Sociology and Anthropology

Topics: Sociology, Anthropology, Social sciences Pages: 12 (3796 words) Published: June 24, 2013
A.The Science of Sociology and Anthropology
Sociology is the scientific study of human society and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.] It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity, structures, and functions. A goal for many sociologists is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure. The traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, culture, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, environmental sociology, political economy and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. Historically, anthropologists in the United States have been trained in one of four areas: sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Anthropologists often integrate the perspectives of several of these areas into their research, teaching, and professional lives. Sociology and anthropology are separate, but related, branches of the social sciences that study humans and society. Once anthropology and sociology were similar in how they studied humans, but in the early part of the 20th century, their methodologies and foci diverged. Sources:

B.The Development of Sociology and Anthropology

The history of Anthropology and Sociology is long and full of invaluable insights into the human condition. It provides a mirror that reaches deep into ourselves and explains why we do things that are sometimes contradictory to logic, and most often in alliance with societal standards. For these reasons, Anthropology and Sociology have remained highly esteemed fields of study and continue to flourish as a library of social thought grows. August Comte was the first to coin the term "sociology". He was not the first to create theories of sociology, but was the first to proclaim himself a sociologist. Comte was a functionalist who believed every aspect of society served a purpose. He is most famous for his idea of social statics and dynamics. Social statics is the study of social order, whereas social dynamics is the study of social change and progress. Dividing the study of sociology into these two categories created two different frames of reference from which sociology could be studied (Collins and Makowsky 26). The next significant development in sociology came with Karl Marx. Marx was a conflict theorist who believed that all aspects of society could be explained as a struggle between two or more opposing groups. There were three parts to Marx's theory. First, there was his sociology which established the class system (Collins and Makowsky 34). This system included the capitalists, or bourgeois, who owned the means of production and profited from exploiting workers, or the...
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