interaction. It takes its cue from C. Wright Mills’ famous work on “the sociological imagination” as the “intersection of biography and history within society.” Sociologists at Ohio University apply this insight to study how social behavior becomes organized, institutionalized, and changed at the macro level of societal change, the micro level of individual belief and action, and everything in between. Specific topics include crime and deviance, social inequalities, poverty and social welfare, and the intersections of race, class, and gender with particular attention to policy impacts and implications.
Sociology offers the following undergraduate programs:
Sociology (B.A.) - BA4251
Sociology—Criminology (B.A.) - BA4253
Sociology—Prelaw (B.A.) - BA4254
Sociology Minor - OR4251