How does Anthropology differ from other Social and Behavioral Sciences?

Anthropology has a vast paradigm that no other science can match in its entirety. Any other discipline can only be related to one of its four components at a time. In this regard, social and behavioral sciences are often compared with socio-cultural anthropology.

The difference between Anthropology and Social Sciences

  1. Sociology and socio-cultural anthropology are so similar that many people refer to anthropology as comparative sociology.
    • Both had two major distinctions based on their subject matter and fieldwork methodology a few decades ago. Sociologists engaged with rural and urban communities, while anthropologists engaged with tribal communities. Sociologists used secondary methods such as a schedule and a questionnaire, whereas anthropologists depend on participant observation.
    • However, in recent years, both have been studying all kinds of societies. In addition, recognizing its benefits, sociologists have started to use participant observation.
  2. History is divided into three sections: ancient, medieval, and modern, and we research the past before moving on to the present. In anthropology, on the other hand, we research the present before delving into the past. As a result, history is upside-down anthropology.
    • Previously, historians relied on secondary sources of evidence, whereas anthropologists used participant observation.
    • Historians now, on the other hand, make extensive use of participant observation as well.
  3. Political science is limited to the study of state societies based on the maintenance of orderly social relations within a defined territory. Political anthropology, a subfield of socio-cultural anthropology, on the other hand, has a wide spectrum. This is attributed to the fact that it comprises stateless communities with no established borders or boundaries.
  4. Economics relates almost exclusively to the modern economy since it achieved its current form. It examines the market using the demand-supply and profit-loss concepts. However, economic anthropology, a subfield of socio-cultural anthropology, contends that for simple societies, the underlying basis of their economies is social. Thus, it studies economy through principles like kinship, reciprocity, and social interaction.
image: How does Anthropology differ from other Social and Behavioral Sciences?
Image: How does Anthropology differ from other Social and Behavioral Sciences?

The difference between Anthropology and Behavioural Sciences

Psychology and other behavioral disciplines are concerned with the individual’s psyche. Meanwhile, socio-cultural anthropology explores culture, which is a shared psyche. As a result, the former is more individualistic, while the latter is more group-oriented.

The Culture-Personality school of thought in anthropology arose as a result of the efforts of American cultural anthropologists. It relied on an anthropological and psychological approach. Anthropologists now gradually using behavioral approaches of psychology and related sciences.

Today, following an international, interdisciplinary approach, we do not compare different subjects. Rather, as implied by the preceding discussion, we put them together on a single forum so that both will learn from the other.

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