Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology at Winthrop University draws on and is linked to characteristics found in the statement on the Nature and Character of Winthrop University.

As a unit of the larger university community, we have achieved and will continue to achieve national recognition for the quality of our academic programs, our commitment to student engagement, and our professional scholarship. We are a community of learners, committed to the liberal arts traditions, to excellence in education, and to the development of leadership and civic responsibility. We nurture collective and individual growth, enlightenment, and transformation. We value the attempt to understand social phenomena through reasoned and disciplined inquiry, rigorous scholarship, innovation, and free expression. We actively encourage a diversity of people and perspectives in our classrooms, department, and university.

Specifically, our vision for the Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology Department at Winthrop is, first and foremost, that students will be significantly changed by the teaching and mentoring they experience, the literature they read, the writing and thinking they do and the diverse social worlds they encounter in research activities, internships, and civic service.

Students will develop insights from the perspective that underlie Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology, including awareness of roles of structural and cultural patterns on everyday life, understanding of the interplay between individual choice an social influence, interpretation of events from multiple perspectives, and critical examination of existing social arrangements.

Our commitment to teaching is inextricably tied to our commitment to active scholarship, through which we practice our disciplines, add to the collective body of knowledge about the social world, and encourage similar pursuits among our students. Our objectives are that students gain familiarity with continuing research and theoretical analysis of the social world, develop skills leading to successful careers, and become active citizens:

  1. Students will develop the analytical tools to understand and ever-expanding body of knowledge about the dynamics of social relationships, the nature of power and influence in complex societies, and the roles of age, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other social phenomena that affect viewpoints and life chances.
  2. Students will gain access to concrete skills that are relevant to a broad range of rewarding careers. These skills enhance the student's ability to assess new and unfamiliar situations, to select and apply qualitative and /or quantitative techniques in solving practical problems in creative ways, and to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  3. Active citizenship and social responsibility means that our majors will be prepared to "make a difference" in the quality of others' lives as well as their own, equipped to contribute to the improvement of their communities, nation, and world."

We value undergraduate research as demonstrated by our curriculum which includes a social theory course and five social research courses (introduction to statistics, ethnographic field methods, archeological field methods, advanced quantitative methods and advanced qualitative methods) and culminates in a full undergraduate research project. We emphasize high-impact practices that connect students to the world outside the classroom (i.e. service-learning, study abroad, internships, career planning/networking with alumni, research with faculty). Our multidisciplinary department is united in its focus on social inequalities and social change in contemporary and prehistoric societies and within institutions such as the criminal justice system.