Sociology and Anthropology Minor

This minor emphasizes the study of social life, social change, and patterns of human behavior. Through critical engagement with the complexities of social life, cultural expressions that may seem familiar are understood anew in relation to much larger social structures and forces. Students will gain a unique understanding of how culture is shaped and how social systems work in relation to broad processes such as globalization, nationalism, inequality, and social change.

The minor consists of four courses (16 credits) chosen from the list below, one of which must be an SO course at the 300 or 400 level.

Courses

  • IN 152 - Cultural Constructions of Identity
  • IN 154 - Power and Privilege
  • IN 155 - Post-Racial America? 
  • IN 236 - Global Revolts and the Crisis of Neoliberalism 
  • IN 307 - Gender, Sexuality, and the Middle East 
  • IN 310 - Gender, Sexuality, and the American Music Industry
  • IN 322 - Food and Globalization
  • IN 324 - Visual Ethnography
  • IN 325 - Space, Race, and Power 
  • IN 335 - 500 Years of Globalization 
  • IN 421 - Key Contemporary Thinkers: Fanon 
  • IN 422 - Key Contemporary Thinkers: Marx 
  • IN 425 - Key Contemporary Thinkers: Michel Foucault
  • SO 150 - Principles of Sociology/Anthropology 
  • SO 180 - Culture and Power 
  • SO 200 - Race and Ethnicity: The Key Concepts
  • SO 206 - Gender in a Global Perspective 
  • SO 210 - Topics in Sociology/Anthropology** 
  • SO 212 - Sociology of Emotions
  • SO 222 - Humor and Society 
  • SO 305 - Religion and Globalization 
  • SO 310 - Advanced Topics in SociologyAnthropology**
  • SO 312 - Madness and Modernity
  • SO 321 - Culture of Money
  • SO 330 - Goddesses and Ghosts: Gender and Sexuality in South Asian Worlds
  • SO 360 - Sociology of Insiders and Outsiders 
  • SO 498 - Directed Study in Sociology/Anthropology* 

* Note prerequisites
** Check current course listings for specific topics

Faculty

Samuel Binkley*, professor in Sociology/ Anthropology, considers the historical and social production of subjectivity in the context of contemporary lifestyle culture. His most recent book, Happiness as Enterprise: An Essay on Neoliberal Life, examines the contemporary discourse on happiness through the lens of governmentality theory. He teaches courses on sociology of emotions, humor and society, and sociology of insiders and outsiders.

Nigel Gibson, professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, is an expert in the fields of Africana thought, postcolonialism, and African studies. A leading Fanon scholar, his most recent book is Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics. He is also the editor of Rethinking Fanon, Challenging Hegemony: Social Movements and the Quest for a New Humanism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Living Fanon, and the Journal of Asian and African Studies. He teaches courses on Fanon and Marx.

Jennifer Girouard, assistant professor, has interests in political sociology, sociology of culture, law and society, and qualitative methods with a focus on land-use conflicts and housing inequality as it intersects with race and class. Her previous publications include work on democratic and civic innovations. Her current research is on the collaborative avoidance of race during affordable housing hearings. She teaches principles of sociology/anthropology and a topics course on subcultures.

Kiri Gurd, affiliated faculty in Sociology/Anthropology, researches the construction of global culture with an interest in identifying the mechanisms at the organizational level and the key players that create global norms, particularly in relation to human rights. Her theoretical framework draws on postcolonial theory, transnational feminism, social constructionism, and cultural sociology. She teaches courses on gender in a global perspective and the principles of sociology/anthropology.

Kristin J. Lieb, associate professor in Marketing Communication, is interested in entertainment marketing; brand management; and representations of gender, sexuality, race, and age in the music industry. She is the author of Gender, Branding, and The Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars. She has also published several book chapters including “I’m Not Myself Lately: The Erosion of the Beyonce Brand” and “Resignation with Flair: Elliott Smith’s Roman Candle.” She teaches a course on gender, sexuality, and the American music industry.

Yasser Munif, associate professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, focuses his research on Middle Eastern politics and society, race theory, feminist studies, and social movements. More recent research explores the importance of urban settings in shaping national identities during the Arab revolts (Egypt and Syria). He recently published entries in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory and The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. He teaches courses on gender, sexuality, and the Middle East; 500 years of globalization; space, race, and power; global revolts and the crisis of neoliberalism; and post-racial America.

Kathryn Ramey, professor in Visual and Media Arts, is a filmmaker and anthropologist whose work operates at the intersection of experimental film processes and ethnographic research. Her award-winning and strongly personal films are characterized by manipulation of the celluloid including hand-processing, optical printing, and various direct animation techniques. She has published articles in Visual Anthropology Review and The Independent as well as the anthology Women’s Experimental Cinema and Made to Be Seen. She teaches a course on documenting visual culture. 

Nelli Sargsyan, associate professor, is an anthropologist who situates herself at the disciplinary intersections of political anthropology, queer studies, and critical race studies, among others. In her scholarly-poetic work and teaching, she is interested in stretching disciplinary and genre boundaries to explore the multi-sensory possibilities of feminist world-making. Most recently, she has been interested in political work that cultivates feminist consciousness and collective care, whether it be through direct street action, public performance, or feminist fabulation. She teaches power and privilege and a topics course on race, language, and justice.  

Tulasi Srinivas, professor in Sociology/Anthropology, is an expert in globalization and anthropology of the urban and religious life of South Asia. She is the author of Winged Faith and The Cow in the Elevator and editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia. She teaches courses on religion and globalization, gender in a global perspective, and the culture of money for the minor.

Láura Vares, affiliated faculty in Sociology/Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies, is an anthropologist. She focuses on the significance of the personal narrative for discourses about power, privilege, and social precarity. She gives particular attention to personal accounts about gender, particularly by those who identify as women, people of color, and individuals who do not fit long-held social standards and whose stories are not told or read. She uses ethnography and memoir, including the graphic memoir, to highlight both the constraints and evolvement of cultural and social norms. She teaches courses on the intricate relationships between power, privilege, and culture, and how our everyday practices as individuals contribute to significant social transitions in communities and societies.

Please note this may not be a comprehensive list, as our affiliated faculty rotate on a semesterly basis. Please refer to the semester registration listings to identify any additional faculty participating in the minor.

* Minor Coordinator