Sociology/Anthropology Research Opportunities

As part of our active learning community, you explore learning in new and exciting ways, and research is an important part of your Truman experience.

Not only do you learn to collaborate with fellow researchers, you also get to develop a research idea that focuses on your particular area of interest. Maybe you would like to study the relationship between perceived audience size and gender stereotyping in advertisements as measured by Super Bowl and primetime commercials. Or perhaps you would like to take a closer look at Black Nationalism and the “Back to Africa” Movement in Twentieth Century America.

No matter what your particular area of interest is, the research opportunities you will find at Truman allow you to focus intensely on the topics that intrigue you the most.

Research in the Classroom

Sociology/anthropology student research ConferenceAs a sociology/anthropology (SOAN) major, you take a year-long research course sequence. In the spring of either your sophomore or junior year (depending on when you declare the major), you will enroll in SOAN380: Research Design and will be co-enrolled in either SOAN 360: Sociological Theory or SOAN361: Anthropological Theory.

You design your independent research projects and present research proposals. In the following fall, you will enroll in SOAN381: Data Analysis and Reporting and complete the projects you designed in the spring. You can polish your project for public presentation, both at Truman’s Student Research Conference and at regional or national professional meetings, as part of SOAN 491: Senior Seminar II.

Here are a few of the research topics that have been presented at the Student Research Conference held on the Truman campus each year:

  • Depends on Who’s Watching:
  • Is It a Major Choice?  An Examination of Undergraduate Degrees and
    Their Relationship to Current Employment 5-10 Years Removed From College

Sociology student researchWork on Research Outside the Classroom

Out of the classroom, students work on faculty research projects, pursue independent research through the competitive Tru-Scholars Research Program and as McNair Scholars. They attend regional and national professional meetings to present their research.

Students who are interested in pursuing research outside the classroom at Truman should:

  • Talk to faculty members whose interests overlap with your own. Most of us have some ongoing research projects students can work on or we’d be willing to help you figure out how to start a project of your own design.
  • Learn about Truman’s University-wide research programs including Tru-Scholars Research Program, and the McNair Program.

 Beyond Truman

In addition to opportunities during the school year or summer which take place at Truman, there are an increasing number of opportunities for students to apply for National Science Foundation funded research experiences for undergraduates at campuses around the country.

In anthropology, many students also attend enthnographic or archaeological field schools, which is an opportunity to participate in research being conducted by faculty at other institutions.

  • The Archaeological Institute of America keeps a good list of archaeological field opportunities.
  • The American Anthropological Association keeps a shorter list of field opportunities.
  • Also watch for announcements in the Department Announcement emails on Fridays or look at the listings on the Department’s website.
  • Or search for “ethnographic field school” online-there are more of these field schools than there used to be, but there is not yet a single place where they all get listed.

In addition to these opportunities to get involved in research, there are also opportunities for students to present their research or other academic work at state, regional, or national professional meetings. Some of these organizations host paper or poster competitions to encourage student submissions and reward high quality student work.

  • The American Sociological Association has an Honors Program for undergraduate students. Two Truman students have been accepted in the last few years.
  • There is an organized Undergraduate Student Poster Session at the American Anthropological Association meetings each year. One Truman student has participated.
  • Both the Missouri Sociological Association and the Midwest Sociological Society sponsor paper competitions for students with cash awards. Truman students have won several times in the past.

If you’re interested in these or other research opportunities ask a faculty member how you can get involved.