Sociology & Anthropology

SOAN Faculty
SOAN Faculty

Do the social lives of human beings fascinate you? Are you interested in understanding the complexity of human cultures across human history or around the world? Do you yearn for a better understanding of the complex causes and consequences of human behavior? Do you want to gain the skills needed in a 21st century labor market that is fast-changing and increasingly global? If so, then a major in sociology or anthropology is for you!

Why Linfield? The Department of Sociology & Anthropology offers a rigorous interdisciplinary sociology-anthropology curriculum with breadth across the sociology-anthropology core and depth in each major. The Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Linfield offers majors in both disciplines, yet combines several core courses so that students gain a broader perspective and understanding of human behavior.

In addition, the Department of Sociology & Anthropology offers students opportunities to engage in the types of activities and to develop the types of skills that today’s employers believe will help to prepare college students for successful careers. According to a study conducted by Hart Research Associates for the Association of American Colleges & Universities (Raising the Bar: Employers’ Views on College Learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn, 2009), for example, the majority of employers believe that the following types of experiences and skills will help to prepare college students for success:

  • Completion of a significant project before graduation that demonstrates their depth of knowledge in their major AND their acquisition of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills;
  • Completion of an internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences;
  • Development of the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analyses;
  • Hands-on or direct experience with the methods of science so they will understand how scientific judgments are reached; and
  • An understanding of (1) cultural and ethnic diversity in the context of the United States and (2) the point of view of societies other than those of Western Europe or North America.

In the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Linfield College:

  • All students complete a significant capstone project in which majors build on their four-year course sequence and draw on both theory and methods training to produce original research on a topic of sociological and/or anthropological significance. The methodological training that students receive as part of SOAN 307: Social Research Methods ensures that students develop the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analysis.
  • Courses across the curriculum help students to develop the ability to access, organize, critically analyze, and produce knowledge about humans as social and cultural beings.
  • Courses across the curriculum help students to develop oral and written skills for effective communication.
  • The department offers a wide range of courses that help students to develop an understanding of both domestic and global diversity.
  • Students are provided with numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships, community-based field projects, and research. For example:
    • Students engage in a wide variety of internships. Over the past several years, they have served at organizations such as the Oregon Department of Education, Yamhill County Juvenile Corrections, Rainbow Family Services, Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force, Head Start, Washington County DA Office, High Desert Museum, YMCA, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, and many others.
    • The Linfield Anthropology Museum provides hands-on training in exhibit design, installation, registration, and artifact conservation.
    • The annual Summer Archaeology Field School provides fieldwork in historic and prehistoric archaeology at various sites.
    • Many students engage in student-faculty collaborative research projects. These projects have focused on topics such as local Hispanic and migrant communities, homelessness, disaster research, race and gender inequality, Celiac disease, use of medicinal plants in Peru, and more.
    • Departmental majors frequently present papers based on independent and collaborative research at regional academic conferences as well as an annual on-campus academic poster session.
    • Students engage in both community service and community-based field projects as part of the core curriculum.

While studying sociology or anthropology at Linfield, you will also experience:

  • Close student-faculty relations and collaboration in research and social practice.
  • Invaluable opportunities to study abroad while pursuing your degree. Departmental faculty and students are especially active with Linfield’s strong International Studies program. Faculty members have offered courses in locations such as Guatemala, Ecuador, India, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, New Orleans, and Scandinavia.
  • Small class sizes that allow personalized attention.
  • Opportunities and encouragement for interdisciplinary study. Sociology and Anthropology faculty and students actively participate in Linfield’s International Studies, Gender Studies, Environmental Studies, and Latin American Studies Programs.

Explore the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Linfield College and discover what committed professors and an exciting program can do to help you to realize your potential.