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About Sociology & Anthropology

About the Department

The Sociology & Anthropology Department builds from the strengths of faculty in the disciplines of anthropology and 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 approach these issues from different perspectives and traditions.

Anthropology takes a holistic, comparative approach focused on humanity as both biological and cultural beings. Courses explore the similarities and differences in the ways 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.

Sociology focuses on 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 transformed at the macro level of societal change, the micro level of individual belief and action, and everything in between. Specific emphases include crime and deviance, social inequalities, poverty and social welfare, and the intersections of race, class, and gender.

Teaching: The Sociology & Anthropology Department is home to award-winning teachers, some of whom have received more than one award. The department is committed to effective teaching and to fulfilling the mission of the department and College of Arts & Sciences. That commitment to excellent teaching does not diminish its commitment to maintaining the first-rate quality of faculty research.

Sociology & Anthropology Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning assessment at the program level is intended to promote and maintain program excellence and improve student learning. Each department in the College of Arts & Sciences has developed a set of learning outcomes for their programs and engages in faculty-led assessment activities to help inform curricular and program review and development. Student learning is assessed in different ways across A&S departments, informed by disciplinary standards and the specific learning outcomes of the program.