SOAN Open House

Greeted with cookies and pink lemonade, students met with Guilford faculty from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology on Wednesday, Oct. 31, about the upcoming spring semester.

Professors of Sociology and Anthropology Maria Amado, Tom Guthrie, Edwins Gwako and Naadiya Hasan hosted the meeting. They talked about the various SOAN classes that will be offered in the spring semester, which combine disciplines to cover a wide range of topics related to how societies are created and how they interact. A full list of SOAN classes offered in the spring semester, as well as information about SOAN major and minor requirements, are available on BannerWeb and in the Guilford College Catalog.

“I think sociology and anthropology are disciplines that can help students think critically and systemically about society,” Guthrie said. “We all live in society and we are sometimes parts of multiple societies. Either we travel or we experience multiple societies here in the United States, and our disciplines help our students better understand those societies.”

Some students who are currently majoring in SOAN also attended the meeting, explaining their experience with SOAN and why the subject is important to them.

“A lot of the classes I am taking are focused on Latin America, and my experience has gone pretty well,” junior Maria Peralta said. “As a person who identifies as Latinx, learning a lot about the history, what you don’t learn about in American schools and learning about different concepts that we go in depth about has been very interesting.

“I think it’s important because it opens up your mind. It was one of the first classes I’ve taken at Guilford, and I’ve been in SOAN ever since.”

Guilford students studying SOAN also have the opportunity to study abroad. Senior Katie Claggett studied abroad in both Morocco and Chile.

“I used a lot of what I had learned in my study abroad courses and my courses at Guilford to better understand my experiences while I was abroad and make the most of my experiences,” Claggett said.

Claggett also emphasized the importance that these disciplines have had on her academically and personally.

“I think sociology and anthropology are an important part of my education because what I have learned through these courses has not only revealed to me the aspects of societies and cultures I wouldn’t have ever thought about in the past, present and future,” Claggett said. “But also has just made me think more critical about a variety of topics and ways of understanding the world that I can apply to other course content and other experiences I have in my life.”

A SOAN major can have many practical applications today. According to The Balance, an online financial newspaper, most SOAN majors become guidance counselors, lawyers, social workers, public relations specialists and more.

“You should ignore the people who tell you it’s not practical or it’s not applicable to your job or anything else, because they are just limiting themselves when they think that” Claggett said. “Take a SOAN class and thank me later.”