Social sciences provide an analytical approach to society’s problems. As a result, faculty and students in the social sciences often focus on complex and intersectional issues such as racism, international conflict and war, climate change, and poverty. Through an objective and empirical approach to these issues, the goal is to generate genuine passion and equip future leaders with the skills they need to address the world’s challenges. Explore majors, minors, concentrations, and academic programs in the social sciences.
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World-Class Faculty in the Social Sciences
Jo WeaverAssociate Professor, Global Studies and Director, Global Health Program
Lesley Jo Weaver is an academic expert in medical anthropology, global health, mental health, race, gender, chronic diseases, and food insecurity. She directs the Global Health Program at UO. Her research focuses, broadly, on the social production of health and illness. In India, Weaver’s National Science Foundation-supported research explores how the day-to-day management of type 2 diabetes shapes North Indian women’s abilities to participate in social roles considered appropriate for women of their age, class, and caste groups. In Brazil, Weaver’s work has examined how food insecurity influences physical and mental wellbeing.
Weaver co-hosts and co-produces the American Anthropological Association-sponsored podcast Speaking of Race, a longstanding program that explores the history and present-day reverberations of scientific racism around the world.
Mark CareyProfessor of Environmental Studies and Geography
Mark’s research focuses on the human dimensions of climate change and ice — from glaciers in the Andes to icebergs in the North Atlantic Ocean to glacial fjords in Greenland. The research centers on power, knowledge, and cultural narratives, with an objective to understand how knowledge systems, embedded storylines, social relations, and environmental injustices shape present-day environmental issues. The work is deeply interdisciplinary, and students in the Glacier Lab are central participants in these collaborations. Mark previously served as Director of the Environmental Studies Program.
Mark has two new interdisciplinary collaborative projects, one funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation on racial and climate justice in the Pacific Northwest (part of the Just Futures Institute) and another funded by NSF and the Navigating the New Arctic Program on “Global Changes, Local Impacts: Study of Glacial Fjords, Ecosystems and Communities in Greenland.”
Laura PulidoCollins Professor of Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies and Geography
Laura is a qualitative social scientist who works at the intersection of geography and critical ethnic studies, especially Chicanx Studies. Her interest in these fields began as a young child fascinated by maps, landscapes, nature, and places. At the same time, everyday life taught her that we live in a racial, class and gender hierarchy that shapes our lives. Through her research and teaching she explores how these processes shape places and how places inform racial and economic processes. Most of her work explores the various ways in which racial inequality is actively produced, as well as the various means by which it is denied. She works together with graduate students in the Critical Race Lab.
She is the author of numerous books, including A People’s Guide to Los Angeles (with Laura Barraclough and Wendy Cheng, University of California, 2012).
School of Global Studies and Languages
At the School of Global Studies and Languages (GSL), UO students engage with diverse cultures, languages, histories, and lifeways across the world. Students of the social sciences, from Anthropology to Sociology, will broaden and deepen their education in their field by viewing it—and experiencing it—through a global lens. GSL prepares our graduates for life after college with an interdisciplinary curriculum, innovative language teaching, abundant learning opportunities outside the classroom, and paths of study that lead to many options for real-world careers.
Research in the Social Sciences
Research in the social sciences investigates human behavior and the motivations that influence it. Although some of our research occurs in the lab, much of it is conducted out in the field using a variety of methodological approaches, from exploratory to experimental. The results of our research often carry societal-level implications and may point to solutions for addressing local, national, or global challenges.
Explore Other Majors and Minors in the College of Arts and Sciences
Meet our Dean
Welcome to the Social Sciences division of the College of Arts and Sciences. We are a collaborative community of problem solvers, interdisciplinary researchers, and analytical thinkers. Our passion lies in exploring the whys of human behavior.
The social sciences provide a critical foundation for any form of academic inquiry, from the creative arts to the natural sciences. They teach us how to become better citizens of our world and how to build more effective and inclusive societies. They also teach us about ourselves and our own motivations while helping us solve practical problems in our daily lives.
We believe the best way to study the world is to go out and experience it. The most impactful learning happens outside the classroom, and our academic programs offer rich and varied opportunities for hands-on experience through internships, fieldwork, and studying abroad. Our students regularly engage in work that reaches across social, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries to forge new connections and spark new ideas.
We look forward to exploring the world with you.
Divisional Dean, Social Sciences
Happening at CAS
Mitra's work is on display through Spring Term in the Erb Memorial Union (2nd Floor, just past the Adell McMillan Gallery). Please visit emu.uoregon.edu to view open hours.
Mitra Gruwell is a community focused upcycle fashion/product designer and sewist, with 20 years experience in business management, entrepreneurship and event production. As the owner of Discard Upcycling, her mission is to make upcycling more accessible and affordable for both businesses and individual clients. Mitra is the program manager and developer for Viking Textile Maker Hub and she also teaches workshops in upcycled design and design thinking, and apprentices and mentors youth in these skills. She has bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Religious Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder and has served on the board of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene for 8 years. Mitra is passionate about the arts and the role it plays in connecting people and keeping them happy, healthy and prosperous.
Artist Talk: April 21st, 6pm-9pm in the Lease Crutcher Lewis Room in the Erb Memorial Union. No registration required.
Artist Workshop: Upcycled T-Shirts (Session B), May 20th, 1pm-4pm. Registration required. Please visit craftcenter.uoregon.edu.
The University of Oregon MFA Art Exhibition 2023 culminates three years of independent research and experimentation by Lily Wai Brennan, Mary Evans, Anastasiya Gutnik, David Peña, and William Zeng, a cohort of five artists whose various practices engage a broad range of inquiry. This year marks the 100th year of the University’s MFA degree, making it one of the oldest programs in the country. As a marker of the program’s centennial moment, the MFA exhibition returns to the JSMA, making the work accessible to the UO and Eugene community, while celebrating the MFA graduates’ efforts in the high standard of the museum setting.
5:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
Industrial Design Society of America is purchasing catering through an ASUO approved vendor (Pastini) for a club sanctioned event occurring on June 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the JSMA for 75 people.
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Experience the dynamic forces that shape Oregon’s landscapes, climate, and ecosystems. Meet giant salmon, Ice Age sloths, and other amazing animals from across the millennia. Through interactive displays and rare specimens, you’ll go deep into Oregon’s past and join a conversation about our collective future.