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
Associate 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.
Professor 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.”
Collins 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. Within our community, we address some of the world’s problems—big or small—through interdisciplinary research and critical thinking. What drives us is a passion for exploring human behavior and society.
The social sciences provide the necessary foundation for any academic inquiry, from the creative arts to the natural sciences. Inside the classroom, we lead courses that are engaging and thought-provoking, inspiring students to become better citizens of our world and work toward a more inclusive future.
We also believe real-world experience offers some of the most impactful learning opportunities. From internships to study abroad trips that offer new cultural experiences, our students regularly engage in hands-on learning work that reaches across social, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries, allowing them to forge new connections and spark new ideas.
We look forward to changing the world with you.
Divisional Associate Dean, Social Sciences
Happening at CAS
A new, innovative earthquake center led by the University of Oregon is receiving a five-year, $15-million grant from the National Science Foundation to understand the Cascadia subduction zone and improve earthquake resiliency in the Pacific Northwest. https://t.co/LkntO5ugTq pic.twitter.com/fhxWrNe2le
— UO College of Arts and Sciences (@uocas) September 11, 2023
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Prepare to be enchanted by the allure of the “Iris-Surreal” exhibit, a stunning collection of 25 Iris photographs by photographer, Greg Geisy, that fuse botanical elegance with artistic imagination. This exceptional exhibit is a celebration of vibrant colors, intricate details, and a touch of surrealism that will transport visitors into a world of artistic wonderment. Law School Gallery
Meet with Counseling Services Shannon Stuart-Maver who specializes in working with graduate/professional, LGBTQIA+, trans/nonbinary, and multi-racial/multi-ethnic students, at the Knight Law Center (Room 220F) or click here: https://zoom.us/j/99378816150
Let’s Talk is a service that provides easy access to free, informal, and confidential one-on-one consultation with a Counseling Services staff member. See our website for six additional Let’s Talk days/times offered throughout the week.
Let’s Talk is especially helpful for students who:Have a specific concern and would like to consult with someone about it. Would like on-the-spot consultation rather than ongoing counseling. Would like to consult with a CS staff member about what actual therapy looks like. Would like to meet with one of our CS identity-based specialists. Have a concern about a friend or family member and would like some ideas about what to do.
How does Let’s Talk work?
Let’s Talk will be offered via Zoom and/or in satellite locations across campus. As a drop-in service, there is no need to schedule an appointment and no paperwork to be completed. Students are seen individually on a first-come, first-served basis at the times listed below. There may be a wait in the Zoom waiting room if the Let’s Talk staff member is meeting with another student. Please wait and we will be with you as soon as we can. Let’s Talk appointments are brief (usually between 15-30 minutes) and are meant to be used on an as-needed basis.
Click here for Let's Talk - Monday noon-2PM or see Shannon at the Knight Law Center, Room 220F: https://zoom.us/j/99378816150
The Rose Room has office and school supplies, home goods, and clothing available to UO students and faculty. The ROSE Room also accepts donations of useable school and office supplies, homegoods, and clothes that are in wearable condition.
(Closed Friday, November 24, for Thanksgiving weekend.)
UO Public Surplus Sale
The UO wants to encourage reuse and prevent waste. Come visit us to find extremely discounted materials from campus. Mondays & Tuesdays, 3-7pm 2020 Franklin Blvd. (near 15th and Orchard) Sales include a variety of items including (priced based on supply and quality): -nightstands -dressers -tables -chairs -storage cabinets -buckets (4-5 gal, with lid), -stainless steel spork-a-knife -books -DVDs -Styrofoam cooler -home goods
For more info and a link to our inventory, please visit the surplus website: https://cpfm.uoregon.edu/uo-surplus-furniture-public For additional questions call/text: 541-999-4173 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Debit/Credit preferred Heat Advisory - If daily temperature exceeds 95 degrees, surplus will close Cold Advisory - If daily temperature drops below 40 degrees, surplus will close