The Department of Sociology and Anthropology wants students to understand themselves as embedded within and products of social and cultural contexts. Our students are trained to have the relational and analytic tools to operate effectively within the social complexity of our dynamic world and engage people cross-culturally, both in America and abroad. Students will become critical thinkers, addressing social problems and cultural analysis through theory, data, and practical solutions.
The general goal of the department is to develop a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction both within and across cultures. The Sociology faculty recognizes the need to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ at several levels of social interaction. The micro level involves face-to-face communication, for example, in marriage and the family; the middle-range level reflects activities in organizations or social movements; and the macro level presents issues of culture and societal structures. At each level, social processes such as socialization, stratification, urbanization, and social disorganization are examined. The Anthropology faculty emphasizes both the particularities of varying cultural systems, as well as the universal characteristics of humans made in the image of God. Recognizing culture as a set of only partial solutions to human problems, Wheaton's Anthropology faculty also examine the ways the Gospel and culture can operate jointly to explain human adaptations in different societies. Similarly, anthropology's exploration of human universals is based on a distinctively Christian perspective, combining a biblical orientation with empirical precision.
Chair, Associate Professor Brian Miller
Professors Henry Allen, Brian Howell
Associate Professors Henry Kim, Amy Reynolds
Assistant Professors Christa Tooley, Christine Jeske
SOC 115. Introduction to Sociology. (4 Credits)
An overview of the theory, methodology, and conceptualizations of the discipline of sociology. Offers the opportunity to develop an understanding of American society and the diversity within it.
Tags: DUS, SI
SOC 116. Introduction to Sociology. (4 Credits)
An overview of the theory, methodology, and conceptualization of the discipline of sociology. Offers opportunity to develop an understanding of society in the United States and beyond.
SOC 228. Sociology of Sexuality. (2 Credits)
This class will explore issues of identity as sexual individuals, the role of sexuality in our broader society, and the linkages between sexuality and violence. As sexuality affects both individuals and the larger society, this class aims to equip and challenge students in building a positive and God-honoring conception of sexuality in their own lives and their engagement in the world. Prerequisite (or requisite): Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
SOC 238. Contemporary Social Concerns. (2 Credits)
An in-depth seminar focusing on major concerns of society, such as: problems of youth, the elderly, AIDS, homelessness, human rights, prison reform, and toxic waste.
SOC 241. Social Psychology. (4 Credits)
See PSYC 241.
SOC 251. Culture, Media, and Society. (4 Credits)
Americans are surrounded by the culture and media: television, movies, music, stories and narratives, the Internet and Facebook, cultural norms and values, advertising and more vie for our attention each day. How are these social forms generated and sustained? How do we make sense of them from a sociological and Christian perspective? Students will learn and apply three analytic approaches to culture (repertoires, production, and narratives) as they consider how everyday interactions with culture and media affect Evangelical life. Note: This course does not fulfill the entire VPA theme and covers only the domain of visual arts.
Tags: SI, VPAV
SOC 321. Sociology of Economic Life. (4 Credits)
In an era of growing economic inequality, this course employs a sociological approach to ask questions about social construction of markets and the moral meanings within them. The goal of the course is to empower students in their roles as economic agents, as well as help them understand the broader structures in which they are engaged.
SOC 325. Violence in Minority Communities. (2 Credits)
Night after night in most urban communities, local news media reveal stories of horrific violence in urban areas. Some of these events are related to gang activities, drug trafficking, turf wars, guns and random shootings. Costs (human and financial) are staggering for authorities in law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the healthcare systems, prisons, as well as, families, communities, schools, and the nation. Many international studies regard the United States as the most violent nation on earth. Why do these conditions exist or persist? What can be done about them, from a Christian perspective? Where are churches relevant? These issues and questions will be addressed in this course from a variety of domains intersecting the sociological perspective and public health.
SOC 327. Violence Against Women. (2 Credits)
All over the world, violence is used to control or harm women and girls. In Criminology, issues related to domestic abuse, rape, sex trafficking, abduction, and sexual homicide are core to the social problems engulfing societies. In Sociology, violence against women involves the corruption and distortion of gender roles via socialization, discrimination, and power. This course analyzes the most rigorous research plus best practices in sociology and criminology (as well as related fields) in order to prevent violence against women in the church and society.
SOC 337. Racial and Ethnic Relations. (4 Credits)
Sociohistorical and cultural aspects of race and ethnicity in America. Through class discussion, films, and research about minority cultures, students explore and examine such sociological concepts as assimilation, conflict, and pluralism. Prerequisite: SOC 115 or SOC 116 and sophomore standing or above, or consent of the instructor.
SOC 341. Social & Political Movements. (4 Credits)
Social movements challenge political, economic, and social systems through collective action. We will discuss why social movements occur, how actors become involved, their relationship with the state, and the resources needed to sustain and grow such movements. Using a case study approach, students examine particular social actors and differing views of justice, while being encouraged to further develop their own conception of biblical justice in society.
SOC 347. Gender & Society. (4 Credits)
What does it mean to be male or female? Why do we have these categories? How does gender matter in society? In this class, we focus on unpacking the concept of gender, and investigate the role of social institutions in constructing gender roles and contributing to gender inequalities. There is also an emphasis understanding how issues of gender intersect with those of class, race, and culture.
SOC 355. Social Class & Inequality. (4 Credits)
An examination of the theories and explanations of the origins and perpetuation of social inequality, class, and stratification. Consideration of both classical and modern perspectives, as well as explanations of the relationship among stratification, status, occupation, and mobility; descriptions of various class characteristics and an examination of selected relationships between class and other areas of social participation.
SOC 356. The Family. (4 Credits)
A sociological approach to the practices that exist within families, the relationships between family members, and the social influences that shape the decisions of families. This course will challenge students to think about how religious institutions and politics can strengthen families and individuals within them.
SOC 359. American Suburbanization. (4 Credits)
This course examines how and why American suburbs became the home of a majority of Americans and important centers for economic and cultural life. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and researching nearby suburbs (Wheaton and surrounding communities) and how Christians might respond to suburbia.
SOC 364. Urban Sociology. (4 Credits)
Growth and patterning of city life; social relations and social institutions in the city; examination of urban problems and proposed solutions. Prerequisite: SOC 115 or 116 or consent of the instructor.
SOC 366. Sociology Of Religion. (4 Credits)
Religion as a social phenomenon and its functions for the individual and society. Focus upon religious socialization, measurement of religious behavior, and variety of religious roles; includes organizational forms and relationships to other social institutions. Prerequisite: SOC 115 or 116 or consent of the instructor.
SOC 367. Crime & Delinquency. (4 Credits)
The incidence, nature, and development of crime and delinquency in America; methods of control, treatment, and prevention, including current research and innovations in approaching juvenile and adult offenders. Prerequisite: SOC 115 or 116 or consent of the instructor.
SOC 371. Asians in America. (4 Credits)
This course is designed to help students understand the diversity and histories of "Asian" Americans with a focus on the post-1965 waves. In addition to understanding Asian Americans from sociological and historical categories, we will also examine religion in the Asian American experiences.
SOC 373. Sociology of Education. (4 Credits)
Examines the social role of education in postindustrial societies. Different types of schools and their effects on academic achievement are examined, and students are encouraged to participate in the growth and development of schools where possible. Christian perspectives on education, learning, and schools are emphasized. Prerequisite: SOC 115 or 116 or consent of the instructor.
SOC 376. Sociological Theory. (4 Credits)
A survey of social thought of classical theorists, such as Weber, Durkheim, and Marx, as well as an overview of contemporary social theory. Addresses the various theoretical perspectives, as well as the current lack of consensus in social theory.
SOC 383. Statistics. (4 Credits)
An introduction to statistics common in social research. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, significance, correlation, analysis of variance, and multiple regression. Emphasis is on application and effectively using a common statistical program (SPSS).
SOC 385. Social Change. (4 Credits)
What forces contribute to social change? In this class, we examine some of the changes that have occurred and are occurring throughout the world that impact the ability of people to live lives of human flourishing. We will explore some of the socio-historical contexts related to social change, such as political forces, economic markets, technological innovation, and demographic and population changes. Students will have an opportunity to focus on contemporary issues related to social change in a specific country of interest. Students will also reflect on a number of different Christian theological documents on globalization, and develop their own faith perspective on what it means to follow Christ in a globalized world.
Tags: GP, SI
SOC 399. Social Network Analysis: Theory and Methods. (4 Credits)
Social network analysis is at the core of sociology in the 21st century, with international implications in education, law enforcement, and many other fields. A vast arena of research possibilities currently exists for using social networks to study churches, denominations, parachurch ministries, academic institutions and communities of all kinds. This course examines the history, components, and applications of social network analysis. Using Mathematica, students will complete supervised research projects using methods in social network analysis.
SOC 412. Advanced Topics in Sociology. (2 Credits)
This course is aimed at students capable of or interested in graduate level study. There will be a specific theme for each semester of the course, and these will not be repeated two years in a row. Some possible examples include advanced methodology, gender and international development, and immigration and policy.
SOC 414. Advanced Topics in Sociology. (4 Credits)
This course is aimed at students capable of or interested in graduate level study. There will be a specific theme for each semester of the course, and these will not be repeated two years in a row. Some possible examples include mathematical sociology, advanced methodology, historical and comparative sociology, economic and organizational sociology, and social network analysis. Prerequisite: SOC 376 or SOC 383 or permission of instructor.
SOC 482. Social Research. (4 Credits)
Introduces students to techniques and methods for scientific research in the social sciences including surveys, experiments, field research, coding, and more. A cumulative project follows the steps of producing social science research including developing a research question, writing a literature review, and explaining the use of data and methods. Corequisites or Prerequisites: SOC 115, 116; SOC 376, 383, or consent of the instructor.
SOC 492. Thesis Research. (4 Credits)
Students will work closely with the faculty advisor to collect and analyze data, write a senior thesis paper, and present their research in a public setting. They will also work with other students to workshop papers. Required for the sociology major. Prerequisite: SOC 494
SOC 494. Senior Capstone. (4 Credits)
A capstone seminar focusing on the integration of sociology and Christianity. Examination of the philosophies, literature, and research of selected problem areas in the discipline. Recommended for seniors. Prerequisites: SOC 115 or 116; SOC 376 or consent of the instructor.
SOC 495. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)
Guided reading and research for the advanced major or research internship in ongoing institutional or faculty research. Formal student proposal required.
SOC 496. Internship in Sociology. (4 or 8 Credits)
Credit given in connection with internship assignment in social research, criminal justice, law, urban ministries, urban planning, or social policy. Offered as a block placement for an entire semester on or off campus (in the Chicago area). Sociology majors may apply eight hours of internship credit toward one sociology elective course. See department for details, including course prerequisites.
ANTH 116. Introduction to Anthropology. (4 Credits)
This course is an introduction to the discipline of anthropology, with particular focus on the methods, theory and conceptual framework of cultural anthropology. All topics will be addressed in anthropological and Christian terms, including such issues as race, gender, language, globalization, and marriage. First Year and Sophomore students only, except by consent of instructor.
Tags: GP, SI
ANTH 282. Culture, Travel and Tourism. (2 Credits)
Tourism and other forms of international travel have become important sites of anthropological inquiry as increasing numbers of people have their most significant cross-cultural experiences through the travel industry, either as participants or providers. This course will explore the anthropological literature around these phenomena, with a focus on the consequences of such travel for the construction of culture and cultural differences.
ANTH 319. Colonialism and Redemption: Native American Culture and Theology from 1492 to Wounded Knee. (2 Credits)
An interdisciplinary course designed to explore the Native American experience through the lens of historical anthropology and theology. The course explores the experience and perspectives of the Native inhabitants of "Turtle Island" from the beginning of the colonial era up to the present day. The course also examines the role of Scripture, theology, and the Church during the time of European expansion across North America and the current relationship between First Nations peoples and Christianity, including developments in Native Christian theology. Meetings with Native Americans are part of the course. The themes of "colonialism" and "redemption" will bind together this theological, anthropological, and personal exploration.
ANTH 324. Anthropology of Global Christianity. (2 Credits)
This course explores the diverse manifestations of Christianity around the globe. Using anthropological theory and method, particular attention will be paid to the non-Western church, exploring the relationship between the Gospel and culture around the world.
ANTH 331. Cultural Immersion Experience. (0 Credits)
A department approved cultural immersion experience.
ANTH 341. Consumption and Material Culture. (2 Credits)
This class integrates the relationships between people and the things they consume. In particular, it is interested in the ways in which identities and relationships are generated through the processes and events of consumption. Case studies will be drawn from multiple national and international contexts and will highlight the embeddedness of these processes within the larger social and cultural systems.
ANTH 342. Food, Farms, and Culture. (4 Credits)
This course is an exploration of the farming systems, consumption practices, and cultural patterns that intertwine in the United States. We ask what it means to seek the Kingdom of God throughout food production and consumption in the United States, seeking environmental justice; racial, ethnic, and class equity in food access and production; equity in rural and urban places; well-being for workers; health for human bodies; and the joys of communing around food.
ANTH 353. Biculturalism. (4 Credits)
Principles of anthropology that highlight understanding of, and adapting to, other cultures, with focus on the problems of cross-cultural adaptation and ministry for the Christian. Relevant for HNGR interns, missions, CE, and Biblical Studies majors, and all who are interested in cross-cultural work.
Tags: DUS, GP
ANTH 354. Culture in the Contemporary World. (4 Credits)
Exploring how "culture" relates to identity, interpretation of Scripture, and the practice of the Christian life, this course provides students with an understanding of basic anthropological approaches to culture and how those approaches relate to contemporary issues such as racialization, language ideology, conceptions of gender, neocolonialism, and missions. Requires sophomore standing and above or consent of instructor.
ANTH 361. Medical Anthropology. (2 Credits)
Cultural differences in conceptions of illness and health care, and the processes of change in medical systems throughout the contemporary world. Relevant for health care professions, missions, HNGR.
ANTH 364. Linguistic Anthropology. (2 Credits)
This course will address language from an anthropological perspective. This will include technical linguistic theory (phonetics/phonemics), but whereas much of that is covered in linguistics courses, this course will spend far more time on socio-linguistics and language ideology, particularly in the colonial and post-colonial context of the non-Western world. Students will be able to identify and apply the major historic and contemporary anthropological theories of language.
ANTH 376. Culture Theory. (4 Credits)
The culture concept has gone through numerous transformations since it was first introduced into anthropology in the nineteenth century, and this course briefly surveys historical theories in anthropology, but highlights structuralist, poststructuralist, postmodernist, Marxist, feminist, postcolonial, and transaction theories.
ANTH 381. Politics of Veiling in the Modern Middle East. (2 Credits)
This course approaches the diversity of life in the modern Middle East through the practices of veiling. Rather than a singular model or symbol, the veil emerges as a material object invested with various meanings through the complex intertwining of political, religious, and social life in societies from North Africa to Central Asia, and increasingly, the rest of the world.
ANTH 383. Cities in the Global South. (2 Credits)
Cities in the global south today face a variety of challenges, requiring careful negotiation through policy and everyday practice. This course introduces students to the particular issues which colonial histories and peripheral participation in global markets have produced in some key cities of the global south. Strategies and innovations for future development are presented as possibilities for local agency and transformation.
ANTH 385. Field Research Methods. (4 Credits)
A practical preparation of HNGR Program interns for participatory research and cross-cultural living and service. Emphasis in research is on design and implementation of qualitative and quantitative research methods in actual field settings, including roles, rapport, ethics, cultural adaptations, field notes, and write-up. Emphasis in orientation is on cross-cultural adjustment, including approaches, responses, psychological adaptation, relationship-building, communication, health, and Christian witness. Open to outgoing HNGR interns only. Course fee.
ANTH 393. Placemaking in Urban Contexts. (2 Credits)
Explores the processes by which particular configurations of history, identity and landscape are transformed into identifiable and meaningful places in the construction and development of cities. Case studies will be drawn from multiple cities around the world, including Scotland, China, and Africa and will examine the use of local and global narratives, images, and logics, highlighting the socially contested and constructed nature of this process.
ANTH 431. Culture, Economy, and Morality. (4 Credits)
This course explores the diverse ways people answer moral questions about money and economics. The course focuses on how culture shapes our interpretations of the economic choices we deem right and wrong. By considering case studies of economic moralities in diverse cultural contexts, students will develop more nuanced understandings of Biblical perspectives on economic topics including generosity, consumption, work, capitalism, and inequality.
Tags: GP, SI
ANTH 432. Violence and Peace in Latin America. (4 Credits)
This course draws on anthropological and social scientific research to examine how diverse organizational and social actors work to confront violence and strengthen peace in Latin America. Students will learn about the history of state, political and criminal violence in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and students will be introduced to the efforts of international justice and human rights activists and civil society and religious organizations to build more just, peaceful, and inclusive societies in Latin America.
ANTH 435. Power and Gender in Southeast Asia. (4 Credits)
This course will focus on power and gender as key topics in the anthropology and historiography of Southeast Asia. We will explore how these ideas intersect with other anthropological and historical themes such as race, colonialism, nationalism, urbanization, and economic development.
Tags: GP, HP
ANTH 478. Anthropology Through Film. (2 Credits)
The medium of film can provide a window into the heart of a society, giving the viewer a chance to see inside the culture and minds of a people. This course will use commercial ("Hollywood") films as opportunities to explore themes and theories in anthropology, in order to gain insight into anthropological concepts and the society(ies) or subcultures from which the films originate.
ANTH 481. Anthropological Writing: Writing in History and the Social Sciences. (2 Credits)
This is a course for students who want to write for scholarly and general audiences. It is an opportunity to strengthen writing skills and analytical techniques. In this intensive writing course, advanced anthropology (and related disciplines) students will get a hands-on experience of gathering and/or using original data (ethnographic, archival, statistical, geo-spatial, etc.), transforming it into evidence (by analyzing it using relevant theoretical methods) and then writing a compelling analytical argument that connects the research findings to important social scientific questions. The course is particularly relevant for those who have previously collected data (such as HNGR or other study abroad students) they are prepared to use in a substantial writing project.
ANTH 482. Ethnographic Theory and Method. (4 Credits)
This course analyzes anthropological research and writing on fieldwork, while cultivating students' skills in the practice of ethnography. The production of knowledge, problems of evidence, experience and ethics, as well as issues of power and representation are discussed. Students frame and address theoretical problems through the development of an ethnographic research project, and through the processes of peer review, they refine this project throughout the semester, culminating in an original piece of anthropological research.
ANTH 494. Senior Capstone. (4 Credits)
A capstone seminar which evaluates contemporary issues within anthropology to address the relationship between Christianity and anthropological epistemologies, theories, and methods.
General Education: SHAR
ANTH 495. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)
Guided reading and research for the advanced students, or research internship in ongoing institutional or faculty research. Prerequisite: Permission of department chair.
ANTH 496. Internship in Anthropology. (4 or 8 Credits)
Credit given in connection with an internship assignment in medical anthropology, missions, HNGR, cross-cultural settings which involve education, development, business, or family life with participation of a faculty anthropologist. Majors may apply eight hours of internship credit toward one anthropology elective course. See department for details, including course prerequisites.
Social Welfare Courses
SWEL 331. Introduction to Social Welfare. (2 Credits)
Examination and critique of the social welfare institution in America; its history, value orientation, issues past and present, and the agencies through which social welfare is administered. Christian perspective, agency visits, and field trip.
SWEL 332. Human Services Practice. (2 Credits)
Development of self-awareness for the human services professional. Introduction to methods used in social work practice, interviewing, assessment, and treatment planning. Professional social workers as guest speakers.
SWEL 496. Social Work Internship. (4 or 8 Credits)
A field experience providing opportunities for observation and participation in selected welfare agencies. Knowledge of community resources; skill and technique development; theory-in-practice experience. Offered as a block placement for an entire semester. Placements are made in the Chicago area. Sociology majors may apply eight hours of internship credit toward one sociology elective course. Prerequisites: SWEL 331, 332. See department for details.
GEND 494. Gender Studies Capstone. (2 Credits)
This course pulls together students’ exploration of gender through the perspectives of theology, the social sciences, and humanities. The Gender Studies Capstone course promotes the mission statement of the Sociology/Anthropology department: to develop a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction both within American society and across cultures. Prerequisites: SOC 347 and BITH 383.
GEND 495. Gender Studies Independent Study. (2 Credits)
Guided reading and research for the advanced major or research internship in ongoing institutional or faculty research.