Department Chairperson: Dr. Matthew B. Krystal
Sociology and Anthropology Faculty
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology assists students in developing a sociological imagination and/or anthropological worldview in order to understand social structure, cultural dynamics, contemporary social problems and inequality. We encourage students to use the concepts, theories and methods to promote social justice and pursue meaningful careers or other roles in public life. Sociology and anthropology are closely related disciplines. Their aim is to understand and explain the social and cultural forces that influence human behavior both past and present, both in small scale and large scale societies.
For its part, sociology challenges us to understand our own lives in terms of the social and cultural forces at work in society. This is a difficult challenge, for the subject matter of sociology-the family, poverty, urban life, organized crime, race and ethnic relations, juvenile delinquency and the like-is often thought of in individual terms. However, from a sociological perspective, the goal is to uncover the “public issues” that often underlie these more “private troubles.”
From its perspective, anthropology offers insights into the study of humankind, in all its conditions. Such a broad and ambitious goal requires a unique configuration of perspectives. Thus, anthropology is holistic and comparative; is evolutionary or historical; seeks to complement scientific, humanistic and cultural insider’s views; and is based on experiential learning. Most anthropologists are trained in four commonly conceptualized subdisciplines: cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology and linguistic anthropology. While study in all four of these sub-disciplines is available at North Central College, the strength of the department is centered in cultural anthropology.
With respect to career opportunities, sociology and anthropology offer valuable preparation for positions in private corporations, government agencies, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations. For example, positions as urban planner, social service provider, community liaison, public relations professional, juvenile counselor, police officer, educator, public health worker, admissions counselor, journalist and security officer are available for majors with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Anthropology majors have opportunities in a wide variety of professional positions, especially those in international, intercultural and interactive contexts. For those students who are considering an advanced degree, sociology and anthropology prepares students to enter professional programs in law, business administration, public policy, theology, social work, public and fine arts administration, religious studies and public health, as well as advanced programs in sociology and anthropology.
Degree offered: B.A.
Students may choose a major in Sociology or in Anthropology.
CoursesSociology and Anthropology