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New Guidelines on Joint Sociology–Anthropology Programs

ASA’s Academic and Professional Affairs Program has issued a new booklet designed to help joint sociology and anthropology programs. The 23-page monograph, Models and Best Practices for Joint Sociology– Anthropology Departments, was written by Edward L. Kain, Southwestern University, Theodore C. Wagenaar, Miami University, and Carla B. Howery, ASA. It is now available through the ASA bookstore
for $4.00 or online
as one of ASA’s new electronic resources.

Twenty-two percent of sociology departments are conjoined with anthropology departments, but the ways in which “jointness” operates in the curriculum and in departmental decisions varies considerably. “This booklet came about because joint departments often are developed by accident or as a marriage of administrative convenience,” says Howery, ASA’s Director of Academic Affairs. “There is no one right way to have a joint department, but if sociology is paired with anthropology, it is important to take seriously this intellectual opportunity. These authors have tried to show departments how to make intentional decisions and embrace the model of ‘jointness’ they select.”

The monograph is designed for those joint departments or sociology departments that might either combine with anthropology or separate. The content includes a “continuum of jointness” to help departments explicitly see the ways in which they are or are not a joint department. The booklet shares ideas for how to enrich and make the most of joint departments through shared curricula, cross-teaching, effective hiring, student clubs and co-curricular opportunities, and linking with other units on campus.

“When paired with ASA’s 2004 Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major Updated,” says Howery, “this book should help departments in their planning, in their program review, and in asking for appropriate resources.”