Concentration in Sociocultural Anthropology

A concentration in sociocultural anthropology engages students in the study of how different people live and understand the world, their aspirations and struggles, and how both shared and conflicting ideas, values, and interests are related to action and interaction in society. Study and research in sociocultural anthropology is grounded in wide-ranging social and cultural theory and takes ethnography to be a primary mode of research and a key form of expression (whether through ethnographic texts or other media, such as film). This concentration offers students an opportunity to focus on many parts of the world; on areas of inquiry such as environmental anthropology, urban anthropology, or economic anthropology; and on topics such as language, legal and political institutions, race and ethnicity, information, science, and technology, gender, sexuality, and the body, and more. Students completing a concentration in sociocultural anthropology will have excellent skills for interpreting cultural difference, understanding power and inequality, and connecting small-scale human lived experience with understandings of large-scale structures and transformations. 

Requirements for students pursuing this concentration include (see course listings below): 

(1) one introductory course in sociocultural anthropology at the 100 level;

(2) at least two other courses in sociocultural anthropology at the 200-400 level;

(3) the core research methods course, ANTH 303 (“Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology”), usually taken in the junior year. With DUS approval, a similar methods course taught in the Department, or a related department or program, may substitute;

(4) the core theory course, ANTH 311 (“Anthropological Theory and the Post-Colonial Encounter”), usually taken in the junior year. With DUS approval, a similar course taught in the Department, or a related department or program, may substitute;  

(5) completion of either a semester-long independent essay project (while enrolled in ANTH 491) or a more extensive year-long independent essay project (while enrolled first in ANTH 471/472 and then in ANTH 491). 

Students are encouraged to learn more about opportunities and sources of support for undergraduate research in anthropology

Sociocultural-concentrating students are also invited to explore the Certificate in Ethnography as a means to deepen and expand their interests in Sociocultural Anthropology through coursework in related academic units that engage with ethnographic methods and ethnography-informed scholarship, including (but not limited to): African American Studies, American Studies, Environmental Studies, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration (ER&M), History, History of Science and Medicine (HSHM), Political Science, Sociology, Urban Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). 

Note: The Anthropology Department does not offer an independent concentration in linguistic anthropology. Students interested in linguistic anthropology may concentrate in sociocultural anthropology and consult with the DUS and appropriate faculty about choosing courses most relevant to their interests. 


Introductory Courses:

ANTH 110 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 112 – Agent, Person, Subject, Self

ANTH 119 – Law as Culture

ANTH 140 – The Corporation  

Core Courses:

ANTH 303 – Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 311 – Anthropological Theory and the Post-Colonial Encounter

Courses in Sociocultural & Linguistic Anthropology at the 200-400 Level:

ANTH 213 – Contemporary Japan

ANTH 244 – Modern Southeast Asia

ANTH 308 – Feminist and Queer Ethnographies

ANTH 309 – Language and Culture

ANTH 318 – Peril and Possibility in the South Asian City

ANTH 321 – Middle Eastern Gender Studies

ANTH 322 – Environmental Justice in South Asia

ANTH 324 – The Politics of Memory

ANTH 339 – Urban Ethnography of Asia

ANTH 342 – Cultures and Markets of Asia

ANTH 346 – Ethnography and Capitalism

ANTH 355 – China-Africa Encounters

ANTH 356 – Goods and Goodness

ANTH 362 – Unity and Diversity in Chinese Culture

ANTH 366 – Inequality in America

ANTH 367 – Technology and Culture

ANTH 370 – Anthropology of Information

ANTH 378 – Postwar Vietnam

ANTH 380 – Evolution of Language and Culture

ANTH 381 – Sex and Global Politics

ANTH 382 – Environmental Anthropology

ANTH 383 – In Ordinary Fashion

ANTH 384 – Anthropology of Smallholder Agriculture in Developing Countries 

ANTH 388 – Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 

ANTH 399 – Anthropology of Outer Space

ANTH 401 – Meaning and Materiality

ANTH 409 – Climate and Society, Past and Present

ANTH 414 – Hubs, Mobilities, and Global Cities

ANTH 415 – Culture, History, Power, Representation

ANTH 428 – Neighbors and Others

ANTH 434 – Anthro-History: Interdisciplinary Theory and Methods

ANTH 438 – Culture, Power, Oil

ANTH 439 – Political Anthropology and Africa

ANTH 441 – Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East

ANTH 448 – Medical Anthropology at the Intersections

ANTH 451 – Intersectionality and Women’s Health

ANTH 455 – Masculinity and Men’s Health 

ANTH 465 – Multispecies Worlds

ANTH 468 – Infrastructures of Empire

ANTH 470 – Youth Cultures in the Americas

ANTH 494 – Speculation as Method

Senior Essay Courses:

ANTH 471 – Readings in Anthropology (Senior Essay)

ANTH 491 – The Senior Essay