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The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, as a department of social sciences, is with the College of Sciences. The Department offers majors in Sociology and Criminology-Criminal Justice and minors in Anthropology, Criminology, and Sociology. Ten faculty members (8 Sociologists and 2 anthropologists) provide a wide range of courses within both the Sociology and the Criminology and Criminal Justice programs that offer our majors personal attention and frequent opportunities for faculty-student interaction. Many of the faculty also have active research agendas that afford interested and qualified students the opportunity to gain research experience. Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology students have the opportunity to participate in a number of departmental extracurricular activities. The Sociology-Anthropology Club and the Criminal Justice Club are open to all students while the departmental chapters of Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international sociology honor society, and Lambda Alpha, the national anthropology honor society, are open to qualified students.
The Mission of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology is to provide comprehensive, undergraduate majors in sociology and criminology-criminal justice while also constituting a substantial presence in the university’s general education curriculum, thus preparing students to contribute to the benefit of community and society and to continue life-long learning in a changing and diverse world. The Department places priority on excellence in teaching, enhanced by student mentoring and furthered by the intellectual inquiry of research and service to the University, the community, and the profession.
Sociology, a social science concerned with the systematic study of human society and based on the scientific method of the natural sciences, emerged in the nineteenth century. Sociology has since become a respected disciplinary presence in the academy and one of humankind’s major sources of self-awareness in the twenty-first century.
As Sociology developed, specialized subdisciplines emerged, and there are now sociologies of science, crime and deviance, politics, education, aging, sport, family, work and occupations, medicine, organizations, collective behavior, environment, and numerous other subfields. Beyond academia, Sociology finds application in areas such as minority relations, city planning, policy development, industrial relations, personnel relations, client/customer relations, and advocacy.
Anthropology, as a sister discipline to sociology, is also a social science concerned with the systematic study of human society and it, too, emerged in the nineteenth century. Historically, Anthropology’s focus was on non-Western or traditional society (sometimes erroneously referred to as exotic or primitive society). Like sociology, Anthropology is a major source of humankind’s self-awareness in the twenty-first century.
As Anthropology developed, the discipline became segmented into four major areas: Cultural Anthropology (most similar to sociology); Archeology; Physical Anthropology; Linguistics. Each subfield may constitute a distinct and discrete area of study.
Criminology, like Sociology and Anthropology, is also a social science. However, Criminology is focused specifically on studying crime as a social phenomenon, which includes a focus on the causes, extent, types, and control of crime.
Contemporary criminology focuses on a range of topics, including: crime measurement/statistics, theoretical explanations of crime, understanding and describing major forms of crime (e.g. violent crime, white-collar crime), victimology, and controlling and preventing crime. An analysis of the aforementioned topics contributes to a holistic understanding of crime and criminal behavior.