Wittenberg University recently announced the launch of a new sociology concentration in cultural anthropology to begin next fall.
Wittenberg’s sociology program guides students to develop a comprehensive awareness of human society and culture. Cultural anthropology is the study of contemporary human culture through an understanding of the beliefs, practices, and social organizations that make up communities in that culture. By conducting long-term fieldwork in particular communities, the cultural anthropologist seeks to understand and present the cultural perspective of the communities they study, humanely, from those communities’ points of view.
"As an institution of higher learning, we are continually looking to provide avenues of academic study that align with the interests, needs, and expectations of our current students and future ones," said Interim Provost Mary Jo Zembar, professor of psychology. "This new offering is the result of our commitment to that effort.”
At Wittenberg, cultural anthropology courses emphasize cross-cultural or global perspectives, ethnographic methods, and/or a strong social justice voice as it relates to historically denigrated groups.
Because many communities in which cultural anthropologists have traditionally conducted fieldwork have been poor, exploited, or faced discrimination from national cultures, there is a very strong tendency in anthropological scholarship toward social justice and in providing a critical voice against discriminatory and exploitative practices and policies. This social justice perspective goes hand-in-hand with the general task of relaying knowledge about the cultural diversity across the globe.
Students who concentrate in cultural anthropology will develop a senior thesis project with an anthropological focus. To complete a concentration in cultural anthropology within the sociology major, students must complete the four courses that make up the Sociology Core; Cultural Anthropology 110; three anthropology-designated electives; and one elective in the sociology department.
Many students also take advantage of internships with social agencies, business and industrial organizations, or governmental agencies to combine practical experience with research on a sociological problem.
Some students find that sociology or anthropology courses are part of an interdisciplinary program such as East Asian Studies, Russian and Central Eurasian Studies, women's studies, environmental studies, or urban studies; others discover that a sociology minor can complement a major in other disciplines, such as one of the other social sciences.
Wittenberg’s mission and core values are central to sociology as this program looks to create intellectual inquiry, creativity, calling, and service. The Wittenberg curriculum centers on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual’s capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination.
In addition to the new sociology concentration in cultural anthropology, Wittenberg offers a B.A. in sociology and a B.A. in sociology with a criminology concentration. For more information, go to https://www.wittenberg.edu/academics/majors-minors