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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. 

 


News from Social Sciences

July 3, 2024
SOCIOLOGY - When Burks arrived at the UO in 1992, he had no idea what to study, but an introductory sociology class grabbed his attention. “It appealed to my curiosity about what makes people tick,” he says. Burks would go on to have a career filled with danger and intrigue as a special agent for the US government, protecting international dignitaries and overseeing security at embassies around the world.
July 2, 2024
ANTHROPOLOGY, HISTORY, LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, NATIVE AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES - The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation announced this year's Outstanding Research Awards, many of which went to College of Arts and Sciences faculty members: Professor Carlos Aguirre (history and Latin American studies) and Assistant Professor Gabriel Sanchez (anthropology).
June 25, 2024
INDIGENOUS, RACE AND ETHNIC STUDIES, PHILOSOPHY - Sensors collect data on all sorts of information, including gait consistency, body temperature, heart rate, and more. But where is the ethical line between using sensor data to help an athlete improve their performance—and even avoid injury—and that same data being used to sideline them or used as surveillance of behavior?

All news »

We Love Our Supporters

students walking and holding possessions during Unpack the quack day

Your Gift Changes Lives

Gifts to the College of Arts and Sciences can help our students make the most of their college careers. To do this, CAS needs your support. Your contributions help us ensure that teaching, research, advising, mentoring, and support services are fully available to every student. Thank you!

Give to CAS

World-Class Faculty in the Social Sciences

portrait of Jo Weaver

Jo Weaver

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.

Mark Carey in Iceland

Mark Carey

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.”

Laura Pulido

Laura Pulido

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). 

 

Paris, France cityscape at night

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.

Explore the GSL

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.

Bruce McGough    
Divisional Associate Dean, Social Sciences

Bruce McGough

Happening at CAS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UO College of Arts & Sciences (@uocas) • Instagram photos and videos

Jul 30
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants 6:45 a.m.

Prepare for a night of Ducks pride as we host our inaugural University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants. Join UO students, alumni, faculty, and fans by bringing the...
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants
July 30
6:45 a.m.
Oracle Park

Prepare for a night of Ducks pride as we host our inaugural University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants. Join UO students, alumni, faculty, and fans by bringing the energy of Autzen Stadium to Oracle Park. A portion of the proceeds from each special event ticket will benefit scholarships for students from northern California studying at the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!

Tickets: $34. Buy your tickets by Sunday, June 30.

Ticket purchases include:

Game Ticket: San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland A’s surrounded by fellow Ducks! Event Item: Giants/University of Oregon Co-Branded Beanie
Aug 25
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles 4:00 p.m.

Join us for an informal gathering, conversation, and refreshments while connecting with CINE alumni and faculty in the Los Angeles area. This is a great opportunity for alumni...
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles
August 25
4:00–6:00 p.m.
Everson Royce Bar

Join us for an informal gathering, conversation, and refreshments while connecting with CINE alumni and faculty in the Los Angeles area. This is a great opportunity for alumni involved in all aspects of film, TV, and media to help build a stronger UO cinema community in Los Angeles. Other UO alumni, friends, and family are also welcome to attend! Tables in the back patio will be reserved. 

Hosted by Assistant Professor Masami Kawai and Associate Professor Daniel Gómez Steinhart

For more information and to RSVP, please visit the Cinema Studies website

RSVP is appreciated but not required to attend. 

Oct 16
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair 8:00 a.m.

If you are considering a faculty, researcher, lecturer, postdoc, or similar academic position, then consider attending the virtual BIG10+ Academia Career Fair! All BIG10...
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair
October 16
8:00–11:00 a.m.
This is a virtual event.

If you are considering a faculty, researcher, lecturer, postdoc, or similar academic position, then consider attending the virtual BIG10+ Academia Career Fair!

All BIG10 Masters/PhD/Postdocs are welcome to come explore future career opportunities (group sessions are great for this), as well as those currently searching for a full-time career now (individual sessions are great for you). The career fair is FREE. Details and registration coming soon.

Apr 24
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture 7:00 p.m.

Will Jones, professor of history at the University of Minnesota, will deliver the Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture on April 24, 2025. The UO Labor Education and Research Center...
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture
April 24
7:00 p.m.–8:30 a.m.
William W. Knight Law Center Room 175

Will Jones, professor of history at the University of Minnesota, will deliver the Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture on April 24, 2025.

The UO Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) created the lecture in recognition of Bob Bussel’s years of service as LERC’s director and an affiliated member of the UO history department.  The lecture features historians with a distinguished record of scholarship, a commitment to public history, and an interest in labor and working-class issues.  Will Jones is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota with a particular interest in issues of race and class.  Professor Jones is the author of two books and numerous articles on labor and working-class history.  He is also a past president of the Labor and Working-Class History Association.