The Department of Sociology provides students with excellent opportunities to gain experience in areas such as public opinion research, demographic research, and marketing research. Students conduct research on major social issues and problems using data collected by organizations such as Gallup Poll, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the National Opinion Research Center, the U.S. Department of Justice, among others. Students may also analyze primary data collected through their own research projects. Each spring, students present their findings at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Social Research Conference. Student with high-quality papers may present them at professional conferences and publish them in professional journals.
In addition, the Department's program in archaeology focuses on environmental management. Students utilize the Public Archaeology Lab for map and photographic analysis, along with artifact processing for archaeological projects. The Department's archaeological field school has been conducted at Ephrata Cloister, Wheatland- the home of President James Buchanan, and other local historic sites. Students learn archaeological techniques, including excavating, mapping, surveying, artifact identification and cataloging, and laboratory work.
Upper-class students may take an Independent Studies in Sociology or Anthropology to pursue independent research or explore areas of interest not included in the regular offerings of the department.
Honors in the Discipline
The Department of Sociology participates in the College's Honors in the Discipline Program. For guidelines, contact Dr. Elizabeth A. Newell.
The Benefit of Research
Community-based learning connects Etown students with the Philippines
Recently, in the Sociology Research Methods and Statistical Analysis course sequence, the students and teaching assistants collaborated on a year-long community-based research project with the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) located in the Philippines. MPI conducts a three week annual Peacebuilding Training Program. The students will be designing a research project examining the profiles, satisfaction, current work in peacebuilding, and suggestions for improvement of alumni throughout the world who have participated in the training program.
Our department faculty are active in research. Areas of interest include: archaeology, regional development, Scandinavia, criminology, forensic anthropology, dental anthropology, non-human primates, Osteology, American religions, sociocultural change, issues of women and work. They are active in professional organizations, regularly publish books and articles and have been recognized for excellence in teaching. Faculty research will occasionally be shared on this website.