Human Society (HSoc)

The BA in Human Society uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine people and institutions in the context of societies and to evaluate individual and collective choices. The disciplines of Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology offer key methodologies for investigating major institutions of human society conceptually, comparatively, and through case studies (both historical and contemporary).

Anthropology
    Anthropology’s holistic rendering of the human story takes on as its project a description of the vast array of social, cultural, and biological variations within the human species.
History
    The discipline of history examines past human societies and their approaches to vital questions and challenges by exploring the complex web of causes and effects through time.
Political Science
    The discipline of political science has at its heart the question of how best to organize the governance of human societies so that humans can reach their full potentials.
Sociology
    Sociology examines groups, social process, and social relationships in order to discover the social patterns that undergird human society.

Program Strengths

Because it is a cross-disciplinary program, the Human Society major uses multiple lenses through which to examine the complexity of reality. Different disciplines shed different lights on an issue, so multiple disciplines in dialogue offer the possibility of a more holistic view. In the Human Society major, you will investigate two related questions from the points of view of Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology:

  • How can we understand the major institutions and components in human society (such as culture, government, law, religion, and social structure)?
  • How can we analyze human choices and their ramifications, especially within the context of societies?

Through exploration of these questions, your classes will help you to deepen your understanding of human society. The Human Society major is a flexible program that allows you to emphasize either Anthropology, History, Political Science, or Sociology, or, if you prefer, a mix of these disciplines.

The Human Society major will help prepare you to participate in society in professional, civic, and personal capacities. Like other liberal arts majors, this program fosters strong writing, research, and analysis skills. Based on the disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, and sociology, the program can provide grounding for multiple career paths: for example, in government, law, data analysis, high school teaching, museum work, social and community services, publishing, and international development.

Spiritual Curriculum

Studying human society can provide useful tools for spiritual development. Reflecting on human choices will help you to cultivate your own ability for personal reflection, an activity that supports spiritual development. Your classes will encourage you to reflect on and determine your own choices as you engage in society.

Forms

Course Examples

Our Faculty

Wendy Closterman
Dean of Faculty/Associate Professor of History and Greek

Wendy Closterman

Dr. Closterman teaches ancient history, biblical Greek, and material culture studies....
Angella Irwin
Marketing Communications Manager / Lecturer in Political Science and Physical Education

Angella Irwin

Angella brings a broad range of experience to her work at Bryn Athyn College.  Her...
D. Gregory Rose
Associate Professor of History and Political Science / Dept. Chair of History and Social Sciences

D. Gregory Rose

Dr. Rose teaches history, political science, and a religion course on Islam. Formerly...
Dan Synnestvedt
Associate Professor of Philosophy / Head of Philosophy Department / Faculty Council Immediate Past Chair

Dan Synnestvedt

What began as a personal quest for the truth in college led Dr. Dan into philosophy....
Jane Williams-Hogan
Co-Director of Master of Arts in Religious Studies / Professor Emerita of Sociology

Jane Williams-Hogan

Education PhD, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania MA, Human Relations, University...
Aram Yardumian
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Aram Yardumian

Education: PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Anthropology MA, University of Pennsylvania,...