Associate Professor Howell
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology wants students to understand themselves as embedded within and products of social and cultural contexts. Our students are trained to have the relational and analytic tools to operate effectively within the social complexity of our dynamic world and engage people cross-culturally, both in America and abroad. Students will become critical thinkers, addressing social problems and cultural analysis through theory, data, and practical solutions.
The general goal of the department is to develop a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction both within and across cultures. The Sociology faculty recognizes the need to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ at several levels of social interaction. The micro level involves face-to-face communication, for example, in marriage and the family; the middle-range level reflects activities in organizations or social movements; and the macro level presents issues of culture and societal structures. At each level, social processes such as socialization, stratification, urbanization, and social disorganization are examined. The Anthropology faculty emphasizes both the particularities of varying cultural systems, as well as the universal characteristics of humans made in the image of God. Recognizing culture as a set of only partial solutions to human problems, Wheaton's Anthropology faculty also examine the ways the Gospel and culture can operate jointly to explain human adaptations in different societies. Similarly, anthropology's exploration of human universals is based on a distinctively Christian perspective, combining a biblical orientation with empirical precision.
The Sociology major introduces the student to classic and contemporary literature in the study of social interaction and provides a basis for a wide range of career options. Quantitative and qualitative research methods are used for analysis and provide foundation for graduate and professional training in sociology, social work, organizational management, and allied fields. Opportunities are given to practice critical thinking, oral and written communication skills, and applied experiences. Internships in the metropolitan Chicago area are strongly encouraged. An additional focus of the department is the development of biblical advocacy in the promotion of social justice and equity.
Sociology offers four minors for persons with other majors:
Requirements for a minor in Social Work are 20 hours, including SWEL 331, 332, and 496; plus 12 hours from SOC 228, 238, 337, 356, 367; . This minor is designed for persons interested in a career in social welfare.
Requirements for a minor in Family Studies are 20 hours, including SOC and ; plus 12 elective hours from SOC 228, 238, or ; ; and . This minor is designed for persons interested in family life in the community and church.
Requirements for a minor in Social Action are 20 hours, including 8-12 required hours of SOC 355, 385, and 482 (482 required if the student does not have a methods course in the major); plus 8-12 elective hours from SOC 238, 337, 364, 366, 367; ; ; and .
For a listing of Sociology classes that meet Gen Ed requirements please refer to “” in the catalog.
The Anthropology major introduces students to insights into human behavior from a comparative, cross-cultural perspective. As an intrinsically cross-cultural form of inquiry, anthropology offers its own, inherent benefits that students acquire as they encounter ways of thinking and behaving that may be unfamiliar to them. Opportunities for cross-cultural ministry, for careers in business and as consultants, and for Christian citizenship in the world of the twenty-first century can be enhanced greatly for students completing an Anthropology major.
Requirements for a minor in Anthropology are 20 hours of anthropology including ANTH 116. No more than four hours may be applied from 495 or 496. The minor gives students an opportunity to learn about the field, integrate anthropology with Christian concerns, and provide a basis for further graduate study.
In the event that required major courses are unavailable due to faculty or curricular changes, the anthropology department will work with students on a case-by-case basis to find substitutionary courses.
The certificate in gender studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to help students investigate national and international questions related to gender. One of the primary goals of the program is to strengthen critical thinking skills through the study of global sociopolitical gender concerns, biblical and historical approaches to femininity and masculinity, relationships between men and women, and the complex cultural processes involved in gender construction. The interdisciplinary focus of the program prepares students to become proactive participants in the world by exposing them to economic, political, and cultural realities at home and around the world. Responsible Christian inquiry coupled with increasing cultural sensitivity can help create effective ambassadors for Christ in our rapidly changing world.
The program’s academic home is the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, providing a foundational understanding of sociocultural factors related to gender. The program assumes that solid Christian inquiry is foundational to productive scholarship and problem solving regarding issues that face our world today. As such, we strive to provide students with resources from our Christian heritage that will equip them for local and global leadership in all areas that pertain to human diversity.
Students from any major are eligible for the 24-hour gender studies certificate. Students will complete a ten-hour core of courses that investigate sociological and theological approaches to gender issues, and end their study with a capstone course designed to integrate approaches from several key disciplines. In addition, students will select 14 hours of classes from a variety of offerings from different departments. These classes will be distributed among three main areas: theology and theory; social and historical context; and cultural considerations of everyday life.
SOC 115. Introduction to Sociology. An overview of the theory, methodology, and conceptualizations of the discipline of sociology. Offers opportunity to develop an understanding of American society. Diversity designation.
SOC 228. Sociology of Sexuality. This class will explore issues of identity as sexual individuals, the role of sexuality in our broader society, and the linkages between sexuality and violence. As sexuality affects both individuals and the larger society, this class aims to equip and challenge students in building a positive and God-honoring conception of sexuality in their own lives and their engagement in the world. (2) Prerequisite (or requisite): Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors
SOC 238. Contemporary Social Concerns. An in-depth seminar focusing on major concerns of society, such as: problems of youth, the elderly, AIDS, homelessness, human rights, prison reform, and toxic waste. (2)
SOC 251. Culture, Media, & Society. Our lives are both overtly and subtly influenced by culture and the media. In this course, we will analyze different types of media (television, advertising, movies, the Internet and Facebook, and more) as well as cultural values, norms, and practices. Students will learn and apply three analytic approaches from the sociology of culture (repertoires, production, and narratives) as well as consider how everyday interactions with culture and media impact Evangelical life.
SOC 321. Sociology of Economic Life: In an era of growing economic inequality, this course employs a sociological approach to ask questions about social construction of markets and the moral meanings within them. The goal of the course is to empower students in their roles as economic agents, as well as help them understand the broader structures in which they are engaged.
SOC 337. Racial and Ethnic Relations. Sociohistorical and cultural aspects of race and ethnicity in America. Through class discussion, films, and research about minority cultures, students explore and examine such sociological concepts as assimilation, conflict, and pluralism. Prerequisite: and sophomore standing or above or consent of the instructor. Diversity designation.
SOC 341. Social and Political Movements. Social movements challenge political, economic, and social systems through collective action. We will discuss why social movements occur, how actors become involved, their relationship with the state, and the resources needed to sustain and grow such movements. Using a case study approach, students examine particular social actors and differing views of justice, while being encouraged to further develop their own conception of biblical justice in society. Diversity Designation.
SOC 347. Gender and Society. What does it mean to be male or female? Why do we have these categories? How does gender matter in society? In this class, we focus on unpacking the concept of gender, and investigate the role of social institutions in constructing gender roles and contributing to gender inequalities. There is also an emphasis understanding how issues of gender intersect with those of class, race, and culture.
SOC 355. Social Class and Inequality. An examination of the theories and explanations of the origins and perpetuation of social inequality, class, and stratification. Consideration of both classical and modern perspectives, as well as explanations of the relationship among stratification, status, occupation, and mobility; descriptions of various class characteristics and an examination of selected relationships between class and other areas of social participation. Diversity course.
SOC 356. The Family. A sociological approach to the practices that exist within families, the relationships between family members, and the social influences that shape the decisions of families. This course will challenge students to think about how religious institutions and politics can strengthen families and individuals within them.
SOC 359. American Suburbanization. This course examines how and why American suburbs became the home of a majority of Americans and important centers for economic and cultural life. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and researching nearby suburbs (Wheaton and surrounding communities) and how Christians might respond to suburbia. Diversity designation.
SOC 364. Urban Sociology. Growth and patterning of city life; social relations and social institutions in the city; examination of urban problems and proposed solutions. Prerequisite: or consent of the instructor.
SOC 366. Sociology of Religion. Religion as a social phenomenon and its functions for the individual and society. Focus upon religious socialization, measurement of religious behavior, and variety of religious roles; includes organizational forms and relationships to other social institutions. Prerequisite: or consent of the instructor.
SOC 367. Crime and Delinquency. The incidence, nature, and development of crime and delinquency in America; methods of control, treatment, and prevention, including current research and innovations in approaching juvenile and adult offenders. Prerequisite: or consent of the instructor.
SOC 371. Asians in America. This course is designed to help students understand the diversity and histories of “Asian” Americans with a focus on the post-1965 waves. In addition to understanding Asian Americans from sociological and historical categories, we will also examine religion in the Asian American experiences. Diversity designation.
SOC 373. Sociology of Education. Examines the social role of education in postindustrial societies. Different types of schools and their effects on academic achievement are examined, and students are encouraged to participate in the growth and development of schools where possible. Christian perspectives on education, learning, and schools are emphasized. Prerequisite: or consent of the instructor.
SOC 376. Sociological Theory. A survey of social thought of classical theorists, such as Weber, Durkheim, and Marx, as well as an overview of contemporary social theory. Addresses the various theoretical perspectives, as well as the current lack of consensus in social theory. Diversity designation.
SOC 383. Statistics. An introduction to statistics common in social research. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, significance, correlation, analysis of variance, and multiple regression. Emphasis is on application and effectively using a common statistical program (PASW/SPSS). Prerequisite: , , or consent of the instructor.
SOC 385. Social Change. A sociological approach to the practices that exist within families, the relationships between family members, and the social influences that shape the decisions of families. This course will challenge students to think about how religious institutions and politics can strengthen families and individuals within them.
SOC 482. Social Research. Introduces students to techniques and methods for scientific research in the social sciences including surveys, experiments, field research, coding, and more. A cumulative project follows the steps of producing social science research including developing a research question, writing a literature review, and explaining the use of data and methods. Prerequisite: , , , or consent of the instructor.
SOC 494. Senior Capstone. A capstone seminar focusing on the integration of sociology and Christianity. Examination of the philosophies, literature, and research of selected problem areas in the discipline. Recommended for seniors. Prerequisite: , , or consent of the instructor.
SOC 496. Internship in Sociology. Credit given in connection with internship assignment in social research, criminal justice, law, urban ministries, urban planning, or social policy. Offered as a block placement for an entire semester on or off campus (in the Chicago area). Sociology majors may apply eight hours of internship credit toward one sociology elective course. See department for details, including course prerequisites. (4, 8)
ANTH 116. Introduction to Anthropology. A general overview of the field of anthropology, including an examination of the principal assumptions, methods, and results of cultural anthropology which give an understanding of other cultures. Human origins, along with other aspects of modern anthropology, are also addressed from a Christian perspective. Diversity designation.
ANTH 282. Culture, Travel and Tourism. Tourism and other forms of international travel have become important sites of anthropological inquiry as increasing numbers of people have their most significant cross-cultural experiences through the travel industry, either as participants or providers. This course will explore the anthropological literature around these phenomena, with a focus on the consequences of such travel for the construction of culture and cultural differences. (2)
ANTH 285. The Craft of Anthropology. An introduction to anthropological research emphasizing basic skills in library, cross-cultural research, and written presentation. Prerequisite Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 324. Anthropology of Global Christianity. This course explores the diverse manifestations of Christianity around the globe. Using anthropological theory and method, particular attention will be paid to the non-Western church, exploring the relationship between the Gospel and culture around the world. Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 326. Life, Land, and Water. A visual survey of the methods by which societies around the world have solved the problems of insufficient (or non-existent) land and water necessary to sustain human life, this course will focus on those culturally-appropriate, labor-intensive, and non-capitalized technologies that ancient implications of these technologies for social change, missions, and development for the third world will be discussed. Diversity designation.
ANTH 333. Ceramics and Culture. This course surveys the manufacture, social organization, and use of pottery production in preindustrial societies. The main foci are on the production, technology, and relationships with social and cultural patterns, and their relation to the interpretation of archaeological ceramics. Will also examine relationships between techniques and understanding the cultural contexts of ancient ceramics. (2)
ANTH 335. Cross-Cultural Ethics. This course explores the dimensions of ethical decision making for the Christian in cross-cultural settings. The emphasis is more on the development of ethical thinking across cultures than on the acquisition of ethically related information. Included is a major review of the implications of cultural relativism for Christian ethics. Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 344. Topics in Latin American Peoples. An illustrated survey and readings of the major cultural patterns of Indian and Hispanic Latin America with a course-specific topical focus in one area such as Andean South America, Lowland South America, or the contemporary Maya, and the effect of modern processes of urbanization and cultural change on them. Course may be repeated for credit for a different topic. Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 353. Biculturalism. Principles of anthropology that highlight understanding of, and adapting to, other cultures, with focus on the problems of cross-cultural adaptation and ministry for the Christian. Relevant for HNGR interns, missions, C.E., and Biblical Studies majors, and all who are interested in cross-cultural work. Diversity designation.
ANTH 354. Culture in the Contemporary World. Exploring how “culture” relates to identity, interpretation of Scripture, and the practice of the Christian life, this course provides students with an understanding of basic anthropological approaches to culture and how those approaches relate to contemporary issues such as racialization, language ideology, conceptions of gender, neocolonialism, and missions. Requires sophomore standing and above or consent of instructor. Diversity designation.
ANTH 355. Human Origins. This course surveys the biological and cultural evidence for fossil humans and seeks to understand that evidence within a Christian framework that is true to the integrity of the data, philosophy of science, biblical hermeneutics, and theology.
ANTH 356. Pre-Columbian Civilizations. An extensive, illustrated survey of the achievements of the lost civilizations of the New World. Full-course topics include the Incas, the ancient Maya, and ‘Pre-Inca Civilizations of the Andes.’ Emphasis will occur on the lessons that can be learned, especially for problem solving in third world development settings. Diversity designation.
ANTH 361. Medical Anthropology. Cultural differences in conceptions of illness and health care, and the processes of change in medical systems throughout the contemporary world. Relevant for health care professions, missions, HNGR. Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 362. Globalization. The rapid increase in information and transportation technology has made Americans more aware than ever of the flow of culture around the world; Thai students can dine on Mexican food while listening to U.S. hip-hop. But what does it really mean? Is globalization a new stage of global culture or an old process in new garb? This class will explore the definition, phenomenon, and impact of globalization as it relates to the concept of culture. (2)
ANTH 376. Culture Theory. The culture concept has gone through numerous transformations since it was first introduced into anthropology in the nineteenth century, and this course briefly surveys historical theories in anthropology, but highlights structuralist, poststructuralist, postmodernist, Marxist, feminist, postcolonial, and transaction theories.
ANTH 378. Anthropology Through Film. The medium of film can provide a window into the heart of a society, giving the viewer a chance to see inside the culture and minds of a people. This course will use commercial (“Hollywood”) films as opportunities to explore themes and theories in anthropology, in order to gain insight into anthropological concepts and the society(ies) or subcultures from which the films originate. Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 426. Cultural Ecology. A review of the theory of cultural ecology and cultural materialism in their roles in understanding cross-cultural regularities, with examples and applications especially from the third world. Diversity designation. (2)
ANTH 435. Power and Gender in Southeast Asia. This course will focus on power and gender as key topics in anthropology of Southeast Asia. We will explore how these ideas intersect with other anthropological themes such as race, colonialism, nationalism, urbanization, and economic development. Diversity designation.
ANTH 494. Senior Capstone. A capstone seminar which evaluates contemporary issues within anthropology to address the relationship between Christianity and anthropological epistemologies, theories, and methods. Prerequisite: .
ANTH 495. Independent Study. Guided reading and research for the advanced students, or research internship in ongoing institutional or faculty research. Prerequisite: or permission of department chair. (1-4)
ANTH 496. Internship in Anthropology. Credit given in connection with an internship assignment in medical anthropology, missions, HNGR, cross-cultural settings which involve education, development, business, or family life with participation of a faculty anthropologist. Majors may apply eight hours of internship credit toward one anthropology elective course. See department for details, including course prerequisites. (4, 8)
SWEL 331. Introduction to Social Welfare. Examination and critique of the social welfare institution in America; its history, value orientation, issues past and present, and the agencies through which social welfare is administered. Christian perspective, agency visits, and field trip. (2)
SWEL 332. Human Services Practice. Development of self-awareness for the human services professional. Introduction to methods used in social work practice, interviewing, assessment, and treatment planning. Professional social workers as guest speakers. (2)
SWEL 496. Social Work Internship. A field experience providing opportunities for observation and participation in selected welfare agencies. Knowledge of community resources; skill and technique development; theory-in-practice experience. Offered as a block placement for an entire semester. Placements are made in the Chicago area. Sociology majors may apply eight hours of internship credit toward one sociology elective course. Prerequisites: SWEL 331, See department for details. (4, 8)
GEND 494. Advanced Gender Studies Seminar. This Capstone is an interdisciplinary course taught together by a faculty member in the social sciences and one in humanities. This course pulls together students’ exploration of gender through the perspectives of theology, theory, sociology, history, and cultural studies. As partial fulfillment of requirements students will create a final project that explores a chosen topic in depth. Prerequisites: or or consent of certificate coordinator. Non-certificate students who have taken the prerequisites may take this course with permission of instructors. Diversity designation.
Revision Date: June 1, 2012
501 College Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187