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Sociology and Anthropology

Our students start out by peering into the gorilla cage and digging in the dirt. And by the end of four years, they’re uniquely prepared for a wide range of professions from market research to policy to international development and more. 

Explore the artifacts recovered and analyzed by our students from the Charnley-Persky House Archaeological Project.

Play the choose-your-own-adventure game, Death in Chicago, developed by students in Medical Anthropology.

Read recent theses by our students.

Sociology and anthropology (SOAN) students explore similarities and contrasts in human social behavior. And they work directly with outstanding professors:

  • Sociologist Todd Beer takes students to New York and Paris to observe climate-change demonstrations first hand.
  • Sociologist David Boden teaches science fiction and public policy. He has published a study on the sociology of male erotic dancing.
  • Anthropologist Rebecca Graff leads urban archaeological excavations in Chicago and finds a treasure-trove of evidence digging through 19th and 20th century sites.
  • Sociologist Ahmad Sadri teaches courses on terrorism and is an expert on Iran. He’s a regular commentator for National Public Radio. 
  • Anthropologist Holly Swyers researches U.S. culture, ranging from the 21st century phenomenon of “adulting” to contemporary efforts to maintain communities. She regularly involves student researchers in fieldwork.


Department News

  • April 12 The Adulting Manual
    What skills does a young person need in order to transition successfully to adulthood in the United States? That is the question that Associate Professor of Anthropology Holly Swyers and 80 Lake Forest College students aim to answer in the Adulting Manual , a compendium of advice gleaned by interviewing professionals at different stages of their careers and analyzing their answers. More »
  • March 26 Rebecca Graff
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology Rebecca Graff was recently quoted in a Chicago Tribune article about the placement of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park—the same site where the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 was held. More »
  • November 1 Lake Forest College TedX
    Three faculty members from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology delivered lectures at exciting events this fall. More »
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  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/660-xhris-fitzgerald-17"><img src="/live/image/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/241,81,1413,1254/29155__dsc0442.rev.1446135190.jpg" alt="Xhris Fitzgerald" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/241,81,1413,1254/29155__dsc0442.rev.1446135190.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/241,81,1413,1254/29155__dsc0442.rev.1446135190.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1172" data-max-h="1173"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “It was a great experience for us, as undergraduates, to participate in a professional academic conference.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/660-xhris-fitzgerald-17">Learn about Xhris’ work at the College.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/659-anne-marie-brugioni-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1999/29156_anne_marie.rev.1446137434.jpg" alt="Anne Marie Brugioni ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1999/29156_anne_marie.rev.1446137434.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1999/29156_anne_marie.rev.1446137434.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1999"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “Attending and presenting at a professional conference gave me a real sense of what the field of archaeology is like at a professional level.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/659-anne-marie-brugioni-16">“Attending and presenting at a professional conference gave me a real sense of what the field of archaeology is like at a professional level.” </a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/664-jake-albion-13"><img src="/live/image/gid/71/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,168/29188_jakealbion.rev.1446501110.jpeg" alt="Jake Albion ’13" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="168"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The skills I learned as a sociology and anthropology major taught me to think outside the box.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/664-jake-albion-13">Today, Jake Albion ’13 thinks outside the box for Thrive Media.</a>