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Anthropology vs. Sociology: What's the Difference?

Anthropology

It is the study of humans and the ways they live. The goal is to understand human diversity and cultural differences. The four primary sub-fields:

  • Archeology focuses on the objects humans have made.
  • Biological anthropology examines the ways humans adapt to different environments.
  • Cultural anthropology is interested in how humans live and make sense of their surroundings, studying folklore, cuisine, arts, and social norms.
  • Linguistic anthropology is the study of the ways different cultures communicate.

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Anthropology vs. Sociology: What's the Difference?

Anthropology vs. Sociology: What's the Difference?

https://www.thoughtco.com/anthropology-vs-sociology-4685772

thoughtco.com

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Key Ideas

Anthropology

It is the study of humans and the ways they live. The goal is to understand human diversity and cultural differences. The four primary sub-fields:

  • Archeology focuses on the objects humans have made.
  • Biological anthropology examines the ways humans adapt to different environments.
  • Cultural anthropology is interested in how humans live and make sense of their surroundings, studying folklore, cuisine, arts, and social norms.
  • Linguistic anthropology is the study of the ways different cultures communicate.

Sociology

It studies the ways groups of people interact with each other and how their behavior is influenced by social structures, categories, and institutions. It has many tenets:

  • Individuals belong to groups, which influence their behavior.
  • Groups have characteristics independent of their members.
  • Sociology focuses on patterns of behavior among groups (defined by gender, race, class, etc.)

Anthropology and sociology careers 

Anthropology and sociology degrees can lead to a career as a teacher, public sector employee, or academic. The degree can be a stepping stone to a career in politics, public administration, or law.

Non-academic careers for anthropologists include public sector research at organizations like the World Bank or UNESCO, or working as freelance research consultants.

Sociologists who have a PhD can work as analysts in public policy organizations, or as demographers, non-profit administrators, or research consultants.

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Studying culture raises difficult questions

To study culture, you have to distance yourself from it, which means the only way to study a culture is by not sharing it. The study of culture ask difficult questions about human nature:

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