Sociology & Anthropology

Program Overview

The Sociology and Anthropology Department at Fairfield University challenges students to examine the social and cultural dimensions of the modern world. The program integrates quantitative and qualitative approaches, and it encourages students to develop their understanding of the diversity of human societies and cultures.

The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to develop a series of skills while introducing you to many different perspectives. Using a comparative, cross-cultural approach, our faculty and curriculum examine the similarities, differences and patterns of human groups. Here, you will explore the diversity and history of humankind to understand and engage the major social problems faced by societies, our own and others.

Fairfield offers extensive research and off-campus internships, giving you the critical real-world experience necessary for employment upon completion of the program. Sociology and anthropology students are supported by a committed faculty, dedicated to developing your knowledge of the discipline. The diversity and flexibility of the curriculum provides unique opportunities for majors and minors to work with faculty to clarify their career goals and build an excellent foundation for graduate school, or finding careers in fields such as business, marketing and communication, criminal justice, social work, health services, and education.

 

Requirements

Sociology Major

For a 30-credit major in sociology, students complete:

  • SO 11: Introduction to Sociology
  • SO 221: Statistics: Social and Political Data Analysis
  • SO 222: Methods of Research Design
  • SO 228: Classical Social Theory
  • SO 229: Contemporary Social Theory
  • An additional 15 credits in elective sociology and anthropology courses*

*May include 3 credits (one course) in anthropology

 

Joint Sociology-Anthropology Major

For a 30-credit joint-major in sociology-anthropology, students complete:

  • AY 10: Introduction to Four Field Anthropology
  • SO 11: Introduction to Sociology
  • AY 200: Anthropology Research Methods
  • SO 222: Methods of Research Design
  • AY 189: Ethnographic Knowledge & Practice
  • SO 228: Classical Social Theory
  • An additional 12 credits in elective sociology and anthropology courses

 

Sociology Minor (18 credits)

For an 18-credit minor in sociology, students complete:

  • SO 11: General Sociology
  • SO 222: Methods of Research Design

or

  • SO 228: Classical Social Theory
  • An additional 12 credits in elective sociology courses*

*May include 3 credits (one course) in anthropology

 

Anthropology Minor (15-credits)

For a 15-credit minor in anthropology, students complete:

  • AY 10: Introduction to Four Field Anthropology
  • AY 110: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

or

  • AY 111: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • An additional 9 credits in elective anthropology courses*

*May include 3 credits (one course) in sociology 

 

Internships

Students may elect to take Field Work Placement for one or two semesters in their senior year in addition to fulfilling the basic requirements of their major. Our internship coordinator, Dr. Rose Rodrigues works with students to identify compelling internship opportunities and to integrate the internship experience into the Sociology & Anthropology curriculum.  Students initiate the process for an internship during registration prior to the desired internship semester.

 

Sociology Major with a Minor in Secondary Education

Students majoring in sociology may also minor in secondary education. Please contact Dr. Rachelle Brunn in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology for additional information for minoring in education as a sociology major.

 

Course Numberings

Course numbers have changed from prior catalogs; courses listed here, and those cross-listed in other departments, are not open to students who took them for credit under a previous number.

Course Offerings

See Sociology & Anthropology course descriptions from our catalog for more information

  • AY 10: Introduction to Four-Field Anthropology
  • AY 52/IL 52: Culture and Political Economy
  • AY 110: Biological Anthropology
  • AY 111: Cultural Anthropology
  • AY 115: Biomedical Anthropology
  • AY 130: Cultures of Africa 
  • AY 135: Refugees and Culture in the Modern World - New for Spring 2019
  • AY 140: Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean
  • AY 145: Anthropology of Food
  • AY 152: Islamic Societies and Cultures 
  • AY 163: Culture and Inequality
  • AY 168: Women and Men: The Anthropology of Gender
  • AY 175: Sustainable Development: Anthropological Perspectives
  • AY 180: Grant Writing for the Social Sciences & Humanities
  • AY 189: Theories and Practice in Anthropology
  • AY 190: North African Society and Cultures
  • AY 199/PH 265: Philosophy and Economic Anthropology 
  • AY 200: Anthropological Research Methods
  • AY 399: Independent Studies in Anthropology
  • SO 11: Introduction to Sociology
  • SO 112: American Society
  • SO 142: Sociology of the Family
  • SO 144: Sociology of Sexuality
  • SO 151: Sociology of Religion
  • SO 161: American Class Structure
  • SO 162: Race, Gender, and Ethnic Relations
  • SO 163: Urban/Suburban Sociology
  • SO 165: Race, Cities, and Poverty
  • SO 166: Feminism, Gender, and Everyday Life
  • SO 169: Women: Work and Sport
  • SO 171: Criminology
  • SO 175: Sociology of Law
  • SO 179: Death Penalty in America
  • SO 181: AIDS in the United States
  • SO 184: Population: Birth, Death, and Migration
  • SO 185: International Migration and Refugees
  • SO 188: Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Society
  • SO 189: Sociology of Europe
  • SO 190: Globalization
  • SO 191: Social Change in Developing Nations
  • SO 192: Social Work: An Introduction
  • SO 193: Social Work: The History of Social Welfare and Social Work
  • SO 194: Sociology of Education
  • SO 221: Statistics: Social and Political Data Analysis
  • SO 222: Methods of Research Design
  • SO 228: Classical Social Theory
  • SO 229: Contemporary Social Theory
  • SO 279: Criminal Justice System Seminar
  • SO 397-398: Field Work Placement
  • SO 399: Independent Studies in Sociology

Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the innovative members of our Sociology and Anthropology Department.

Internships

As a senior major in sociology and anthropology, you may enter a field work placement program. You will spend 10 hours a week as an intern working directly with professionals and gaining practical experience. Often this work leads to postgraduate employment and it can also be an important qualification in applications to graduate school.

The range of settings in which you can work includes:

  • Law offices
  • Probation departments
  • Market research firms
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Public schools
  • Public relations offices
  • Personnel departments
  • A variety of social service agencies

 

If an internship is taken (for 3 or 6 credits), the internship is in addition to the basic requirements of the major or minor.

For more information about internships please e-mail Dr. Rose Rodriques.

Student Spotlight

cas_soc_morrisseyName: Eric Morrissey '15
Undergrad Degree:
Sociology and anthropology. Minor in marketing
Hometown:
Stratford, CT

Why did you select your major?

When I entered Fairfield University in the Fall of 2011, I was an undecided major. One of the primary reasons I chose to go to Fairfield was because of its core curriculum. I felt that by taking various courses in different areas required by the core that I would be exposed to potential majors. In my sophomore year, I decided to major in sociology based on the class, "Introduction to Sociology," that I took with Professor Hodgson. I am so glad I did because not only did the class and Professor Hodgson provide a clear path for me to choose a major, but it allowed me to expand my knowledge on different cultures as well as my own. Sociology was a perfect fit for me as a major because I am highly interested in people, not only in what they think but why they think a certain way. Sociology has allowed me to think more clearly on topics that relate to day-to-day life and in many different ways and from many different perspectives.

 

What attributes about the faculty did you like most?

The faculty at Fairfield University, particularly the Sociology Department has helped me substantially. I feel that the department shows a great interest in its students. If you have any questions regarding academics, they are eager to help. They allow you to be you and encourage you to reach the goals you want to achieve. In my time at Fairfield University, I have always felt comfortable to go to my advisor or my professors with my concerns. Fairfield University has an extremely strong sense of community, which was so apparent to me as I interacted with my professors.  




cas_soc_haborakName: Fiona Haborak '15
Undergrad Degree: Sociology
Hometown: Bridgeport, CT
Extracurricular Activities: Fiona is currently the president of Anime Club at Fairfield University. Her hobbies include biking, writing, creating her own costumes, and she possesses a voracious appetite as an enthusiastic reader. 

How/why did you select your major/minor?

For my freshman year here at Fairfield, I took the introductory sociology course. Initially, I chose the class because it fulfilled a core requirement. As the semester progressed, I found myself enthralled by the material at hand. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading. Major theorists such as Durkheim and Weber became household names in my studies. You learn about people – society – in a completely different light. Sociology allows you to understand human beings as a collective. I also learned about my professor (Martorella), a former officer; I expressed my interest in the field. The following year I declared my major. The road ahead could branch out for me in a plethora of different ways like social work, for instance. I now have options readily available, though police work holds a special place in my heart. Sociology has been able to provide me with a solid foundation for the future in a better attempt to help people.

 

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of:

During the spring semester of my junior year, I took "A History of Social Welfare" with Dr. Oliver. Students worked together within a group as a would-be social worker helping a family put their lives together. Each group was assigned a family with a brief insight (history, family members, etc.). Students were responsible for locating housing for this family, looking into career options, budgeting for bills and groceries, focusing on education for the children, and so forth. I predominantly worked on the budgeting for groceries as well as the educational future for one of the children who was in high school. The project required an outside pool of knowledge, combing what we learned from class with former courses. Hands-on experience deemed necessary. I was able to apply my knowledge of theory to the course and the project as a whole. No longer was I confined to the role of mere student, I had to apply myself. We needed to contact real people – professionals within the field – to turn this situation into something tangible. Overall, I found the project immensely gratifying. The end result became concrete. As a result, I'm now beginning to contemplate getting a master's in social work.




cas_soc_studentName: Carly Damm '15
Undergrad Degree: Sociology; Educational Studies Minor
Hometown: Westchester, NY
Extra Curricular Activities: Carly has been a member of Fairfield University’s Dance Ensemble since her freshman year.  Her hobbies include running, biking, snowboarding, paddle boarding, dancing, cooking/baking and creating an endless number of crafts.   

How did you choose your major/minor?

When I started my college career at Fairfield University I felt as though I was the most undecided on a major that any student could potentially be.  My freshman year I was all over the place taking introductory classes from every area in the core curriculum.  This process was helpful in quickly abandoning the types of subjects I did not want to major in, but choosing one to focus on was going to be a lot harder.  Taking an Introduction to Sociology course my first semester left me intrigued and wanting to explore the field further. The following semester I took two more sociology classes and at that point my newfound interest and appreciation was congealed.  The professors in the sociology department that I had met thus far, along with getting to know students who had the same interests as myself made my final decision rather simple.  After officially declaring my major in sociology my sophomore year, I not only felt a sense relief in terms of finding the path right for me, but I also felt a sense of belonging.  

 

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of:

A project that I am proud of was completed in my Introduction to Sociology class my freshman year.  I had to write a research paper based on data of my hometown of Yorktown.  Using a program called Social Explorer, I was able to generate a table full of data from the specific area I live in.  The task was taken further when I had to find the same data, but for the city nearest to my home, then the county of Westchester, New York state and finally the United States as a whole.  For the first time, I was able to put into perspective where I grew up verses the rest of society as a whole.  Analyzing the data had been most invigorating to me because I had to make sense of why certain races were dominant or why certain income and poverty levels existed.  Through my research, I was able to comprehend the population and the society that I was raised in and that I will return to after graduation.  By implementing the theories and values I had already learned so early in my sociological career, I began to see society with a clearer eye because I finally understood all the aspects that make up society as opposed to simply being concerned about how I was living. 

The interest that I had on how society was constructed and how it worked is what guided me to my internship in the fall of my senior year.  Being in the Department of Civil Service in the city of Bridgeport, CT allowed me to be directly in the middle of how this city operated.  I was hands on with what seemed like endless resumes and in contact with people who portrayed a wide variety of skills and backgrounds.  I understood that there was a place for everyone and that the different skills and knowledge individuals had were vital to making this city function smoothly and in an orderly fashion.  Being able to appreciate not only my hometown community, but also other communities generates endless information I can eternally study.  I look forward to continuing to develop my comprehension of this field and allow myself to always expand and apply the sociological skills I have acquired into my future career.       

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