If the poet and playwright Shakespeare lived today, he might have been a social scientist. When he proclaimed (correctly, I think) that the world is a stage and we its players, he encouraged us to reflect on the human condition and the manner in which we perform our various roles.
One of the goals of social science is to construct a meaningful picture of the rules, roles and relationships that shape who we are and how we behave as social beings. The disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology offer students the concepts and methods to help make sense of our social world. Equally important, these disciplines encourage students to think about essential strategies to solve human problems.
I believe we are now facing challenges that are unparalleled in human history. As a department, we offer students an opportunity to work with faculty in opening a door toward greater understanding of what it means to be human, including the patterns of conflict and cooperation which influence our mutual survival. Because we are interdependent, do we not owe one another a commitment to develop greater knowledge of our social world – and greater self-awareness? It is my hope and belief that compassionate actions will follow from this awareness.
With kind regards,