Course offerings and co-curricular activities address a full range of issues in both the applied and the more academic areas of the disciplines. The Wittenberg Sociology Department is unique in its international and inter-discipliary emphases.
The sociologist describes, explains, and predicts human behavior. As one of the social sciences, sociology seeks to understand how people are affected by their social environment. For example, sociologists examine social roles and social differentiation along such dimensions as age, gender, class and ethnicity. Sociology is often defined as the study of society and other social groups. It recognizes that society involves coherent and systematic structures and processes and that there are always both order and change in human groups. Sociologists are especially interested in understanding the collective forces of control such as values, norms, and institutions.
The cultural anthropologist is also interested in these issues, but focuses more on the concept of culture, the shared patterns of thinking and acting in a society. Anthropologists may study an American college, a small isolated village in the South Pacific, or the Korean court system. But anthropology is especially concerned with making comparisons: how are societies similar, how are they different, and why do these similarities and differences exist?
Sociology and anthropology at Wittenberg lead the student to develop an intelligent, critical analysis of society's values, norms, and social structures. They instill an insight which enables one to cope with social change; they give basic knowledge and enhance skills useful in future careers.