Anthropology and Sociology

Professors: Baptiste (Chair), Cunningham, Garriga-Lopez, Luthra, Villegas

The related disciplines of anthropology and sociology seek to understand the nature of communities, organizations, institutions, the systems of cultural meanings that form and inform them, and the interplay between individuals' lives and the societies in which they live. Such understanding requires critical understanding of the interactions among societies and especially the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of power embodied in structures of class, gender, ethnicity, and race that operate on both a local and global level.

Our goal is to provide courses that integrate the two disciplines into a common curriculum from which students derive the multiple perspectives, patterns of evidence, and methodological skills that will engender a broad yet nuanced understanding of the local and global dimensions of contemporary issues. This awareness, gained through reading, discussion, and active engagement both in the local community and through international programs and projects— is remarkably consistent with and thus directly serves the overall mission of the college: "to better understand, live successfully within, and provided enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world."

Students graduating with a major in Anthropology and Sociology will find this major relevant for careers not only in anthropology and sociology but also in such related fields as human services, journalism, law, urban affairs, international development, government, business, and education.

Requirements for the Major in Anthropology and Sociology

A minimum of ten courses, comprised of the six core courses and four other ANSO courses of the student’s choosing. Only one of the nine courses may be taken off-campus.

The Core (required)
ANSO 103 Introduction to Society and Culture
ANSO 212 Quantitative Research Methods
ANSO 245 Qualitative Research Methods
ANSO 345 Theories of Society and Culture
ANSO 490 Senior Seminar: Current Dialogues in Anthropology and Sociology

Requirements for the Minor in Anthropology and Sociology

Number of Units
A minimum of six courses.

Required Courses
ANSO 103 Introduction to Society and Culture

Select the remaining five from all other courses except ANSO 490. ANSO 275 is recommended. Only one of the six courses may be taken off campus.

Anthropology and Sociology courses

ANSO120The FamilyThis course examines the institution of The Family, primarily from a critical perspective. After situating The Family in cultural and historical structures of race/ethnicity, class, and gender, we explore the institution as a site for the production and reproduction of femininity, masculinity, and (hetero)sexuality. We also examine the implications of the institution and the dynamics of power embedded in it for individuals and groups working against the dominant script.
ANSO140Language, Culture and SocietyThis course examines the relationship among language, culture and society with a special emphasis on the social and cultural factors that affect our use of and attitudes towards language. By examining how language is used in different socio-cultural contexts from an anthropological perspective, we will explore not only how language use varies according to social contexts and social groups, but also the roles that different varieties of language play in the expression of social identity and the production and reproduction of stereotypes and power relationships.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO205Urban SociologyThis course examines the historical processes of urban economic, political, and social change that have shaped American cities in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such as the shifting fate of industrial work, racially exclusive suburbanization, and transportation funding and development. It also focuses on contemporary urban policy issues ranging from gentrification and the crisis of affordable housing to transit equity and the privatization of public space. Students will critically analyze major theoretical perspectives on the city including urban ecology, political economy, postmodern urbanism, feminist theory, and theories of immigrant incorporation; and they will engage in a series of experiential, field-based projects through which they will apply, test out, and evaluate these theories.
ANSO210Medicine and SocietyCross-cultural analysis of the relationship of society to health and the disease process through the examination of the evolution of knowledge about disease; views of disease by different societies, ethnic groups, and social classes; and alternative national health care systems.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 or CGHL-120
ANSO212Quantitative Research MethodsAn introduction to the use of quantitative analysis and statistical reasoning in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and human development and social relations. The course will emphasize understanding and critiquing data and conclusions, and students will produce data sets as well. Students will develop skill in using SPSS. Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO220Special Topics: Anthropology & SociologyThis course will focus upon a topic in Anthropology and Sociology that is not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with a different topic.Prerequisite: Take ANSO-103
ANSO225Sex and SexualitiesThis course provides students with an overview of influential theories about the social aspects of sex and sexuality, as well as some direct engagement with ethnographic representations of sexual worlds and their politics. It examines the diversity of human sexual identities and activities in their historical, philosophical, legal, and social contexts. This course will consider sex and sexualities in an intersectional way, that is, in and through their intersections with issues of race, class, gender, nationality, and globality.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 or CGHL-120
ANSO230Sociology of ReligionAn introduction to theories and research in the sociology of religion, with particular emphasis on religious patterns in the United States. Attention will be given to the social sources of the growth and decline of various religious groups and traditions; relationships between religion, ethnicity, and politics; civil religion and cultural conflict.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 or RELG course
ANSO/SEMN233Capitalisms and SocialismsThis course will look at different political and economic systems around the world and across times. Ideological debates tend to idealize and simplify the notions of capitalism and socialism, thus ignoring the fact that neither of those systems exists in the vacuum of its "pure" theoretical form. We will explore various elements of capitalist and socialist systems and how these elements mix together in different countries. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ANSO234Latin America in Global ContextThis course will primarily examine contemporary Latin American history from an anthropological perspective. The first part of the course will explore the role of colonialism and imperialism in the making of Latin America. In the second part of the course, the role of U.S. foreign policy will be discussed, particularly the specific policies the U.S. deployed in Latin America to "contain" alternative economic models deemed dangerous to U.S. capitalism. We also will examine the underlying assumptions of Western-centered development models imposed in Latin America and their relation to neo-colonialism and globalization. The final part of the course will explore revolutionary movements as they respond to the encroaching forces of capitalism.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO235Prisons and Public PolicyThis course considers the social and cultural functions of prisons in the United States. It evaluates the changing political, economic, and social forces that define crime in the U.S. and propel support for mass incarceration; and examines how prisons operate as institutions of social control in response to crises of global capitalism, the perceived fracturing of American identity, and radical politics since the 1970s. It also considers policies related to prisoners themselves, including quality of life issues, education and vocational training behind bars, probation and parole, and the dilemmas of rehabilitation and re-entry.
ANSO236Race and RacismThis course equips students with a comprehensive understanding of "race" as a socio-political construct, and of racism as a structural and institutional process. Focusing primarily on the twentieth and twenty-first century United States, the course explores how race operates as an organizing principle of American life. It examines the historical development of notions of racial difference and the creation of racial inequality through science, philosophy, the law, and public policy; analyzes how contemporary social institutions perpetuate racial inequality; and considers the landscape of modern racial politics.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 and Sophomore Standing
ANSO/PSYC238Culture and Psychology of Arab-Muslim SocietiesThis course provides an introduction to Arab-Muslim societies and cultures. It draws on readings from multiple disciplines to cover social structure and family organization in tribal, village, and urban communities, core value systems associated with the etiquettes of honor-and-modesty and with the beliefs and practices of Islam, and influences on psychological development through the life-span. It also will examine the processes of "modernization" and "underdevelopment," the conflict between Westernization and authentic "tradition," the "Islamic revival," and the crisis of identity experienced by youth.
ANSO245Qualitative Research MethodsThis course provides students with the methodological tools and concepts that provide the foundation of sound, ethical, qualitative, ethnographic research. Using a project-based approach, students learn about and gain experience with conceptualizing, designing, implementing, and writing up the results of a qualitative research project.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 and Sophomore Standing
ANSO/PSYC250Social PsychologySurvey of contemporary topics in social psychology, including attitudes, conformity, group dynamics, media effects, aggression, and social cognition; includes an experimental or field-based research project.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or ANSO-103.
ANSO252Political Ecology of WasteThis course introduces students to the realities and constructions of waste as a complex economic, political, environmental, public health and cultural 'problem' in diverse global settings. Drawing upon a diverse set of literatures in social sciences, humanities, engineering, and economics, the course encourages students to gain an appreciation of inter-and trans-disciplinary knowledge forms, each of which constructs, problematizes, and proposes solutions for the issue of waste.Prerequisite: Take ANSO-103
ANSO/SEMN255You Are What You Eat: Food and Identity In a Global PerspectiveThe goal of this course is to examine the social, symbolic, and political-economic roles of what and how we eat. While eating is essential to our survival, we rarely pay attention to what we eat and why. We will look at the significance of food and eating with particular attention to how people define themselves differently through their foodways. We will also study food's role in maintaining economic and social relations, cultural conceptions of health, and religion. Finally, the class examines the complex economic and political changes in food systems and the persistence of food's role as an expression of identity, social and ethnic markers. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ANSO270Communities and SchoolsDrawing on anthropological theories, this course will explore the role of schooling and other educational practices in the production of knowledge and the reproduction of hierarchies both in the United States and abroad. Through their participation in the service-learning component of the course, students will be able to examine firsthand how reproduction occurs in the local educational system.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO275Thinking TheoreticallyThis is an introductory social theory course for ANSO. It deals with classical and contemporary theoretical ideas that infuse the fields of sociology and anthropology. You are invited to read and discuss exemplars from each of these approaches and critically assess their claims. Throughout this quarter you will broaden your theoretical repertoire and will apply the theoretical concepts to real-world and fictional situations.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO/PSYC279Organizational BehaviorThis course is designed to provide you with analytical tools that will boost your assessment capabilities of organizations, the issues they are dealing with, and the challenges they and the people in them are facing. In addition, the material that will be covered during the term will tease and enhance your critical-thinking and investigative skills.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
ANSO/HIST288Sports in East AsiaWhether it's Yao Ming on the basketball court, Ichiro in Seattle breaking records, or the ubiquitous martial arts, "East Asian" sports seem to be everywhere these days. How did this come about? What can we learn about East Asian societies, and our own, from studying sports? These are some of the questions we will be tackling as we explore the history and significance of sports in East Asia. Drawing from a combination of primary materials, theoretical writings, comparative studies, and secondary works focused on East Asia, we will consider sports in terms of several issues: invented traditions, nationalism, body culture, gender, stardom, and the modern Olympics, to name just a few.
ANSO290Africa in Global ContextAn examination of contemporary African societies. Particular emphasis is given to the ways that people and places on the African continent have been and continue to be connected to global dynamics and the implications of these past and present connections for people's lives as they are lived today.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO/SEMN292Development and DispossessionThis course takes a critical approach to the study of development, focusing particular attention on the displacement and dispossession of local populations. Using contemporary case studies, we examine how neoliberal policies and practices play out in various development sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, and the extractive industry, in both rural and urban spaces in the U.S. and around the world.
ANSO295Special TopicsSpecial Topics offerings focus upon topics not addressed in the department's regular offerings. The course can be repeated with a different topic. Check the course schedule to see when Special Topics courses are being offered.
ANSO295Special Topics: Work and LaborWork occupies a central role in social life. Work contributes to a person's social and economic standing, life course options, and identity. Because work is closely related to other social institutions, structures, and processes - particularly social inequality - the social significance of work extends beyond individual identities and daily routines. Studying work from a sociological perspective provides the opportunity to connect the daily experiences of workers in their workplaces to broader social trends. Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO295Special Topics: Understanding ViolenceThis course provides an introduction to the sociological and anthropological study of violence. Through the perspectives of victims, victimizers, "bystanders," and women, the course will examine the use of terror as a means of fascist-imperialist and colonialist expansion and its consequences in nineteenth and twentieth century Europe, the New World, and South Asia. The course will also examine the roles of propaganda and knowledge production (such as anthropology as the science of man) in these imperialist and colonialist projects. Students will study, at least, four thematics that are important for understanding violence: (a) the definition of man and the idea of the primitive; (b) fascism, imperialism and colonialism; (c) propaganda and knowledge production; and (d) the problem of narrating violence. Students will have the opportunity to critically reflect upon how it is possible for "bystanders," who are neither victims nor direct victimizers, to live normal lives not far from the centers of the spaces of terror such as concentration camps in Europe and rubber plantations in the New World.
ANSO295Special Topics: South Asia in Global ContextThis course explores the modern history, society and culture of South Asia. First we study India under the British Raj and the history of the independence movement in the early twentieth century. We will then examine the crucial role South Asia has played in the production of social scientific knowledge, such as colonial historiography, Indology, comparative religion, anthropology and Subaltern Studies, and the relationship between power and knowledge. In the second half of the course we will read key ethnographies on the everyday life in contemporary South Asia and study topics including the family, sex, caste, class, religion, nation-building, capitalism, crime, cinema, civil war, and diaspora.
ANSO310Social Research for Social ChangeDrawing primarily from applied sociology and applied anthropology, the course examines the types of approaches taken in applied research as well as ethical issues that commonly arise in the context of doing applied work. Examples from a variety of areas of applied research will be considered. Prerequisite: ANSO-245 or Instructor permission
ANSO315Sound & Culture in the Middle EastAn introduction to the popular culture and cultural politics of the modern Middle East, as heard through the medium of sound. Exploring the varied soundscapes and musical cultures of the region, we will examine how sound shapes, reinforces, critiques, and transforms social life, from the local to the international level. Listening to music as both an aesthetic object and a site for the contestation of ideas, we will learn about the ways in which music is used to articulate an array of competing visions: of the nation, colony and post-colony; religion, gender, and sexuality; globalization, hybridity, and modernity.Prerequisite: MUSC-103, ANSO-103 or Instructor Permission
ANSO320Advanced Seminar: Special Topics in Anthropology and SociologyA seminar for students who wish to explore significant issues in sociology or anthropology at a more advanced level. Topics may vary from year to year.Prerequisite: Must take one 200-level ANSO course and be in sophomore standing.
ANSO320Globalization & Consumption Anthropology and SociologyThe course description for this course is: This course explores anthropological engagements with and critical approaches to the concept of globalization and globalizing processes. We will theoretically and empirically analyze the meanings, consequences and experiences of globalization by exploring key themes, including: the emergence and expansion of capitalism; the role of the nation-state; histories, processes and structures of global inequalities; the rise of modernization, post-colonialism, and development; experiences of migration and diaspora; tourism and the commodification of "culture"; patterns of global consumption; anti-globalization and anti-capitalist social movements.
ANSO320Development and DispossesionThis course takes a critical approach to the study of development, focusing particular attention on the displacement and dispossession of local populations. Using contemporary case studies, we examine how neoliberal policies and practices play out in various development sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, and the extractive industry, in both rural and urban spaces in the U.S. and around the world.Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing or Permission of the Instructor
ANSO320Globalization and Popular CultureThis course examines the global mediascapes of cinema and television, social media, music, fashion, and advertising and their relationship to "local" cultural logics and forms of belonging. We focus on theories of globalization and modernity, particularly as they relate to media and information technology, to better understand how individuals self-fashion identity and community and make claims of affinity and belonging in an increasingly connected world.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO322Prisoners and DetaineesPrisoners and Detainees: Race, Citizenship, and Imprisonment: This course examines the ways laws and imprisonment have become means to discipline bodies imagined as dangerous, disposable, and detrimental to the state, in short, non-citizens. It specifically merges two social processes that define non-citizenship -the prison industrial complex and deportability- as mechanisms that actively prohibit entry into the space of belonging for those who are illegalized and strips citizenship from those who are criminalized. We will analyze illegalization and criminalization as social, political, and cultural processes that function to police, discipline, distinguish, and re/form the "other".Prerequisite: Take ANSO-103 and sophomore standing
ANSO325States, Bodies & EpidemicsThis course examines epidemics as social events. Students will become familiarized with major anthropological and sociological works on contagion and social responses to epidemic disease. This course explore epidemics through the frames of national security discourse, migration and diaspora studies, and social justice activism and scholarship. This course analyzes the historical and philosophical genealogy of social and state responses to epidemics and the politicized representations of such epidemics. Students engage with key works in theories of the state, theories of the body and embodiment, and social analyses of communicable disease through the framework of critical medical anthropology.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 or CGHL-120
ANSO330Class, Status, and PowerThis course deals with issues of the structure of wealth, poverty, prestige, and power in relationship to societal, interpersonal, and individual opportunities, constraints, and outcomes. The course is organized around a dialogue and discussion of several provocative readings. Those readings look at the class, status, and power structure of contemporary societies and world politics from a critical perspective. This course, in turn, will analyze, critique, and assess the arguments advanced by the authors.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO335Money, Technology and Material CultureThis course will examine the relationship among money, material culture and technology. Human culture revolves around "things." We use money to buy things and we use things to tell the world that about our relationship with money. Recent technological advancements, i.e., credit cards, internet banking and mobile banking, threaten to render money (currency) obsolete. Throughout the quarter we will look at the ways that things, money and technology create and maintain relationships, identities and cultures. Prerequisite: Take ANSO-103
ANSO/PSYC340Cultural PsychologyTheories of how culture shapes thought, feeling, and the development of personality. Critical survey of topics in cross-cultural psychology, including culture and personality, child rearing, psychopathology, cognition, modernization, and underdevelopment.Prerequisite: PSYC-101 and Junior or Senior Standing or Instructor Permission
ANSO345Theories of Society and CultureServing as the Anthropology & Sociology junior seminar, this course begins with a study of the writings of Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, as well as classical feminist and race theory. These theories are then tied to more contemporary theories of functionalism, interactionism, conflict theory, and contemporary feminist, race, and postmodern theories.Prerequisite: ANSO-103 and Sophomore Standing
ANSO/ENVS350Political Histories of Western EnvironmentThis course explores a partial (Western) history of how humans have understood themselves in relation to nature. To do so, this course relies on a landmark text in the field along with a series of primary texts, tracing the continuities and ruptures in thought during different historical periods have engaged with the idea of nature and the place of the human within it. Although, the course relies mostly on a broadly defined Western thought tradition in this course but students are encouraged to undertake research on other traditions and bring those into the classroom. The readings for this course are organized temporally, starting with the oldest.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO357Immigrants and ExilesFrom its classical reference to displaced communities as a result of wars of conquests or natural disasters to current movements of population across borders as a result of global capitalism, the concept of diaspora has accumulated an archive of academic and imaginative literature. This course, a comparative introduction to the study of diaspora, focuses on the development of diverse diasporic communities and their role on the current global stage. Our specific focus will be on how members of these communities stake their claims both to their home countries and to the countries in which they reside.Prerequisite: ANSO-103
ANSO490Senior Seminar: Current Dialogues in Anthropology and SociologyStudy of contemporary debates in sociology and anthropology, with particular attention to ways of knowing about and representing the social world.Prerequisite: Senior ANSO majors only
ANSO593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Individualized Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.