The American Sociological Association Condemns Systematic Racism in the Criminal Justice System

The Association of Black Anthropologist's Statement Against Police Violence and Anti-Black Racism

The American Anthropological Association Condemns Rush to Judgement Rather Than Justice

The American Association of Physical Anthropologists Calls for Antiracist Action

Anthropology and Sociology are closely related social sciences oriented toward the systematic study of beliefs and practices of diverse peoples and groups, though sociologists typically study people in contemporary, proximate society and anthropologists traditionally study people faraway in space or time (from modern-day Africa to pre-Columbian America). Both fields share the desire to understand the meanings of social behaviors and cultural products, material and nonmaterial, that emerge from and influence these behaviors.

Department faculty study a wide range of topics, from the archaeology of the Mid-Atlantic region to the processes of globalization in such countries as India and Colombia; from the experiences of Americans at work today to inequalities experienced due to gender, race, ethnicity, and social class; from the cultural expressions of contemporary African immigrants in U.S. cities to the wide-ranging impacts of digital interactions on modern society; from the study of sustainabiliy in Italian food cutlure to the study of social movements (protests, uprisings and the like).

Department curricula teach the foundations of anthropology and sociology in the classroom and offers a number of applied or "hands-on" experiences. Students may become involved in specialized projects, such as local archaeological excavations, community organizing internships, and applied museum work. The department also encourages students to develop an interest in international concerns, and are offers the opportunity to participate in overseas trips under the guidance of department members.

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology offers the following degrees and programs of study:

  • Anthropology, B.A.
  • Sociology, B.A.
  • Anthropology minor
  • Sociology minor
  • Museum Studies minor

The Department works closely with the WCU Ethnic Studies Institute in delivering seminar series and cultural programming.

View the memorial page for Professor Emeritus Leigh S. Shaffer and share your memories.


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