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Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Beaven Hall
Fax: 508-793-3088

Department Administrator: Susan Crawford Sullivan 
Primary Contact: Paula Hall  


Selina Gallo Cruz
Selina Gallo-Cruz, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, researches and teaches courses on women and nonviolence, social movements, and sociological theory.

Why Study Sociology at Holy Cross?

Sociology is the study of social relationships and institutions in society. Faculty in the department regularly publish qualitative and quantitative research in top-rated academic venues, exploring topics such as inequality, race, class, gender, medicine, environmental issues, work, consumerism, family, religion, globalization, travel, social movements, poverty, and corporate responsibility.

The study of sociology at Holy Cross provides close faculty-student interaction and mentoring. Students are encouraged to go beyond the classroom by participating in internships, study abroad opportunities, community-based learning, and multidisciplinary concentrations. Students graduate with strong critical thinking and research skills, entering careers such as business, health professions, education, marketing, and non-profit organizations.

Prof. Jarrin with a Student

Tackling Real World Issues

The sociology curriculum focuses on applying theory and sophisticated empirical research methods to address complex real-world issues. Students gain analytical tools to reflect critically on their own lives and the world around them. The department is committed to the social justice mission of the College, with special strengths in the study of social class and inequality.

Faculty Members Are Public Intellectuals 

Many of the sociology faculty members are public intellectuals, who regularly publish in popular media, such as blogs and newspapers, produce gallery exhibitions, share expertise with K-12 teachers, or work for social justice in Worcester and beyond.

Some examples:

Faculty members in the department also publish their research in top-rated academic venues. Professors publish books with major academic presses (California, Chicago, Hawaii, NYU, Oxford, Routledge, Rutgers) and articles in prominent journals.

General Information About Majoring in Sociology


After reading an ethnography on Second Life, an online virtual world, students in Alvaro Jarrin’s Cyborg Self class, try out the Oculus Rift to experience virtual worlds.
After reading an ethnography on Second Life, an online virtual world, students in Alvaro Jarrin’s Cyborg Self class, try out the Oculus Rift to experience virtual worlds. 

Why Study Anthropology at Holy Cross?

Anthropology provides students the skills to navigate a rapidly changing world, marked by globalization and political turmoil. The anthropology major or minor helps students understand these global transformations and creates bridges between different worldviews. Anthropology’s distinctive way of studying the world through intensive ethnographic fieldwork provides key insights into how people around the world experience gender, race and class hierarchies in their daily lives, and how they challenge those hierarchies. Anthropology not only provides a diagnosis for the present, but also offers possible solutions to our pressing human problems.

Courses offer students opportunities to study people’s experiences in all seven continents. Topics explored include art, religion, economic change, genders, sexualities, race, urban life, kinship, national identities, medicine, biotechnology, youth, consumption and fashion. Anthropology aims to educate global citizens who are knowledgeable about the world and can apply that knowledge in real-life situations, either locally or abroad. Students go on to use their anthropological skills in the realms of international business, education, law, diplomacy, public health, human rights, journalism, medicine and many other fields.

Hands with blue outline of Earth

A Global Perspective

Anthropology makes the world smaller by getting students to consider how events and social transformations in other parts of the world are related to our own concerns, stressing the importance of human diversity and of transnational connections. Faculty are able to bring other cultures to life because they have lived abroad for long stretches of time, or they come from different parts of the world. Faculty are actively engaged in fieldwork around the world — Zimbabwe, Singapore, Brazil, Vietnam, and the United States — and conduct original research in English, Spanish, ChiShona, French, Vietnamese, and Portuguese. 

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

Although rooted in the main fields of sociology and anthropology, the work of the department is profoundly interdisciplinary. Faculty advisors work closely with individual students to discuss academic and career goals based on their interests and passions. Through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, students can pursue interdisciplinary concentrations and programs in the following, in addition to their sociology or anthropology degree:

Sociology and Anthropology Newsletter

The department publishes a regular newsletter that provides sociology majors and anthropology majors/minors with important updates including registration information for classes and news and happenings in the department.