May 27, 2020  
2018-19 University Bulletin 
2018-19 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology and Sociology

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Blodgett Hall, Room 102
Hanna Kim, Chair of Anthropology
Melanie Bush, Co-Chair of Anthropology and Sociology, Chair of Sociology


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Anagnostis Agelarakis

Assistant Professors

Hanna Kim
Douglas London
Brian Wygal

Anthropology is the study of human culture in its widest sense, extending back to our primate origins. Because of its broad scope, anthropology provides an appreciation of the relationships among the environment, biology, and culture through time. It is a forum for a unique bridging and bonding of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

The study of anthropology covers the sweep of time, from prehistoric to industrialized and post-industrialized societies, and it includes archaeology and cultural, physical and linguistic anthropology. At Adelphi, we focus on the first three disciplinary emphases. Archaeology is concerned with understanding societies that existed in the past. Archaeologists locate, excavate and interpret the artifacts of societies from prehistoric to recent times. Cultural anthropology focuses on contemporary people and cultures with the recognition that neither remain static but are situated in intersecting political, economic, and historical contexts. Cultural anthropologists seek, through participant-observation methods, to understand the ways that people live and in so doing generate an awareness about our own ways of living. Physical anthropology investigates the biocultural evolution and biosocial variation of humans. Physical anthropologists, in addition to the study of the behavioral and biological adaptations of living human populations, research the demographic and epidemiological profiles of forensic and archaeological skeletal collections.

Anthropologists perform research in laboratories and in near and far field sites. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in ethnographic, archaeological and physical anthropological endeavors, many of which are sponsored on Long Island, the greater metropolitan region, Central America, Alaska, and selected overseas locations including Thailand, India, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and South America.

Anthropology students are expected to become versed in the theories and practices central to the anthropological perspective. With this in mind, the curriculum of the department focuses on developing those skills well known to the discipline. Further, the curriculum focuses on developing those student skills essential for the understanding of the interdisciplinary relationships between anthropology, social and natural sciences, the humanities, and the arts. The knowledge acquired through the study of anthropology is transferable to many other career and occupational areas. These include graduate school as well as public and private sector jobs.


Deborah Little, Co-Chair of Anthropology and Sociology, Chair of Sociology
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Director of Criminal Justice Program

Stephanie Lake


Salvatore Primeggia

Associate Professors

Deborah Little
Melanie E. L. Bush

Assistant Professors

Lina Beydoun
Jacqueline Johnson
Jessica Klein

Sociology is the systematic study of the organization and condition of society. Using both empirical and conceptual tools, the discipline analyzes the behavior of groups and the workings of social institutions. Sociology is empirical in the sense that most sociologists gather facts, but facts do not speak for themselves. Uncovering the underlying patterns that make facts meaningful is the purpose of social theory. Sociology offers a coherent method by which social patterns can be brought to light and applied to the making of social policy decisions. The student sociologist learns to observe, measure, report, analyze, and draw conclusions about human social behavior in all its complexity.

A major in sociology is solid preparation not only for graduate study in the field but for careers such as in teaching, advertising, law, and administration. In both the public and private sectors, sociologists are called upon to collect data, analyze results, and generate new knowledge. Sociologists play a leadership role in many non-profit organizations, focused on a range of social issues.

The department also offers the criminal justice major in conjunction with the University College program.

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