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Anthropology and sociology are two closely related fields of study. Both focus on the study of human behavior and actions, but they are interested in different aspects. While anthropology is rooted in the characteristics, environment, and culture of people and their ancestors, sociology focuses more on topics such as social change and the social consequences of human behavior.
Both sociology and anthropology are broad disciplines.Based on the definition of the American Sociological AssociationSociologists can focus on anything from the study of organized crime to the effects of race, gender, and social class on society. Similarly, anthropologists focus their attention on what makes us human, including looking back to see how we lived, understanding our biology and studying how other societies live,ifølge American Anthropological Society.
When considering which field of study to choose, it is important to fully understand the difference between sociology and anthropology to determine which major is right for you. It's also important to see what you can do with the degrees in each and get a clearer picture of what some of the world's most talented sociologists and anthropologists have done.
What is anthropology?
Anthropology is a complex field; trying to understand what makes us human is not an easy task. It draws from many different disciplines and takes a broad approach to exploring all aspects of the human experience. Of course, there are many different types of anthropology - some anthropologists are more interested in how groups of people lived in the past, while others may be more interested in how social groups interact today.
According to National Geographic,study anthropologists"aspects of human biology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, cultural studies, history, economics and other social sciences". More specifically, anthropology is generally divided into four subfields, namely archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Let's take a closer look at each of them and how they relate to exploring what it means to be human.
To understand where we are and where we are going, we must first understand where we have been. This is where archeology comes in.So says the American Anthropological Association, archaeologists are completely focused on the analysis of man-made objects, from tools and pottery to houses and garbage cans. They can also see plant, animal and human remains to learn what they ate and how they lived. Their specialization spans the entire history of mankind - from the earliest humans millions of years ago to the present day.
When the Italian city of Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, it lay buried in volcanic ash for hundreds of years. The discovery of the ruins in 1748 gave archaeologists an insight into how the people of Pompeii lived. E.g,This was reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, they learned that the city has a string of one-way streets, that it is a center for the production of fish sauce, and that many of the inhabitants are expert cooks.
Biological anthropology focuses more on the behavioral aspects of humans as well as our extinct ancestors. Anthropologists in this field are particularly interested in human evolution and typically study the living and the dead, as well as primates and our other ancestors. At the heart of biological anthropology is an understanding of how and why today's human population is so diverse.
One of the most famous biological anthropologists isDaniel Carleton Gajdusek, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work uncovering the causes of kuru, a mysterious disease common among the tribes of Papua New Guinea that infected those who participated in a form of ritual cannibalism.
Cultural anthropologists want to know how people around the world interact with society. They talk to people from all walks of life and viewpoints to get a clearer picture of social norms - how we dress, eat, talk and interact - and what different groups think about it. By gathering information about a diverse group of groups, cultural anthropologists are able to supplement and enrich what we already know about human behavior and society.
Margaret Meadis one of the most influential cultural anthropologists of the 20th century. In addition to pioneering work in the Polynesian region, she also spent several decades at the American Museum of Natural History, where she was, among others, curator of ethnology.
The way people communicate is central to linguistic anthropology. In particular, those who study linguistic anthropology are interested in how language affects the way people view the world and how we interact with each other.According to AAS,they mainly focus on how language and communication form the building blocks of society and culture.
One of the most famous linguistic anthropologists isElinor Ochs, who rose to prominence in the 20th century for his work "to study how children acquire language and are shaped by the culture that surrounds them."
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What is Sociology?
From a high level, sociology is the study of social relations and institutions, but from a more detailed perspective, sociology studies almost all aspects of human behavior and life. It examines many complex aspects of our lives, from race, gender and identity to aging, religious beliefs and social movements. At the heart of sociology is the discovery and analysis of the impact of the social world we live in on us and on the people around us.
Like anthropology, sociology consists of sub-fields that allow exploration and study of specific areas of interest. There are several branches of sociology, but a few in particular attract the most attention. These are theoretical sociology, sociology of culture, applied sociology and political sociology. Let's take a closer look at each of them.
There are many theoretical approaches to sociology, and this branch requires practitioners to see sociological knowledge through the lens of these theoretical frameworks and methods. There are many well-known examples of theoretical sociology, includingsocial conflict theory. Based on Marxism, this theory holds that every society arises from class conflict and that laws are written to protect the rights and interests of those in power.
This theory provides a framework within which theoretical sociologists can view contemporary or past societies and make analyzes and judgments based on its principles.
Sociology of culture
Cultural differences are everywhere and in almost every aspect of everyday life. Understanding these differences and their impact on our society is at the heart of the work of sociologists of culture. Sociology of culture can focus on a variety of fields, including art, philosophy, religion, and more.
Pierre'a Bourdieuis one of the most famous sociologists of culture. Perhaps he is best known for arguing that people with high social capital dictate taste, and that your own taste is largely determined by the social class you belong to.
The foundation of applied sociology is the application of lessons learned in the classroom to real-life situations in order to create positive social change. In short, it is the next step from theory to practice,according to sociology at work.
Applied sociology can take many forms. For example, public policy experts may use certain theories to make recommendations for legislation. Similarly, working with members of the local community may involve researching and learning what types of development best suit local people's needs.
The basis of political sociology is the study of relations between societies, states and political conflicts. Just like sociology itself,political sociologyis a broad discipline that can cover many different fields of study. For example, it may include a macro-focus to understand the sources of political change in nation states and political institutions as a whole. Conversely, the micro-focus is more concerned with how social identities influence the way individual people vote, organize, and interact with the political system.
Some of the most famous philosophers are political sociologists. For example, the French historian and author Alexis de Tocqueville wrote some of the most influential and insightful analyzes of the American political system in the 19th century—many of his insights remain influential today.
Anthropologists versus sociologists
Clearly, anthropology and sociology often have the same goals; both try to understand the driving forces of human behavior, but if you look at the difference between anthropology and sociology, you will see that they differ in several key ways.
Veryamazing difference between themis the period for which they are directed. Anthropology typically looks to the past to answer questions about the future, and draws perspective from historical civilizations. Conversely, sociologists are often concerned with contemporary issues and how current societies interact and why. Of course, sociologists can draw on earlier research and historical texts, but their main focus is on the here and now.
In other words, sociology has a narrower scope. Where anthropology is concerned with the study of man as a whole over time, sociology is more focused on the lives of each member of society and how they interact with each other.
Effective work in anthropology and sociology
In order to better understand the differences between anthropology and sociology, it is important to see how the two fields of science compare with real-life examples. Some of the most famous anthropologists and sociologists worked in the United States throughout the 20th century. Let's take a closer look at some of their works and their impact on the way we think about humanity today.
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston is one of the most acclaimed American writers of the 20th century, but before she became a household name on bookshelves, she started out as a gifted cultural anthropologist. She even worked with Franz Boas, known as the father of American anthropology, at Columbia University.
Hurston's achievements in anthropology began in her native Florida,according to NPR. There she collected stories and folklore from local people. She eventually moved west to New Orleans where she continued her research into local culture and spiritual practices such as voodoo; she was completely immersed in the culture for many months.
This experience resulted in a sense of urgency to register the culture and was included in Hurston's signature "Journal of American Folklore", published in 1931. She also published the autoethnographic "Mule and Men", which brought together her first-hand research experience. For the rest of her career, Hurston continued her anthropological research in parallel with her noted fiction writing, but her reputation as an anthropologist stayed with her.
Patricia Hill Collins
Considering contemporary sociologists, it must be saidPatricia Hill Collinsone of the most recognizable and influential. Collins, the 100th president of the American Sociological Association, burst into the public consciousness in the 1980s.Social problems.The article established Collins as an expert on race, gender, and social class.
Perhaps Collins' most famous contribution to sociology is her proposal for a form of viewpoint theory in her book Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Thissays the theorythat various forms of oppression - racial, gender, class and privileged - give African Americans a clear and unique perspective on understanding their own status.
Gustave Le Bon
Although he died 90 years ago, French anthropologist Gustave Le Bon contributed to the most influential research of the last 150 years. In particular, he wanted to understand why seemingly peaceful groups of people could suddenly turn into violent gangs - using an account of an uprising in France in 1848 to answer this question.According to the New York Timesalthough his theory of crowd behavior is decades old, it has survived to this day.
"The agglomeration of males shows new characteristics very different from those of the individuals that make it up," Le Bon wrote. “The feelings and ideas of all participants in the meeting tend to go in one and the same direction, and their conscious personality fades away. There is a collective mind."
A career in anthropology in sociology
Studying anthropology and sociology opens up career opportunities beyond being a researcher or working in the field.According to AS, there are several paths you can take to earn an online bachelor's degree. in anthropology and sociology.
Anthropologists can work in companies and corporations. Many organizations consider employees with a background in anthropology to be skilled at conducting market research and understanding human behavior. Similarly, anthropologists have the opportunity to work in state and local government in a research capacity - evaluating the impact of certain state-funded projects and programs. Finally, there are opportunities to work in non-profit or community organizations to implement programs.
When it comes to sociologists, there are many different career paths that can be pursued outside of research-based roles. According toMouseSociologists often work as urban planners integral to shaping what societies look like. In addition, they can use their sociology background in roles such as social workers, paralegals, and school counselors. Sociology degrees equip students with a diverse skill set and a deep understanding of human interaction.
If you have an interest in researching and studying human behavior, consider getting oneBachelor's degree in anthropology and sociology. This flexible online program at Eastern Oregon University offers a unique opportunity to combine both disciplines and learn from experienced professors from diverse backgrounds. This comprehensive program not only equips students with the skills to succeed in a variety of career paths, but also offers two specialized pathways that allow you to tailor your education to your interests and goals.
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- Community Organizer.
- Cultural Resource Manager.
- Social/Human Service Worker.
- Non-Profit Program Coordinator.
- Museum Professional.
- Correctional Officer.
- International Development Consultant.
Anthropology and sociology are two important fields of study that examine human societies and behaviors. Both fields help experts understand humanity and how people interact with one another historically and presently.Should I study sociology or anthropology? ›
While anthropology is rooted in the characteristics, environment and culture of humans and their ancestors, sociology is more focused on topics like social change and the social consequences of human behavior. Both sociology and anthropology are broad disciplines.How do you know if anthropology is right for you? ›
Anthropology's main purpose is to understand human conditions from the past to the present and to use that knowledge to improve conditions. Therefore, if you have a keen sense of history and you are always interested in how things and practices come to being then you should seriously consider a career in Anthropology.What will I become if I study sociology? ›
Students with a bachelor's degree in sociology often secure employment as social researchers, case workers, paralegals, public relations workers, administrators, community organizers, public policy researchers, and data analysts.Are anthropologists in demand? ›
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6.1% employment growth for anthropologists between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 500 jobs should open up. Anthropology is the study of humans in the past or the present.What is the work of a sociologist and anthropologist? ›
Conduct Research and Analyze Data: Anthropology and Sociology encompasses both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Quantitative methods are used in market research, opinion polling, sales, and countless other applications and allow researchers to recognize trends and patterns and produce social statistics.How is anthropology useful in everyday life? ›
Applied anthropologists work to solve real world problems by using anthropological methods and ideas. For example, they may work in local communities helping to solve problems related to health, education or the environment. They might also work for museums or national or state parks helping to interpret history.What is the difference between a masters in sociology and anthropology? ›
Differences Between Anthropology and Sociology
The specialization of anthropology is sociocultural, linguistic, biological and archaeological. On the other hand, sociology studies the development, structure, social interactions and behaviors of human society at a specific time.
Yes, sociology is a good major for many undergraduate students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in life, physical, and social science occupations over the next 10 years.
Anthropology is a major that's not too difficult for degree-seeking students whose passion lies in studying various aspects of humanity. As a matter of fact, it's ranked #60 out of 124 majors ranked by Big Economics according to difficulty. Anthropology majors usually have to spend 15 hours of study per week.Why should anyone study sociology? ›
Studying sociology provides a better understanding of the following: Reasons for social differences, including differences in social behavior. Reasons for the differentials in group opportunities and outcomes. The relevance of social hierarchies and social power in everyday life.Do I need math for anthropology? ›
The Biology/Anthropology BS requires that you take Calculus I as a major requirement.What are two personal traits that someone studying anthropology should posses? ›
Anthropologists and archeologists must possess knowledge of scientific methods and data, which are often used in their research. Critical-thinking skills. Anthropologists and archeologists must be able to draw conclusions from observations, laboratory experiments, and other methods of research.
Anthropology is an excellent study option for students like you, who are interested in the development, behaviour, and structures of our society.Is it easy to get a job with a sociology degree? ›
Sociology is a competitive field to enter, and advanced degrees and experience can put you a step ahead of others vying for the same positions. This is important, as jobs in the field of sociology are limited, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Is sociology a high paying degree? ›
A: Yes. Most of the high-paying sociology degree jobs in this ranking are growing faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).What math is required for sociology? ›
Common requirements are introduction to statistics, calculus 1 and introduction to social research methods. (Reference 1, 2, 3) High school students prepare for these courses by taking classes up to pre-calculus including algebra, algebra 1 and 2.Is anthropology high paying? ›
Anthropology major graduates in America make, on average, $46,800 a year or $22.5 per hour. If you are in the top 10 percent, you will make over $80,000; however, if you are in the bottom 10 percent, you will earn less than $27,000 per year.Can you make a living as an anthropologist? ›
Putting in the extra studies is worth it, as anthropologists working for the federal government earn an average salary of nearly $80,000. Anthropologists ranked #5 in Best Science Jobs by US News & World Report, based on qualities including salary, job market, future growth, stress, and work life balance.
An anthropology degree can give you the foundations to pursue careers such as archeology, college professor, environmental anthropologist, medical anthropologist and museum curator. It can also help you make a difference on teams that focus on advertising, diversity, human resources, user experience and social justice.Can you get a job as a sociologist? ›
Graduates with a major in Sociology can find research positions at a variety of private firms and governmental agencies conducting social science research throughout the country. Check the list of employment options for more opportunities.What type of job is a sociologist? ›
Sociologists study human behavior, interaction, and organization. They observe the activity of social, religious, political, and economic groups, organizations, and institutions. They examine the effect of social influences, including organizations and institutions, on different individuals and groups.What are the 4 types of anthropology? ›
Our students pursue concentrations that cut across four subfields: archaeology, bioanthropology, linguistic anthropology, and social-cultural anthropology.What are the benefits of studying anthropology? ›
A degree in anthropology will give you a range of skills useful to many job roles and industries. In addition to anthropology-related skills, you'll improve in other areas such as communication, research, problem-solving, reasoning writing, independent and collaborative work, and information organisation.Why should I study anthropology? ›
Anthropology sits at the intersection of the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. A degree in anthropology not only allows students to understand human experience across time and space but also to rigorously interpret and analyze those understandings.What are 5 uses of anthropology? ›
Because of its breadth, students who study anthropology go on to work in a wide variety of careers in medicine, museums, field archaeology, historical preservation, education, international business, documentary filmmaking, management, foreign service, law, and many more.Is it better to get a BA or BS in anthropology? ›
If you want a broad overview of Anthropology as a discipline or if you want to focus on the more humanistic side of Anthropology, the BA is for you. If you want to focus on a particular area within the more scientific side of Anthropology, you should pursue the BS.Is a sociology degree better than psychology? ›
If you want to learn more about social structures and human society at the macro-level, sociology will be worth exploring. If you're more interested in learning about individual human behavior within those macro-level social structures, then psychology might be more appropriate for your intellectual curiosity.Do I need a master's degree to work in sociology? ›
"Most sociology jobs require a master's degree or Ph. D. Many bachelor's degreeholders will find positions in related fields, such as social services, education, healthcare, or public policy."
It is often thought by students that sociology is an easy major, but there is a lot of work that goes into it. There are many different topics and ideas covered within this field of study, which involves a lot of reading. The sheer volume of texts you are expected to read from a variety of sources can be challenging.Who should study sociology? ›
A sociology degree is a good option for you if you're curious about topics like social change, social movements and social justice, criminal justice, family dynamics, social class issues, and the consequences of human and social behavior.Is sociology hard to pass? ›
Sociology is not an easy major. Sociology requires analysis and critical thinking, an understanding of complex theories and theorists, and awareness of the social contexts of a variety of social problems.Can you get an anthropology degree online? ›
Yes, many schools offer online degrees in general anthropology, cultural anthropology, or other branches of this field. Online programs usually include a variety of online courses that you can complete from home. There may be digital labs to complete, virtual field trips to take, and online libraries to explore.How do you succeed in anthropology? ›
Two of the most critical skills you should focus on developing, if you want to excel in your studies of anthropology, or earn a degree in this field, are reading and writing. Reading and writing skills are essential to the study of anthropology.What do anthropologists mostly study? ›
Anthropologists study the characteristics of past and present human communities through a variety of techniques. In doing so, they investigate and describe how different peoples of our world lived throughout history. Anthropologists aim to study and present their human subjects in a clear and unbiased way.What are some examples of sociology in real life? ›
Some examples of sociology include studying racial issues, gender dynamics, phenomena and feelings around entertainment, the structure of different social institutions, and the development of different social movements.How would you define sociology to someone who knows nothing about it? ›
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.What is sociology interested in? ›
The field of sociology studies virtually every aspect of human society: the family, gender, race and ethnic relations, aging, education, work, population, and many others. Its principle goal as a discipline is to understand the workings of human society and to explain social behavior.Is anthropology a useful degree? ›
But graduates with an anthropology degree are well-suited for a career in any number of fields, including: education, health care, museum curation, social work, international development, government, organizational psychology, non-profit management, marketing, publishing, and forensics.
If you would like to avoid math altogether, you may consider human services jobs with a strong psychology, counseling, or social welfare component. Jobs in writing, publishing, public relations, advertising, and communications also require virtually no math at all.Is anthropology 100 easy? ›
ANTH 100: Introduction to Anthropology
If you're curious about how humans have thrived in a diversity of cultures through time, this is the perfect course for you. It's meant to provide an overview of what anthropology is and it has a 73 per cent 'Easy' rating on UW Flow.
The top personality traits of anthropologists are openness and conscientiousness. Anthropologists score highly on openness, which means they are usually curious, imaginative, and value variety.What are 2 issues of anthropology? ›
A few common questions posed by anthropology are: how are societies different and how are they the same? how has evolution shaped how we think? what is culture? are there human universals? By taking the time to study peoples' lives in detail, anthropologists explore what makes us uniquely human.What are the three main skills you learn through studying anthropology? ›
Anthropological training concentrates on three broadly transferable skill areas: understanding human diversity, building research skills for collecting and making sense of information, and communicating effectively.Is anthropology in high demand? ›
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6.1% employment growth for anthropologists between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 500 jobs should open up. Anthropology is the study of humans in the past or the present.What does a sociologist and anthropologist do? ›
Sociologists and anthropologists study the structure and processes of traditional cultures and modern, industrial societies in both Western and non-Western cultures. They examine how culture, social structures (groups, organizations and communities) and social institutions (family, education, religion, etc.)Can you get a good job with an anthropology degree? ›
An anthropology degree can give you the foundations to pursue careers such as archeology, college professor, environmental anthropologist, medical anthropologist and museum curator. It can also help you make a difference on teams that focus on advertising, diversity, human resources, user experience and social justice.What can you do with a bachelors in sociology now? ›
With additional study beyond a bachelor's in sociology, majors in this field can also go on to pursue careers in social work, law, market research, counseling, public relations, polling, media planning, and other areas.What is the main job of a sociologist? ›
Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that develop when people interact and work together.
Archaeology schooling at the bachelor's level generally consists of a 4-year, Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Archaeology or Anthropology degree program. However, students may also pursue undergraduate programs in related areas of the social sciences, such as sociology.What does an anthropologist do for a living? ›
Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development, and behavior of humans. They examine the cultures, languages, archeological remains, and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world.Can a sociologist work in a bank? ›
A sociology degree prepares the way for careers in business and industry, education, government, research and more. The following is a sampling of careers in a few of the categories. In business and industry, career opportunities are available as: Bank representative.Do anthropologists make a lot of money? ›
How much does an Anthropologist make? As of May 24, 2023, the average monthly pay for an Anthropologist in the United States is $3,151 a month.What can I double major with sociology? ›
Sociology-psychology double major
Whether you plan to work in counseling, social services, or management, a double major in sociology and psychology will give you a more holistic understanding people in context. It is also good for students who plan to attend graduate school in either sociology or psychology.
It is often thought by students that sociology is an easy major, but there is a lot of work that goes into it. There are many different topics and ideas covered within this field of study, which involves a lot of reading. The sheer volume of texts you are expected to read from a variety of sources can be challenging.Do I need a bachelors in sociology to get a masters in sociology? ›
Most programs require a bachelor's in sociology or one of the social sciences, although some programs may consider students with a general liberal arts background.