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Sociology and Anthropology

Our students start out by peering into the gorilla cage and digging in the dirt. And by the end of four years, they’re uniquely prepared for a wide range of professions from market research to policy to international development and more. 

Explore the artifacts recovered and analyzed by our students from the Charnley-Persky House Archaeological Project.


Play the choose-your-own-adventure game, Death in Chicago, developed by students in Medical Anthropology.

Read the Adulting Manual, a collaborative project between students in Qualitative Methods, alumni, and friends of the college.

Read recent theses by our students.

Sociology and anthropology (SOAN) students explore similarities and contrasts in human social behavior. And they work directly with outstanding professors:

  • Sociologist Todd Beer takes students to New York and Paris to observe climate-change demonstrations first hand.
  • Sociologist David Boden teaches science fiction and public policy. He has published a study on the sociology of male erotic dancing.
  • Anthropologist Rebecca Graff leads urban archaeological excavations in Chicago and finds a treasure-trove of evidence digging through 19th and 20th century sites.
  • Sociologist Ahmad Sadri teaches courses on terrorism and is an expert on Iran. He’s a regular commentator for National Public Radio. 
  • Anthropologist Holly Swyers researches U.S. culture, ranging from the 21st century phenomenon of “adulting” to contemporary efforts to maintain communities. She regularly involves student researchers in fieldwork.


Department News

  • April 3 Ahmad Sadri
    Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology Ahmad Sadri was interviewed on April 3 on NPR’s Worldview program talking about the scientific revolution of Iran and Central Asia between the ninth and twelfth centuries. The interview aired here on Chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 FM. More »
  • March 18 Lillie Therieau Malta 4
    Lillie Therieau ’21 is an art history and sociology and anthropology double major who is studying at the University of Malta. More »
  • March 8 Paula Pelletier
    Paula Pelletier ’21, a Sociology and Anthropology major, is studying at the Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado in Sao Paulo, Brazil.More »
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  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/660-xhris-fitzgerald-17"><img src="/live/image/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/241,81,1413,1254/29155__dsc0442.rev.1446135190.jpg" alt="Xhris Fitzgerald ’17" title="Xhris Fitzgerald ’17" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/241,81,1413,1254/29155__dsc0442.rev.1446135190.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/241,81,1413,1254/29155__dsc0442.rev.1446135190.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1357"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “It was a great experience for us, as undergraduates, to participate in a professional academic conference.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/660-xhris-fitzgerald-17">Learn about Xhris’ work at the College.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2319-chelsea-mcdonald-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/187/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,576,500/35162_chelseam_2.rev.1484934858.jpg" alt="Chelsea McDonald ’16" title="Chelsea McDonald ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/187/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,576,500/35162_chelseam_2.rev.1484934858.jpg 2x" data-max-w="576" data-max-h="500"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Every professor is not only passionate about their field, but also about the students in their classrooms.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2319-chelsea-mcdonald-16">Chelsea McDonald ’16 is working for a US Senator after completing many internships and research experiences.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/664-jake-albion-13"><img src="/live/image/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/128,0,296,168/29188_jakealbion.rev.1446501110.jpeg" alt="Jake Albion ’13" title="Jake Albion ’13" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="168"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The skills I learned as a sociology and anthropology major taught me to think outside the box.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/664-jake-albion-13">Today, Jake Albion ’13 thinks outside the box for Thrive Media.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/659-anne-marie-brugioni-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1999/29156_anne_marie.rev.1446137434.jpg" alt="Anne Marie Brugioni ’16" title="Anne Marie Brugioni ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1999/29156_anne_marie.rev.1446137434.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1999/29156_anne_marie.rev.1446137434.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1999"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Attending and presenting at a professional conference gave me a real sense of what the field of archaeology is like at a professional level.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/659-anne-marie-brugioni-16">Anne Marie presented her research at the 2015 Midwest Historical Archaeology Conference. </a>