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Social Sciences Curriculum

Broad or deeply-focused study within the Social Sciences empowers students to understand how human beings navigate a world characterized by rapid technological and environmental change, complex cultural conflicts, increasingly fractured interpersonal relationships, and growing geopolitical rivalries.

In the classroom, social science students examine key works in a wide range of academic disciplines, including anthropology, communications, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Students apply this knowledge, in the real world, through experiential learning opportunities and through U.S. and international co-op placements in government, business, and nonprofit settings.

In keeping with Antioch’s mission and vision, the social science major prepares students for a life of active citizenship through its commitment to open and democratic dialogue, innovative and empowering pedagogy, and the merger of theory and practice.

Through these applied theory experiences, students leave Antioch ready to lead their generation in taking on the major challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century.

An energetic teaching faculty invites students to develop critical, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the nature of society, human experience and behavior, interpersonal relationships, and power relations. Using a variety of methodologies and modes of inquiry, these fields focus on the interplay between self and other, individual and society, micro and macro levels of analysis, and theory and practice.

  • International Relations
    • Globalization and Development
    • International Relations Theory
    • U.S. Foreign Policy: The American Empire
  • Political-Economic Theory
    • Capitalism I: The Circuits of Capital
    • Capitalism II: Capital in the Digital Age
    • Capitalism III: Marxist Theory
  • Political Ecology
    • Introduction to Political Ecology
    • Global Political Ecology
  • Anthropology
    • Culture Conflict
    • Language and Culture
    • Anthropology of Human Rights
    • Race and Ethnicity
    • Economic Anthropology
    • Sex and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
    • Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
  • Psychology
    • General Psychology
    • Social Psychology
    • Basic Therapeutic Skills
    • Learning and Behavior
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Biopsychology
    • Cross-Cultural Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Political and Ethical Issues in Psychology

A requirement for completion of the bachelor’s degree at Antioch is completion of Cooperative Education experiences, full-time periods of either paid work, research, or other experiential opportunities. Humanities majors have held the following Co-op placements:

  • Paralegal Aide, Scholl-Ashodian LLC (Philadelphia)
  • Legal Assistant, Law Office of Phillip Brigham, LLC, (Chicago)
  • Program Assistant, North Star Fund (NYC)
  • Miller Fellow, Affordable Housing Associate, Yellow Springs Home Inc.
  • Arts in Action Fellow, Betty’s Daughters Arts Collective (NYC)
  • Dance Student/ Server, West African Dance Studio/ The Palace (Durham, NC)
  • Community Advocate, Causa Justa, (Oakland & San Francisco)
  • Production and Distribution Specialist, Collective Eye Films (Portland, OR)
  • Editorial Assistant, River Styx Magazine (St. Louis, MO)
  • Editorial Intern, Offbeat Magazine (New Orleans)
  • Paraprofessional Educator, Switzer Learning Center (Torrance, CA)
  • Sustainability Advocate, Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions (Yellow Springs)
  • Environmental Education and Data Collection Assistant, Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (Albuquerque,
  • Sustainability Assistant, Lopez Island Land Trust (Washington);
  • Artist and Administrative Liaison, International Studio Curatorial Program / Bourbon Springs restaurant (NYC)
  • Copy Editor, Microcosm Publishing (Portland, OR)

Students culminate their Antioch experience with the completion of a capstone project. The pathway pursued by students will organically lead to the formation of their capstone project, developed in the final year through a combination of capstone coursework and faculty mentorship. The capstone project embraces a broad array of opportunities, including field study co-ops and/or projects based in Antioch’s curricular assets or in the local community.

Malka Berro

A Critical Examination of the Privatization of Mental Health Services in the United States / This literature review explores the benefits and drawbacks to the privatization of mental health care in the United States. To provide context, the paper begins by outlining the history of mental health care in the United States, drawing the link between deinstitutionalization and the subsequent privatization of services. Case studies of Massachusetts’ and North Carolina’s mental health systems are then used to illustrate both positive and negative outcomes of privatized care. The rationale for privatization of care includes revenue saving, management, and flexibility concerns, while downsides to a private mental health system include competition, quality of care, and quantification of social services. The paper concludes with an analysis of gaps and inconsistencies in the literature and recommendations for future research, policy, and practices.

Lindsay Browne

Attachment and Satisfaction in Consensually Nonmonogamous Relationships / Consensually Nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships
are relationships in which there is an agreement that allows for romantic and/or sexual relationships to occur outside of the dyadic relationship. Despite an increasing number of people aware of CNM relationships, there is still a shortage of research on CNM relationships. To address this gap in the literature, this quasi-experimental study examines differences in relationship satisfaction and attachment styles across individuals in monogamous and CNM relationships analyzing how attachment styles might relate to satisfaction differently between monogamous and CNM relationships. Using online surveys, 154 participants recruited from Reddit and Meetup groups reported their attachment styles and relationship satisfaction for each partner. In my presentation, I discuss these findings as well as how future research can be used to address remaining gaps in the literature.

Samuel Edwards
Political Economy

Democratic Practice in Research and Business / Since the 1920’s, Antioch College operated, in one form or another, a coffee shop. Up until the College’s most recent closure, C-Shop (CS) operated out of the Student Union building. However, since the College’s reopening, CS has yet to be successfully revived to full, operational capacity. CS existed in short form again during 2016 and 2017. Since May of 2017, I have managed the project and worked with a team to bring it to operational capacity. My work with this project has been to put qualitative social scientific methods to work and action: to document the re-development of CS, through Participatory Action Research and cooperative business practices, as a student-operated cooperative coffee and food service.

Aj Fouts
Political Economy, Japanese Focus

History of Land Use Policy and Attitudes in Yellow Springs, Ohio: Post- war to Present / There are many measures a municipality can utilize if they want to manage growth, many of which the Village of Yellow Springs actively explored or implemented in the latter half of the 20th century, such as infill development and controlled annexation. This push to control development in and around the Village happened in response to the rapid suburbanization of the nearby city of Dayton, whose MSA increased in population by 221% from 1940 to 1970. The primary aim of this study is to compile and chronologize events and decisions in Yellow Springs relating to its land use via primary sources, in the form of official governmental reports, and secondary sources, primarily consisting of local news articles. Having a nuanced view of the history of land policy in the Village may help to inform future decisions on the matter in Yellow Springs, as well as other small towns under similar circumstances.

Michelle Fujii
Self Design: Interdisciplinary Studies in Ecology, Culture, and Politics

Greening Spaces and World-views: Ecological Work in Buenos Aires, Argentina / Buenos Aires has very little green space per person, half of what the World Health Organization recommends. From July to December 2017, I lived in Buenos Aires and worked as a volunteer for the non-profit organization Un Arbol Para Mi Vereda (A Tree for My Sidewalk), one of many organizations working to increase greenery in the city. During those six months, I conducted an oral history project, interviewing my colleagues and other individuals working for environmental organizations and for the city Environmental Protection Agency. Through my research, I learned that many of the people working to increase green spaces in Buenos Aires were not only transforming physical spaces but were also working to change beliefs about our relationship to “nature” and our environment. My senior thesis explores this connection between the physical work to transform urban spaces and the transformation of world-views.

Alana Guth

Psychology of Giving: The state of the Literature and Implications for Practice / This literature review explores the psychology behind what makes consumers give money, time, labor, or items to charitable organizations. Drawing on theory and previous empirical research, this paper explores the current state of the literature on the three main components of the giving decision-making process: What makes people initially decide to donate, what makes people increase their donation amount, and how people select where to give their donation. The review of the literature is then translated into guidelines that can inform nonprofits of best practices in establishing giving campaigns within their organization. These guidelines include understanding the target audience, presenting an individual case in a giving appeal, and having donors pre-commit to their donation.

Catalina Cielo La Mers-Noble
Political Economy

Parole in the United States: What’s Next? / Parole processes in the United States vary widely from state to state and, even within states, there are often inconsistencies with the Parole Board’s decision-making. Limited literature about risk assessment procedures is available for individual states. This literature review explores the current status of adult parole in the United States, beginning with its creation. Historically, the implementation of parole began with “good conduct” credits reducing time left to serve by one month a year. Next, this review examines risk assessment during parole hearings, and how it may be linked to a transition from “good conduct” style review and release by internal review boards to a review board external to the specific prison where the incarcerated person is serving time. Finally, this review highlights current parole reform proposals, both federally and locally in Ohio.

Taylor Jean Larson
Political Economy

The Political Economy of Public Homeplace: A Case Study of the Underdog Café / Among many other things, the Underdog is a café in
Yellow Springs, Ohio. The business was purchased in 2002 by a former employee of the café who offered the space a mission statement, which includes the assertion, “We are committed to always act in a manner that reflects the world we wish to create…” Through auto-ethnography, this project investigates the vision through which the Underdog Café was born, so to understand its capacity to bear visions in us—dreams of community, of resistance, of home in a community of resistance—as well as how the space might better materialize these visions. Theories of feminist political economy and liberation psychologies inform my analysis of the café as a public homeplace that embodies a living text, a text that must be re-read through the material and psychic realities of women workers’ lives as they practice and engender the homeplace daily.

Sophia Christina Lausmann

Dance Therapy: A Dance Lesson with Focus, Mood, and Behavior / This literature review focuses on the historical development of dance therapy and what is currently known about its effectiveness. The review starts out with the roots of dance therapy and how the idea of using dance as a coping mechanism led to studies profiting the patient’s health, both physical and psychological. The combination of music and movement is key to this therapy as it allows the patient to comprehend their bodies and establish a relationship with oneself. Examples that can occur from partaking in these exercises are expressing emotions or improving motor skills. The empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of dance therapy as treatment for specific disorders, such as ADHD, dementia, depression, autism, trauma, and psychological aspect of cancer, will show change in behavior, mood, and focus. Future studies should concentrate on these areas which could provide insight on the style as well as the longevity of participating in therapy and possibly even discover more benefits.

Scott Montgomery
Political Economy

The Antioch College Student Strike of 1973: A Crisis of Student Activism or Failure of Leadership? / This project investigates the Antioch College Student Strike of 1973 – an inflection point in Antioch’s history altering its path of development for decades to come. Employing critical discourse analysis, I examine the overarching narratives describing the strike propagated through mainstream and alternative (student-run) media outlets. I find the discourse surrounding the strike in mainstream outlets portrayed the strike as violent and embarrassing. This narrative ignores the growing inaccessibility of college education and rollbacks to shared governance by an increasingly corporate Antioch – arguments that were clearly articulated by students in their media circulations. Understanding the strike in the context of broader changes to the U.S. political economy and cultural formation, the cause of Antioch’s decline was tied to the increasing corporate nature of the institution, the failure of those business ventures, and rollbacks to shared governance – which holds important lessons for Antioch College’s survival in the twenty-first century.

Soleil Sykes
Political Economy

Beyond the Fence: Examining Ideation and Institutions in Domestic Civilian-Base Community Relations During Expansion and Contestation / This project examines U.S. civilian—base community relations. Drawing on civil–military relations and grassroots organization literature, I construct and apply a conceptual framework to understand how grassroots organizations mobilize to support or oppose base expansions. Specifically, I examine efforts to station the F-35 training mission at Luke Air Force Base. The study notes the value of existing relationships between civilian—base communities for grassroots mobilization during periods of expansion and contestation, as well as the power of economic and political discourse for maintaining coherence between institutions. With over 400 military bases across the U.S., this study highlights the importance of sustained political, economic, and social engagement between bases and surrounding communities and addresses a research gap in studies of U.S. civil-military relations.

Students who graduate with degrees in the social sciences continue their education in graduate programs in all disciplines, become teachers, work as artists, and pursue a variety of professional opportunities. Here are a few:

  • Malka Berro ’18, Psychology, Research Analyst at National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Alana Guth ’18, Psychology, Administrative Assistant, Mills College
  • Soleil Sykes ’18, Political Economy, Staff Assistant, U.S. Senate
  • Leo Brandon ’17, Global Governance and Media, Special Events and Wedding Coordinator, Mills Park Hotel
  • Lauren Gjessing ’17, Anthropology, Peace Corps
  • Meridian Howes ’17, Health and Social Justice, MPH Program, Johns Hopkins University 
  • Addison Nace ’17, Anthropology, Educational Assistant, SITE Santa Fe
  • Monica Perry ’17, Anthropology, Toledo Permaculture Network
  • Sara Goldstein ’16, Political Economy, Regional Field Director, Iowa Democratic Party
  • Hideo (Kijin) Higashibaba ’16, Political Economy, producer of Growing Up Moonie Podcast
  • Gabe Iglesia ’16, Political Economy, Foreign Service Specialist, U.S. Department of State
  • Alex Malangoni ’16, Political Economy, George Washington University School of Law
  • Emma Persico ’16, Psychology, Assistant Teacher, Goddard School
  • Maya Lindren ’15, Anthropology, University of New Mexico School of Law
  • Elijah Blanton ’15, Political Economy, New School for Social Research Graduate Program in Global Political Economy 
  • Ryan Patrus ’15, Psychology, Ohio State University Graduate Program in Comparative Studies
  • Jack Mathews ’15, Political Economy, New York University School of Law