I just read a great post on Anthropology vs Sociology from my friends at CoolAnthropology.
The first time I took a Sociology class, the first thought to cross my mind was, “these jerks are ripping off anthropology.” There are an overwhelming amount of similarities between the two disciplines, and because of that I have also found myself pondering this same question: what is the heck is the difference between sociology and anthropology? The mentioned differences that I felt where most important are 1.) the focus of study 2.) the use of Qualitative vs. Quantitative data. The focus of the study for sociologist usually seems to be how the institution-society is influencing the people. On the other hand, anthropologist typically focus on how people/culture shape society. This is not to say that only sociologist do that and anthropologist do this- more often than not, lines are blended and both study the same thing. The second big difference between the two is the use of research methods: quantitative vs. qualitative. Sociologist tend to focus more are quantitative methods, the reason for this may be that this type of data collection provides concrete data-countable numbers. Countable numbers are important, because it makes it easy to see the differences or as sociologist AND anthropologist might put it, inequalities. Anthropologist tend to focus on qualitative data, because it allows for in-depth data about a specific group of people or sample- that data can be compared holistically between other groups of people/cultures. It is important to remember that qualitative and quantitative research are not exclusive to one of the disciplines, in my opinion the best researchers(regardless of field) use both research methods.
This article was very fascinating, it made the differences between anthropology and sociology very clear. It’s interesting to know that an anthropologist and a sociologist can study the same group of people and come up with different data.
I feel like I am an anthropologist, not a sociologist. I think like an anthropologist in every class, in every aspect of life. It is completely different frame of reference and it focuses so much more around cultures similarities and differences, not on the institutions and beauracracy.
Even though we both look through the lens of helping others, we go about it in different ways. I think anthropology has much more flexibility in what you can do with less constraints from the “system”.
The article provided an definitive and accurate identity for anthropology and sociology majors and professions, by dividing the methodologies and approaches utilized by both disciplines in western and non-western societies. Even though many anthropological approaches and sociology approaches use overlapping methodologies, the historical differences and perspectives within the disciplines influences how we approach a question, how we collect, analyze and disseminate data. Finally, some closure.
The article helped provide me with academic focus and direction needed to pursue my career.
The article was very informative, it makes sense why I choose anthropology as my major. Since I prefer a holistic approach in other aspects of my life, and anthropology by definition is a holistic pursuit.
It seems like the discussion of the differences between anthropology and sociology never ends. I remember discussing this same question last semester in anth 104. This article, in particular, lays it out perfectly. There aren’t concrete differences because each field does overlap in some aspects. I think the major difference is the quantitative/qualitative methods of both fields. Sociology is more quantitative in looking at how a society is affected by its social problems whereas anthropology is more qualitative as it focuses more on smaller communities. Anthropology also considers a holistic approach across cultures while sociology is more general across societies.
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