Anthropology & Sociology Department

Broaden your understanding of people and their cultures with the study of anthropology and sociology.


Anthropologists strive to understand humankind from the prehistoric to the present. Cottey anthropology students focus on one of the four branches of anthropology– cultural anthropology. If you decide to become an anthropologist, you will receive a firm foundation for graduate school at Cottey College.

All students who study anthropology develop an anthropological perspective that can be combined with many other disciplines to enhance global awareness. A minor in anthropology is available at Cottey.


Sociology is the study of human society and social behavior. Cottey sociology students explore social problems and public policy and investigate a range of topics, including family relationships; the demographics of urban and rural spaces; and the consequences of race, gender and class divisions across societies. While you develop sociological and anthropological perspectives, you will sharpen your powers of observation and analysis, which helps you understand all aspects of human relations. These disciplines also broaden your awareness of the diversity of human experience around the world.

Career Choices

Anthropology students may pursue advanced degrees and/or find employment with colleges and universities, government agencies, hospitals and medical schools, international agencies, museums, conservation and heritage management, research institutes, cultural resources management, historical preservation and consumer research firms.

The study of anthropology also will help prepare you for other professions including community development, marketing research, journalism, library studies, international studies, history, education, writing fields, law and medicine. See the American Anthropological Association’s Careers in Anthropology for more information.

Sociology students gain the basic knowledge and skills needed to pursue a variety of applied careers: social work, social services, corrections and juvenile treatment, environment and resource allocation, social gerontology, and community health services. Sociology graduates are employed with state and local government, hospitals, nursing homes, educational settings, research institutes, advertising and marketing firms, environmental agencies and corporations.

Studying sociology also prepares you for a variety of professions including human resources and personnel management, consumer research, marketing and advertising, community development, international studies, education, law, and medicine. See the American Sociology Association’s Facts on Jobs and Careers for more information.


The anthropology department primarily introduces students to the subfields of cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology. The courses offered at Cottey provide a foundation for a major or minor in anthropology and assist any student in developing an anthropological perspective applicable to all fields of study. Anthropology may be combined with many other disciplines (economics, political science, music, art, history, literature, medicine, law, etc.) to create a more global approach. The information and skills learned in these courses should help students better understand and live in today’s world.

ANT/WST 151 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
This course introduces the broad field of cultural anthropology. We consider such topics as ethnography, cultural relativism and ethnocentrism, language and communication, religion and ritual, anthropological ethics, and the application of anthropology’s theory and methods to contemporary world issues. Students will also learn how anthropologists have approached the issue of difference and inequality within and across cultures. This course also highlights women anthropologists’ contributions to the field as well as gender cross-culturally. 3 credits

ANT/WST 204 Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective
This course explores reproductive, economic, political, and religious factors that influence women’s experiences from a cross-cultural approach. It examines the ways that gender intersects with social class, work, politics, and religion. It offers students opportunities to understand the diversity and similarity of women’s experiences around the world. 3 credits

ANT/IDS 291 Language and Culture
Prerequisites: ANT 151, SOC 101, or PSYC 101
This course introduces students to Linguistic Anthropology. Although language will be our principle concern, taking an anthropological approach pushes us to consider language, culture, society, and communication as all interrelated aspects of the human condition. The overall goal is to encourage students to appreciate the complex and diverse communication signals that humans engage in, while also considering some of their own language and communication biases. 3 credits

ANT/ENV 391 Food and Culture
Prerequisites: ANT 151, SOC 101, or PSY 101
Food unites people in ritualized gatherings, while it also divides them over politics and economics. Besides considering food’s place in anthropology, this course will examine food and identity—food as it relates to cultural, class, and gendered identities—as well as food’s significance in social, political, and economic systems. Students will become active in Cottey’s organic garden as a part of this course. 3 credits

ANT/IDS 392 The Anthropology of Music and Dance
Prerequisites: ANT 151, MUS 101, or DAN 107
This course focuses on the society and culture surrounding music and dance in global settings. We consider music and dance’s function, its relation to various identities (class, gender, nationality, ethnicity) as well as to technology, globalization and new media. We also delve into the intellectual history and varying approaches encompassing the study of music and dance. 3 credits

Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS)

IDS Qualitative Research Methods
This course begins by considering both qualitative and quantitative research traditions. Students will then gain skills in particular methods and documentation including semi-structured interviews, focus groups, participant observation, direct observation, and field notes. Finally, they will learn different techniques in data analysis such as content analysis, narrative analysis and discourse analysis. 4 credits

The courses in sociology at Cottey provide the foundation for a major or minor in sociology while providing basic knowledge and skills needed to pursue a variety of applied careers such as social work, social services, corrections and juvenile treatment, environment and resource allocation, social gerontology, and community health services. Sociology courses also contribute to students’ preparation in other professions including human resources and personnel management, marketing and advertising, education, law, and medicine. By developing a sociological perspective, students sharpen their powers of observation and analysis. Sociology also assists students in understanding contemporary social problems and the difficulties in developing social policy solutions.

SOC 101 Introductory Sociology
This course introduces sociology as a way of investigating, critically understanding, and analyzing human social life. Sociologists examine how groups (organizations, institutions, and complex societies) are structured and how these groups interact with one another. They also consider how social contexts frame human behavior for individuals and groups. We will focus on several important sociological topics, including socialization, culture, inequality, race and ethnic relations, gender, poverty, and social movements. 3 credits

SOC/WST 203 Family and Society
This course provides an overview of the study of the family from a sociological perspective. It considers the diverse experiences of varying North American families as well as the history of love, sex, and marriage. We also examine the relationship between family and social class, race, gender, and work settings. Finally, we explore dating, parenting, remarriage, childhood, divorce, aging, and death as topics in relation to family structures. 3 credits

SOC/PSY 232 Social Psychology
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introductory Sociology OR PSY 101 General Psychology
Social psychology examines how external forces shape our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Topics include social cognition; prejudice; human aggression; conformity; liking, loving, and interpersonal sensitivity; and mass communication, propaganda, and persuasion. 3 credits

SOC/WST 235 Race, Class, and Gender
This course examines race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and other identities as sociological concepts within a new interdisciplinary paradigm focusing on how these identities intersect. Students will then learn to use the intersectional framework to interpret contemporary social issues and institutional settings as well as to analyze how they together shape individual, institutional, and larger societal expectations. The course introduces students to the experiences of diverse groups in the United States and beyond. 3 credits

SOC/INR 330 Poverty and Inequality
Prerequisite: SOC 101 Introductory Sociology, POL 101 US Government, POL 121 Introduction to Political Science , or IRB 151 International Relations
This course studies the situations of the poor in the world and their relations with inequality and globalization. Various theories introduce causes of poverty and inequality and suggest solutions. Students will analyze and evaluate which theory has a higher possibility to reduce poverty and inequality than the others. This course also explores relations between poverty and environmental degradation in order to understand the impacts of globalization. 3 credits

Sarah Quick, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
Rubie Burton Academic Center 124
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2269

Anthropology Minor (emphasis in Cultural Anthropology)

Course #Course TitleCredit Hrs.
Required course
ANT/WST 151Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
ELECTIVES -choose 4-5 of the following
ANT/WST 204Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective3
ANT/IDS 291Language and Culture3
ANT/ENV 391Food and Culture3
ANT/IDS 392The Anthropology of Music and Dance3
ENV/IDS 331Sustainable Tourism3
PSY 351Cross-Cultural Psychology3
IDS 317Qualitative Research Methods4
CAPSTONE projects in other majors/programs*1-3
*with approval from Anthropology instructor
Sociology Electives – One elective may be chosen from the following
SOC 101Introductory Sociology3
SOC/WST 203Family and Society3
SOC/WST 235Race, Class, and Gender3
PSY/SOC 232Social Psychology3
INR/SOC 330Poverty and Inequality3

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