Sociology and Anthropology
Why Study SOAN at W&L?
Sociology and anthropology provide opportunities for students to understand people’s motivations, beliefs and actions. These skills are essential for any job. Our majors have achieved success in finance, law, marketing, industry, medicine and academia.
Our classes feature a free-form style of learning where students apply readings to real-life situations and explore their own topics of interest. When working with peoples and cultures different from their own, students learn how to see the world from other perspectives.
About the Department
The department offers one major (SOAN) with a concentration in either anthropology or sociology. We also house an interdisciplinary minor in archaeology.
The Sociology and Anthropology Department trains students to engage with theoretical perspectives and practical skills that are highly applicable to their lives both on and off campus. Our department provides methodology classes such as network analysis, qualitative (ethnographic) methods, archaeology lab and field methods, and survey design. This mixture of topical and practical training is quite unique at Washington and Lee, and it makes our graduates well-equipped for entering a variety of graduate schools and careers.
Our courses cover the following themes: archaeology and historical social science; gender, sexuality and human development; global cultures; health and society; identity and inequality; and politics, economics and culture.
Opportunities for Students
With support from the Leyburn Scholars Program in Anthropology and the Emory Kimbrough Jr. Sociology Fund, students have engaged in independent research in the United States and throughout the world. Our majors have conducted ethnographic, sociological and archaeological projects in places such as Appalachia, New York City, Western Europe, India, French Polynesia, Nepal, South Africa, Madagascar, Romania and Peru.