You and your classmates might come from a variety of backgrounds, but you all have one thing in common:
an innate curiosity . . . the desire to find out why people do the things they do
Our social /cultural studies program investigates culture and society, and how they affect everyday life. It helps us question why we wake our dead … pierce various body parts … allow the mass media to influence us ... choose a particular form of medical care ... or feel bound to the place we were born.
Some say culture -- the knowledge and skills we learned as we grew up -- shapes us. Others argue that society -- our community and the media -- influences us.
We invite you to explore the interplay of culture and society in its contemporary and historical manifestations from three inter-disciplinary perspectives:
These three areas share an emphasis on the concept of culture and rely on the ethnographic method - an approach that helps you understand the world from the perspective of the people you are studying.
In our program you will explore cultural practices, study social and cultural changes, examine current economic forces, and learn to understand the effects of cultural and political shifts. The careful study of social scientific theories and methods will broaden your perspective on their applicability to local and global issues.
The social/cultural studies major will prepare you for work in social research, governmental and non-governmental organizations, social policy and community/rural development, public relations, journalism, cultural heritage preservation and promotion, and the expanding cultural tourism sector.
This major also provides a valuable background for careers in business, human resources, policing, law, medical care, and social work.
Lastly, students completing this interdisciplinary major often report that they are better prepared for graduate study than students emerging from single-discipline programs.