Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Mark Warner, Dept. Chair (101 Archie Phinney Hall 83844-1110; phone 208/885-6751). Anthropology Faculty: Stacey Camp, Rodney P. Frey, Laura Putsche, R. Lee Sappington, Philip Stevens, Donald E. Tyler, Mark S. Warner. Sociology Faculty: Joseph DeAngelis, Kristin Haltinner, Leontina Hormel, Kristine Levan, Ryanne Pilgeram, Dilshani Sarathchandra, Deborah Thorne, Brian Wolf. Affiliate Faculty: Virginia Babcock, Margaret J. Harvey, Gary E. Machlis, Matthew Wappett. Adjunct Faculty: Caroline D. Carley, Alan G. Marshall, Deward E. Walker, Priscilla S. Wegars.

The department provides students with two interrelated disciplines in which they can pursue a B.A. or B.S. degree: Anthropology and Sociology. Within sociology, students can select an emphasis in Criminology or General Sociology. Students can also pursue a minor in either of these fields, an academic certificate in Diversity & Stratification, a certificate in Global Justice, and an Archaeological Technician Certificate. Our department is an ideal academic home for students interested in developing their understanding of people and society, small and large-scale cultures, culture history, cultural and social diversity, intercultural and global relations, social justice, and crime and society. Our interrelated programs offer students a unique opportunity to gain a variety of tools and perspectives necessary for understanding themselves and others in relation to social and cultural contexts. The educational experience in sociology or anthropology, including ample opportunity for interactions with faculty, provides a foundation from which students can better think through and appreciate the variety of challenges they will face in their professional and personal lives.

Sociology is the scientific study of human behavior, with an emphasis on understanding social interaction, groups, and organizations. It is an ideal major for students who are curious about themselves and the world they live in, who want to understand why groups of people do what they do, how organizations function, and who want to make a positive difference in the world. The goal of sociology is to help students develop a "sociological imagination," the ability to understand how individual experiences, behaviors, and opportunities are influenced by the historical moment and social forces beyond the immediate control of any one person. In the criminology emphasis, crime is studied within the context of society in efforts to understand the making and breaking of law and social responses to the breaking of law. The sociology program's strengths include, U.S. and global diversity, globalization, social inequalities and social justice, social movements, criminology, deviance, policing, and applied research. The program provides students opportunities to gain practical work experience through internships and service learning. The program provides academic training in preparation for careers in social services, human resources, criminal justice, non-profit positions, community organizing, and applied research and provides a foundation for graduate education in sociology, criminology, social work, and law.

Anthropology is the comprehensive study of the human condition, from humanity’s evolutionary past to its biological diversity, from the prehistoric and historic past to cultural and linguistic diversity today, from rural societies to urban societies. While the program at the University of Idaho considers the breadth of these topics and issues, its primary focus is on Indigenous peoples and international development, contemporary U.S. culture, historical archaeology, archaeological conservation and stabilization, and the archaeology and ethnography of the Indian Tribes of the North American Plateau. Graduates of the program are able to apply the anthropological skills and knowledge to help make a difference in the world. Graduates go into many successful careers, as well as into advanced programs of graduate studies.

The department offers the academic certificate in Diversity & Stratification. The purpose of the certificate in Diversity & Stratification is to provide students with specific training in intercultural skills. It requires 12 credits of diversity study and applied experience. The certificate recognizes competency in understanding a broad range of diversity issues (race, physical ability, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, social class, etc.) and in applying that understanding in the workplace and social life. The certificate provides students with a focused and work related credential and skill set so they may be more competitive and effective in the job market.

Archaeological Technician Program is designed to offer students a solid understanding of the basic practical and theoretical knowledge necessary to be qualified for an entry level position with a CRM firm or government agency. Participants must complete the entire training program with emphases in field survey, excavation and laboratory methods. All three areas of the Certificate program include practical experience in the field and lab with academic and/or professional evaluations that include appropriate readings and examinations.

Graduate study in anthropology is offered through the department in areas such as American Indian studies, prehistoric and historical archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and physical anthropology. This program includes class work, seminars, directed studies, independent research, a thesis, and a thesis defense. The curriculum provides sound training in general anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology, and ethnology. Departmental research specialties include historical archaeology, prehistoric Plateau archaeology, Plateau Indian ethnography, contemporary American culture, human evolution, and indigenous peoples of South America. Anthropologists in the department also regularly collaborate with the university’s history department in support of their Ph.D. degree that has a focus on historical archaeology. Graduates of the MA program have successfully gone on to pursue professional careers in anthropology and further graduate studies. Interested students should contact the department for the application procedures.

Questions concerning the department and its programs should be addressed to the department chair (208/885-6751).


See the course description section for courses in Anthropology (ANTH) and Sociology (SOC).