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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

  • February 18   
    Professor Ahmad Sadri was a panelist speaking on the new publication, The Shahnameh: The Persian Epic as World Literature, at the Heyman Center of Columbia University on February 12. More »
  • December 21 Rebecca Graff
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the American Studies Program Rebecca Graff is featured in the January 2019 issue of Chicago magazine.
    More »
  • November 28 Missy Dieckman-Meyer
    Missy Dieckman-Meyer ’20, a double major in Sociology/Anthropology and Communications with a minor in Legal Studies, is studying in Cork, Ireland.More »
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  • <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>
  • <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>