Sociology and Anthropology

Saint Michael's Anthropology and Sociology

When you major in Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Michael's, you gain an understanding of the complexities of social life through reading, discussion, and research. Sociology and Anthropology work is conducted in the real world of ghettos, workplaces, soup kitchens, hospitals, corporations, stadiums and homes - as well as in the classrooms, library and computer labs on campus. Such study is how the wisdom of these extraordinary fields is brought to bear on understanding ourselves and our relationship to society.

  • The distribution of power and wealth - social classes, from the homeless to the extreme rich, from Guatemala to the Bronx
  • Gender and social relations - social construction of masculinity and femininity, gender specialization, inequalities
  • The basis of social cohesion - social integration, shared values, agreements
  • The dynamics of global population change - fertility, mortality, population growth
  • Modern-day cultures of the world, including Nepal, Africa, India, Australia, Europe, Japan
  • Cross-cultural thinking - conceptions of the self, mind, body, emotions and what is considered "normal"
  • Cross-cultural conceptions of religion, God, the divine, spirituality.
  • The role of symbols in our social lives, including in non-verbal communication
  • The sub-cultures of gangs and other marginalized groups - why do some groups get labeled as deviant? Why are some emulated and others scorned?
  • Forces of social and cultural change - the role of industrialization, democracy, human rights.
  • Global forces - what is the nature of the emerging world order?
  • The emergence of social problems - how are some things made into major public issues while others are ignored?

Vince Bolduc, PhD

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Professor Bolduc

Saint Edmund's Hall 239
Box 290
802.654.2389
vbolduc@smcvt.edu
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M.A., Ph.D. University of Connecticut
A.B. University of Notre Dame

Areas of Expertise:

Population studies, methods of survey research, poverty, quality of life issues, student religiousness.

Courses I Teach:

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Poverty
  • Population Analysis
  • Research Methods
  • Social Problems
  • Work, Education and Vocation

Robert Brenneman, PhD

Associate Professor of Sociology

Contact Professor Brenneman

Saint Edmund's Hall 241
802.654.2293
rbrenneman@smcvt.edu
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M.A., Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
B.A. Eastern Mennonite University 

Courses I Teach:

  • A special topics course titled "God, Gangs, and Globalization"
  • Deviance, Norms, and Social Control
  • Introductory Sociology
  • Social Problems
  • Social Theory

Blog:

http://homiesandhermanosbook.wordpress.com/

Patricia Delaney, PhD

Sociology and Anthropology Department Chair, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Contact Professor Delaney

Saint Edmund's Hall 246
Box 386
802.654.2961
pdelaney@smcvt.edu
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M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
B.S. Georgetown University

Areas of Expertise:

Gender and international development; war, conflict, and the contestation of cultural identity; relief to development continuum; poverty and stratification in the global south; grassroots development and participatory approaches; East Timor; Lusophone Africa 

Courses I Teach:

  • Anthropological Perspectives on Gender
  • Gender and International Development
  • Introductory Anthropology
  • Participatory Action Research
  • People and Cultures of the Lusuphone World
  • Life Histories

Adrie Kusserow, PhD

Professor of Anthropology

Contact Professor Kusserow

Saint Edmund's Hall 237
802.654.2267
akusserow@smcvt.edu
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Ph.D. Harvard University (Anthropology)
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School (Tibetan Buddhism)
B.A. Amherst College, Phi Beta Kappa

Areas of Expertise:

Medical and Psychiatric Anthropology, Refugees, Globalization and Poverty, Modern Day Slavery, Anthropology of Refugees, Anthropology of Religion, Social Class in America, Anthropology of Global Media

Courses I Teach:

  • Culture Illness and Healing
  • Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking
  • Refugees
  • Social Inequalities

Motivations:

I am a cultural anthropologist with special interests in refugees, social inequalities, poverty, anthropology of religion, culture, illness and healing, social class, ethnographic poetry and anthropology of the child. I strongly encourage both service work and community engaged learning to be an integral part of my anthropology classes. I am also a strong proponent of study abroad and have taken students to Sudan, Uganda and Bhutan.

Most of our students spend a semester abroad, many in non-Western countries, which is a requirement for the anthropology-track students. Sociology-track students all conduct formal surveys of hundreds of people from all over New England on topics as diverse as  prisoner relocation to attitudes towards population growth and life satisfaction.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is truly cosmopolitan in the sense that we study ideas, people, and cultures from all over the world. The faculty have collectively visited and worked in over 75 countries, from Tonga in the South Pacific to Bhutan, Guatemala, India, Sudan, Brazil, Paris and the Appalachian south.

All faculty are highly involved in their disciplines, and work closely with interested students to guide their special interests. A few recent examples:

  • Dr. Kusserow brought a class of students to the Buddhist Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to study how people react to modern media.
  • Dr. Brenneman taught his summer class on "God, Gangs, and Globalization" in Guatemala, which is also the subject of his book with Oxford University Press.
  • Dr. Delaney brought students to the tiny South Pacific island of Tonga to interview residents about work, family and culture.
  • Dr. Bolduc traveled with 10 students to Kentucky on a volunteer housing project in Appalachia and witnessed the influence of changing coal prices at the strip mine and rates of poverty. Immigrants in Paris are another favorite study topic.

After graduation, Sociology/Anthropology majors go on to careers like:

  • Community Integration Facilitator 
  • Case Manager
  • Study Abroad Counselor
  • Social Studies Teacher
  • Human Resource Manager
  • ESL Teacher
  • Program Coordinator
  • Applications Specialist

Many of our graduates choose to serve in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps following graduation.

To see what some of our recent Sociology-Anthropology graduates are doing now, take a look at our Alumni Spotlights.

Graduate Study?

A substantial number of our students go to graduate school either immediately after graduation or after several years in the workforce. While some get a Master's degree or a PhD in either Sociology or Anthropology, many more select a wide range of other fields, from Social Work to MBA's, to Library Science and Public Health. Graduate institutions range from Yale University to the large public research universities as well as many private colleges and universities, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

The department's philosophy of learning through service extends to the internships that sociology and anthropology majors do.  Many of the recent internship placements for our students are with agencies and organizations that are engaged in helping the local community:

  • Burlington Community Justice Center
  • Committee on Temporary Shelter
  • Community Health Centers of Burlington 
  • Green Mountain Animal Defenders 
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Population Media Center
  • United Way
  • Vermont Department of Health
  • Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
  • Vermont Works for Women
  • Volunteers for Peace
  • Steps to End Domestic Violence (formerly Women Helping Battered Women)

Learn What Matters