Through the disciplines of sociology and anthropology, we study the relationships among social structure, culture and power. Though historically distinct, sociology and anthropology at Susquehanna benefit from new movements that are increasingly blurring the distinctions between these disciplines.
Our faculty and students employ a variety of methods when conducting research: anthropologists use quantitative data analysis (historically associated with sociology), and sociologists engage in participant observation (historically associated with anthropology). We believe that combining not only the research methods but also the theoretical insights associated with each discipline offers our students the necessary breadth and depth to analyze and understand the dynamic nature of social and cultural relations in the world today.
What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of social life, the social causes and consequences of human behavior, and social change. We study groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Sociology teaches us that our membership in groups and our interactions with larger social forms shape a great deal of human behavior. Our subject matter ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob, from organized crime to religious cults.
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is the study of humankind. In our department, we focus on the cultures of people around the world and here in the United States. We examine the interrelationships of many facets of human life: religion, ritual, race, gender, class, immigration, language, politics, economics, science and technology, law, medicine, music, and art. One of our primary goals is to understand the common humanity of all people, while still recognizing and honoring the wealth of cultural diversity that the world has to offer.
One of anthropology's firmest convictions is that culture underlies all human action. All that we do is informed by culture—from how we conduct our religious ceremonies, to how we make decisions about which brand of sneakers to purchase, to how we determine what to eat at what time of day.