Sociology and anthropology courses constitute an important part of a liberal education. They foster an awareness of the structure of human societies and of the social processes that operate in all groups, organizations, and institutions. The student is exposed to the methods of inquiry and to the special knowledge and insights of sociology and anthropology. Courses in the department also are intended to facilitate the application of sociological and anthropological principles to a wide range of contemporary social problems.
Sociology and anthropology constitute an important part of the undergraduate education for those pursuing careers in law, health professions, or business and for engineers and scientists concerned with environmental and ecological problems. Majors in sociology and anthropology often find employment doing applied research with government agencies, assisting in community development and planning, or using knowledge of social organization and social process in a variety of settings within the United States or abroad. Majors are well-equipped for graduate training in the social sciences in pursuit of academic or applied research careers.
Violence is a serious public health problem in the United States. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. In 2010, more than 16,250 people were victims of homicide and more than 38,360 took their own life.
In order to learn more about violence and limit its effects, The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University will launch the Center for Research on Violence for the fall semester.
The Center will earn grants to work on government and nonprofit projects, host colloquia with leading speakers on violence, reach and interact with the West Virginia and national communities, and will play a key role in attracting Ph.D. students from across the world.
Currently composed of six WVU sociology and anthropology staff members, the Center will examine violence broadly defined, from interpersonal violence, such as robbery or rape, to crimes against the environment.
Walter DeKeseredy, Ph.D., will serve as the director of the Center. Well established in his field, he has published 19 books and more than 140 peer-review journal articles and book chapters and has received large-scale U.S. and Canadian federal grants.