College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  
    Jun 26, 2019  
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

Sociology and Anthropology


Anthropology Courses  
Sociology Courses  
Sociology/Anthropology Courses  


Faculty

JOY CHARLTON, Professor of Sociology3
FARHA N. GHANNAM, Professor of AnthropologyChair​
MICHAEL L. MULLAN, Professor of Sociology2
BRAULIO MUÑOZ, Professor of Sociology2
SARAH WILLIE-LEBRETON, Professor of Sociology4
MAYA NADKARNI, Associate Professor of Anthropology3
CHRISTINE SCHUETZE, Associate Professor of Anthropology1
CHRISTOPHER FRAGA, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
NINA JOHNSON, Assistant Professor of Sociology
DANIEL LAURISON, Assistant Professor of Sociology2
SHANI ADIA EVANS, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
STACEY HOGGE, Administrative Assistant


1 Absent on leave, fall 2019.
2 Absent on leave, spring 2020.
Absent on leave, 2019-20.
4 Administrative leave 2019-20.


The Sociology and Anthropology Department provides students with intellectual tools for understanding contemporary and historical cultural patterns and social issues such as globalization, nationalism, racism, sexism, embodiment, and the complex layering of inequalities in everyday life.  These two disciplines approach the study of social life from different avenues, each bringing a set of separate and overlapping analytical and research tools to intellectual tasks that are complementary and synergistic. Our students seek knowledge about societies of the world and the social dynamics within them. To that end, our majors each conduct independent projects based on primary research and/or fieldwork during their senior year.

Anthropology and Sociology analyze experiences at the level of the individual or the group and connect them to larger social dynamics. The disciplines illustrate how matters that are often perceived as “private troubles” are actually consequences of cultural categories and social structures, including those that appear and feel natural and inevitable. Among the goals of Anthropology and Sociology are to acquire knowledge about different social groups and culture systems and to engage critically with the complexities of social life.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a Course Major, Honors Major and Minor, and several Special Majors, but no Course Minor.

The Academic Program


Overview of the Curriculum


Acceptance to the SOAN department normally requires completion of at least two courses in the department.

In order to graduate, all majors housed in the Sociology and Anthropology Department are required to complete at least the following assigned/core courses:

  1. ANTH 001- Foundations: Culture, Power, and Meaning
  2. SOCI 001- Foundations: Self, Culture, and Society
  3. At least one designated methods course
  4. A two-credit senior thesis (SOAN 096/097 or SOAN 180F/180S)

The “Foundations” courses offer key introductions to the department’s two fields; anthropology and sociology. Each highlights the distinct but complementary theories and methods of the two disciplines and provides a solid background to ongoing debates in each discipline. The courses examine concepts fundamental to both sociology and cultural anthropology and how these disciplines have changed over time.

The 2-credit senior thesis requirement, in which the student works closely with a faculty advisor, is normally completed in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year.
The requirement includes:

  1. SOAN 098- Thesis Writers Masters Class 
  2. SOAN 096/097(course) or 180F/180S (Honors)- Thesis tutorial

The senior thesis project represents the centrality of research to our disciplines, and allows students to develop their research interests through working directly with a faculty member. Students enhance their analytical and writing skills and learn the process of developing and conducting a substantial research project from proposal to completed manuscript. 

ANTH/SOCI/SOAN 001-019: Introductory courses serve as points of entry for students wishing to begin work in the department and are normally recommended before taking higher-level work in the department. 
ANTH/SOCI/SOAN 020-090: Regular courses
ANTH/SOCI/SOAN 095-099: Directed Reading, Independent Study, Course Thesis
ANTH/SOCI/SOAN 100 to 180: Honors Seminars and Thesis

Note: Course labeling within each of the three tiers of offerings reflect internal departmental codes rather than levels of advancement or particular research areas. 

For current course and seminar listings, consult the website at https://www.swarthmore.edu/sociology-anthropology/current-courses

First course recommendations


ANTH 001. Foundations: Culture, Power and Meaning offers students a foundation in the theories, methods, and history of the discipline of cultural anthropology. Anthropology is a comparative study of culture, practice, and human diversity. This course will introduce students to some of the discipline’s key conceptual innovations, theoretical approaches, and past and present debates. Anthropologists study various societies to understand how meaning is constituted and circulated, how daily practices are structured by social norms and power systems, and how people resist, subvert, and transform inequalities and common modes of identification. Drawing on deep engagement with specific groups, communities, and processes, anthropology offers unique insights into pressing questions of our time, such as the effects of the global circulation of capital and people and how social structures, cultural-political ideologies, and everyday life interact. Topics to be covered include ritual and religion, kinship and family, gift and exchange, citizenship and nationalism, gender and sexuality, medicine and healing, media and circulation, and food and consumption. Students will gain familiarity with ethnography, anthropology’s flagship genre. We will also explore the discipline’s key field research methods and the ethical issues related to its goals to understand, interpret, and represent the lived experiences of people in diverse contexts.

SOCI 001. Foundations: Self, Culture and Society a foundational introduction to the discipline of sociology. Throughout the course, we will examine key theories and concepts sociologists use, reading authors like W.E.B. DuBois, Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Bourdieu. We will also explore some of the key issues sociology tackles, including race and racism, gender and sexism, class and inequality, and the role of states and other power structures in shaping these and other facets of our social world. 

Course Major


Acceptance to the SOAN course major normally requires completion of at least two courses in the department with at least a C average for work in the department and at least a C average overall.

The applicant’s performance in department courses is discussed during the application review process; we also consider carefully an applicant’s potential for carrying out the department’s senior thesis requirement.

Course majors are required to complete at least eight units of work in the department; of the eight, five are assigned/core, see overview of curriculum above.

Course Minor


The Sociology and Anthropology Department does not offer a course minor.

Honors Major


Acceptance to the SOAN honors major normally requires completion of at least two courses in the department with at least a B average for work in the department and at least a B average overall.

The department will evaluate the progress of students writing Senior Honor Thesis before the end of November. If progress is deemed inadequate, the student will be asked to withdraw from Honors.

Students seeking to complete an honors major are required to complete at least nine units of work in the department;
- five are required, see overview of curriculum above 
- two 2-credit preparations. These preparations can include honors seminars, a course plus attachment, paired upper-level courses, or off campus study. The latter three forms of preparation must have the advance approval of the supervising faculty member and of the department.

Honors preparations:

  1. For thesis preparations: The thesis will be sent (the last day of April in your senior year) to and read by an external examiner, who will also administer an oral exam. These will be the bases for the examiner’s evaluation of the thesis.
  2. For the two 2-credit (non-thesis) preparations : evaluations will be in the form of written assignments or examinations given by the external examiners and completed by honors students at the end of the senior year. External examiners will also administer oral examinations.

Honors Preparation with Attachments


Students wishing to prepare for honors through a course plus an attachment must obtain permission from the instructor. Honors preparation will consist of the following materials:

  • the syllabus for the course.
  • the syllabus for the attachment
  • written materials as requested by the instructor. The syllabus for the class and for the attachment, plus the written materials, if any will be forwarded to the external examiner. The external examiner will be asked to prepare a written examination based on the material as a unified whole. An oral examination will follow.

Honors and Off-Campus Study


There are a number of ways in which off-campus study can be either integral or complementary to an honors major in Sociology and Anthropology. These include, but are not restricted to, the development of an honors preparation from work abroad and preparation for the senior thesis. To explore off-campus study possibilities, students must consult with the Chair of the department.

Students who contemplate basing an honors preparation on off-campus study work must seek the department’s conditional approval for this, before undertaking off-campus study. Upon returning from abroad, students must request departmental approval of the honors preparation based on work done abroad. To do this, students must submit to the department all materials done abroad, including syllabi and written work, which are intended to be part of the honors preparation. Upon review of these materials, the department will notify the student as to whether or not the proposed honors preparation is approved. Students should expect approval of only one honors preparation which includes off-campus study.

Honors Minor


Acceptance to the SOAN honors minor normally requires completion of at least two courses in the department with at least a B average for work in the department and at least a B average overall.

The department will evaluate the progress of students writing Senior Honor Thesis before the end of November. If progress is deemed inadequate, the student will be asked to withdraw from Honors.

Students seeking to complete an Honors minor normally complete at least five units of work in the department;
- three are required: ANTH 001, SOCI 001, and at least one designated methods course
- one 2-credit preparation: an honors seminar, a thesis, a class with an attachment, or with permission, paired upper level courses. 

The Honors Minor includes: One honors preparation in Sociology and Anthropology.
Depending on the format of the presentation, the examiner will receive the materials:

  1. For thesis preparations: the thesis will be sent (the last day of April in your senior year) to and read by an external examiner, who will also administer an oral exam. These will be the bases for the examiner’s evaluation of the thesis.
  2. For non-thesis preparations: evaluations will be in the form of written assignments or examinations given by the external examiners and completed by honors students at the end of the senior year. External examiners will also administer oral examinations.

Special Major


Acceptance to a special major housed in SOAN normally requires completion of at least two courses in the department with at least a C average for work in the department and at least a C average overall.

Most Special Majors need to be anchored in a home department. When a student anchors their special major in the department of Sociology and Anthropology, they must fulfill the requirements below. In many cases, the best option is pursuing a course major, since the department is not required to approve a Special Major application.

Requirements: 

  1. Must complete the required courses. See overview of the curriculum above.
  2. Four credits from outside of the department must be included as part of the special major.
  3. In putting together the special major, it is advisable that the student only designate ten courses as part of the major.  That way there will be no problems with the 20-course rule.

Special Major in Medical Anthropology


Applicants for the Course and Honors Special Major in Medical Anthropology will usually be expected to have completed at least two courses in the department, grades of at least B for work taken in the department and to have at least a B average overall.

The special major in medical anthropology offers students the opportunity to tailor a scholarly exploration of medicine, health, and illness with a foundation in anthropology. Medical anthropology is a dynamic subfield of the discipline that offers important theoretical, critical, and comparative perspectives to the study of medical systems and healing practices in different cultures, and it provides ways to shape the work and practices of medical institutions and professionals. Medical anthropology pays attention not only to biomedicine and scientific knowledge but also to diverse ways of healing, managing pain, and defining wellbeing. It also pays close attention to the different local, national, and global forces that shape the health and wellbeing of various groups and their access to resources and knowledges. This special major will be of particular interest to students interested in graduate work in medical anthropology, the study of medicine, and those planning on pursuing training and work in diverse professions of the health field.

Requirements:

  1. Must complete the required courses. See overview of curriculum above
  2. Must complete at least one of the following two courses in the SOAN department:

ANTH 043E. Culture, Health, and Illness

ANTH 049B. Comparative Perspectives on the Body

  • Additional recommended SOAN courses include:

ANTH 002F. Anthropology of Childhood and the Family

ANTH 003G. First-Year Seminar: Development and its Discontents

ANTH 039C. Food and Culture

ANTH 051B. Drugs and Governance in the Americas

ANTH 053B. Anthropology of Public Health

ANTH 103. Humanitarianism: Anthropological Approaches

ANTH 133. Anthropology of Biomedicine

SOCI 050B - Medicine as a Profession 

  • A maximum of four credits from outside of the department may be included as part of the special major, with permission from the department. Students are encouraged to tailor their courses outside the department to their particular areas of interest. Some recommended courses at Swarthmore include:

POLS 048. The Politics of Population

POLS 068F. Globalization: Politics, Economics, Environment, Health, & Security

ECON 075. Health Economics

ENGL 051M. Medicine, Disability and Narrative

ENVS 043B. Environmental Justice: Theory and Action

LITR 074F. A History of the Five Senses

HIST 066. Disease, Culture, and Society in the Modern World: Comparative Perspectives

HIST 080. History of the Body

HIST 084. Modern Addiction: Cigarette Smoking in the 20th Century

PSYC 038. Clinical Psychology

PSYC 138. Seminar in Clinical Psychology

RELG 035. Religion and Medical Ethics

  • Additionally, students are encouraged to explore course offerings in the Tri-co Health Studies Program and at the Health & Societies program at the University of Pennsylvania. Studying abroad could also be a valuable opportunity for the study of medical anthropology. Please consult with your advisor for guidance on course selection beyond Swarthmore. 
  • In putting together the special major, it is advisable that the student only designate ten courses as part of the major.  That way there will be no problems with the 20-course rule.

Honors Special Major in Medical Anthropology

Students seeking to complete an honors special major in medical anthropology must complete the five required courses, (see overview of curriculum above) and four honors preparations.

Honors preparations include:

  1. Four honors preparations, of which one must be a double credit thesis. The other three may be a seminar, course plus attachment, paired upper level courses, or in special circumstances, off campus study. The latter three forms of preparation must have the advance approval of the supervising faculty member and of the department.
  2. For thesis preparations: the thesis will be sent (the last day of April in your senior year) to and read by an external examiner, who will also administer an oral exam. These will be the bases for the examiner’s evaluation of the thesis.
  3. For non-thesis preparations: evaluations will be in the form of written examinations based on the syllabi given by the external examiners and completed by honors students at the end of the senior year. External examiners will also administer oral examinations.

Thesis / Culminating Exercise


In order to graduate, all majors housed in the Sociology and Anthropology Department must complete a 2-credit thesis. The 2-credit senior thesis requirement, normally completed in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year, includes the Thesis Writers Masters Class and a thesis tutorial in which the student works closely with a faculty adviser.

The senior thesis project represents the centrality of research to our disciplines, and allows students to develop their research interests through working directly with a faculty member. Students develop their analytical and writing skills and learn the process of developing and conducting a substantial research project from proposal to completed manuscript. 

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Credit


Considered on a case-by-case basis for majors and minors.

Transfer Credit


Considered on a case-by-case basis for majors and minors.

Off-Campus Study


Because of its strong cross-cultural and transnational orientations, the department encourages students to study abroad. For many students, study abroad provides a basis for their senior thesis project (see the department’s homepage for a listing of students’ projects). The senior thesis project allows students to develop their research interests through working directly with a faculty member. This combination of breadth of knowledge, global understanding, and independent research make sociology and anthropology an ideal liberal arts major.

Research and Experiential Learning Opportunities


The Sociology and Anthropology Department emphasizes independent research. We prepare students to conduct research on primary and secondary documents as well as to conduct interviews, engage in participant observation, organize focus groups, administer surveys, and produce ethnographic films. By senior year, our students are ready to write a senior thesis that is not only based on library research but also in real-world experience. Recent student research projects have focused on issues such as alternative development programs in Latin America, health reform policies in the United States, and human rights in Africa. Independent research conducted by our students is one feature that consistently distinguishes them when they are pursuing jobs, fellowships, or graduate school admission.

Some students have the opportunity to conduct original research with faculty - whose approaches run the gamut from ethnography to discourse analysis to survey research. Students also explore the historical development of Sociology and Anthropology. Research design, qualitative research, and statistical analysis are important components of many of our courses, enabling students to undertake rigorous research projects and best analyze, interpret, and communicate their findings. The curriculum also provides opportunities for students to learn techniques to creatively convey their work through photography and documentary films.

Experiential and Service Learning Opportunities

Experiential learning is an important component of much work in Sociology and Anthropology. Our department strongly supports participation in study abroad as well as work in the field. For many students, these experiences challenge them to ask questions that eventually serve as foundations of their senior thesis project. Study abroad and fieldwork provide an opportunity for students to develop contacts and gain rapport within their eventual research setting. Funding is available from the College to support students in their pursuit of these experiences.

Summer Opportunities


Summer funding opportunities exist and are particularly relevant for juniors planning research towards their senior thesis projects. Grants from a variety of college-administered sources are available to support research by students during the summer. Please have a look at our website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/x8583.xml to learn more about our extensive and generous funds for travel, research, internships, and faculty/student collaboration. We especially encourage our juniors to explore these possibilities. Funded summer research has often been the basis for fine senior theses.

Teacher Certification


Each year, in conjunction with the Educational Studies Department, a number of our majors seek teacher certification. Students contemplating teacher certification would normally schedule their program in a semester which does not conflict with their senior thesis. Such programs should be developed in close consultation with advisers in the Educational Studies Department.

Anthropology Courses


Note: Course labeling within each of the three tiers of offerings reflect internal departmental codes rather than levels of advancement or particular research areas. 
(ANTH 001-019) introductory courses
(ANTH 020-099) regular courses
(ANTH 100-199) seminars
reflect internal departmental codes rather than levels of advancement or particular research areas. Please consult the listings for prerequisites particular to each course.

Sociology Courses


Note: Course labeling within each of the three tiers of offerings reflect internal departmental codes rather than levels of advancement or particular research areas.
(SOCI 001-019) introductory courses
(SOCI 020-099) regular courses
(SOCI100-199) seminars
reflect internal departmental codes rather than levels of advancement or particular research areas. Please consult the listings for prerequisites particular to each course.