Faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology have a strong commitment to working with students and interacting closely with them. We offer a wide range of opportunities for faculty/student interaction ranging from collaborative research and internships to informal get-togethers such as the department's Spring Barbecue.
Sociology and anthropology internships are important tools for students who wish to engage in a direct and applied experience within their field. Faculty of the department are committed to helping students gain practical experience in their given field; experience that may open job opportunities following graduation. Students work with faculty supervisors who work with the student to complete the internship successfully, and to critically analyze the experience they have had. The following is a sample of organizations/agencies with which students have completed internships:
Research collaboration is a priority among the faculty of the department. Students have worked with professors on projects involving topics such as local Hispanic and migrant communities, gender and politics, homeless and other underserved local populations, disaster research, educational inequality, non-timber resource utilization in northwest forests, people coping with Celiac Disease, rural electrification in the Andes, use of traditional herbal remedies in Peru, and Century Farms and sustainable agriculture. Faculty have also assisted students in presenting papers at the Pacific Sociological Association Meetings, American Anthropological Association Meetings, and the Lewis and Clark College Gender Symposium; and have also participated in co-authoring papers. This is an important way for students to gain experience in academia, especially for those interested in continuing on to graduate school in their respective fields.
Students are encouraged to gain experience in original research through a senior thesis. The process involves working with a thesis advisor, but with the involvement of the entire department at various points. Recent topics include gender fluidity, the role of gender in sex trafficking, the transformation of Tibetan identity, microbrewery subculture, framing of policy issues in the 2012 presidential election, effect of agrarian reform in the Peruvian Andes, the construction of identity in Ireland, identity of Korean-American adoptees, community supported agriculture, healthcare in Ghana, and resistance art in Oaxaca, Mexico.
As part of establishing a solid base for the senior thesis, students are required to take the Social Theory Seminar (385) during spring of their sophomore or junior year. Students are strongly encouraged to take Social Research Methods (307) prior to their senior year, as it prepares them for work using a variety of methods ranging from ethnography to statistical survey data analysis using SPSS for Windows. Having these courses behind her/him allows the student to focus on the thesis during their senior year, thus having a realistic expectation of carrying the project out to its conclusion. During the spring prior to the senior year, students submit a short thesis proposal which is discussed with the five members of the department.
There is a wide range of opportunities for students who wish to travel abroad. Linfield College has a number of semester long study abroad programs, including programs in Costa Rica, Japan, England, and others. In addition, there is a travel abroad component to the January Term, within which most members of the department have participated. Members of the Sociology and Anthropology department have led courses to places such as India, Scandinavia, Honduras, Romania, Peru, Nepal, and Nicaragua. Overall, our faculty strongly encourage students to seek out educational opportunities abroad.
The department sponsors a SoAn table (recently renamed “Voices”), which is a forum for a wide variety of topics that are relevant to the disciplines of sociology and anthropology. Majors are strongly encouraged to attend, as a means of staying current with issues in the disciplines, within the department, and with each other as students and researchers.
Students have the opportunity to work with a member of the faculty on projects for the Linfield Anthropology Museum (LAM). Student curators and interns work on a variety of exhibits. One of the most recent exhibits, The Art and Tradition of the Kimono, was part of an ongoing effort to explore the rich cultural heritage of Oregon and the Northwest. The LAM, Salem’s Willamette Heritage Center and Portland’s Oregon Nikkei Endowment /Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center partnered to present this exhibition.
In the fall of 2014, the Linfield Anthropology Museum, due to renovations in Walker Hall, became a "distributed" museum. Cases are now dispersed across the first floor of Walker Hall. The cases currently contain a compilation of exhibits curated by students in the ANTH 355 course during the spring of 2015. The exhibits showcase several items that are held in the Linfield Anthropology Museum collection.