What is Anthropology? Relation of Anthropology with Sociology and Psychology

What is the definition of Anthropology?

Anthropology is consists of two basic words – ‘Anthropos’ and ‘Logas’. Anthropos means man and logos means science. Thus on the basis of semantics, anthropology can be defined as the science of human beings.[1]

Some of the main definitions of anthropology are as follows:

  1. According to Kalai Kallakhan– “Anthropology is the complete study of man.”
  2. According to Howell – “Anthropology is the study of man and all his works. In its entire sense, it is the study of the species and practices of man.”
  3. According to Kroeber – “Anthropology is the science of groups of human beings, their behavior and production.”
  4. According to Jacobs and Stern – “Anthropology is the scientific study of the physical, social, cultural development and behavior of human beings from the birth of mankind to the present day.”

Also read: Etymological and Scientific meaning of Anthropology

Analysis of these definitions makes the following points clear

  1. Under anthropology, there is a detailed study of man and his works from the birth of mankind to the present time.
  2. It is the science of the overall form of human beings. In this, the physical, social, and cultural development of human beings is studied.
  3. It is a study of human beings from every era and every cultural level.
  4. It is a study of human behavior and its production.

Anthropology has been called natural science because of its natural study of bodily human and on the other hand, it has been called social science because of the study of cultural human. In this way, anthropology is concerned with natural sciences as well as social sciences. Its relationship with social sciences can be discussed as follows.

More: Anthropology: Scope, Aim, Branches and Research Method in Anthropology

Relationship between Sociology and Anthropology

Anthropology is the science of human beings and sociology is the science of society. Both humans and societies complement each other.

The study of society cannot occur without the study of human beings and the full study of human beings cannot occur without the study of society. Therefore it is natural to have a close relationship between science, anthropology, and sociology studying these two. This is why Crobar called these two sciences twin sisters.

Similarities between Anthropology and Sociology

  1. Human and human-made culture and civilization are studied in anthropology. It is also studied in sociology.
  2. According to Howell, the interrelations of human groups are studied in both anthropology and sociology.
  3. Anthropologists use sociological concepts and theories in their studies.
  4. Anthropology mainly studies the culture and economic, political, and social institutions of small communities, such as tribal society. The concepts that develop as a result of these studies are used by sociologists in the study of modern complex societies.

It is because of these similarities that renowned sociologist N.N. Srinivas has said that differentiating between anthropology and sociology is a shock to reality. In India, whether studying the caste system or joint family, it has been done by both sociologists and anthropologists. But despite the close relationship between anthropology and sociology, there are some fundamental differences between these two.

Differences between Anthropology and Sociology

  1. Anthropology studies primitive societies, while sociology studies modern society.
  2. Anthropology studies the religion and magic of primitive society, state and law, culture and art, practice, social and economic organizations. Whereas in sociology, social interactions and social relations arising from it are studied.
  3. Anthropology studies social phenomena from a cultural perspective, but sociology studies it from a social perspective.
  4. Participatory observation method is used mainly in anthropology, but in sociology questionnaires, schedule and interview.
AnthropologySociology
Anthropology studies primitive societies. Sociology studies modern society
Anthropology studies the religion and magic of primitive society, state and law, culture and art, practice, social and economic organizations.Social interactions and social relations arising from it are studied.
It studies social phenomena from a cultural perspective.It studies social phenomena from a social perspective.
The participatory observation method is used mainly in anthropology.In sociology questionnaires, schedules and interviews are mainly used.
Differences between Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology and Psychology Relationship

A very close relationship is found between anthropology and psychology. Psychology studies the mental creations and behaviors of humans. Anthropology, on the other hand, is a holistic study of humans. There is a comparative study of human behavior and experiences. Linton’s view in this regard is that psychology has come close to anthropology with many results. With the aid of psychology, we will understand how the ancient man had to think, what his emotions were, and so on.

Similarities between Anthropology and Psychology

An apparently close connection can be found in anthropology and psychology. Psychology is exploring the inner creations and behavior of humans. Anthropology, on the other hand, is a holistic human science.

  1. On the basis of observation of human practices in anthropology and psychology, general principles are derived. Both of them make a subtle analysis of human nature.
  2. Anthropology studies human behavior under various circumstances, which helps psychology in the in-depth study of the human mind. Studies of ancient humans. Psychology takes help from anthropology.
  3. A branch of psychology, a branch of social psychology and anthropology, a deep connection between anthropology and psychology can be inferred from the field of cultural anthropology. In social psychology, an individual is studied in a social situation, and in cultural anthropology the study of cultures, social institutions, and groups of human society.

Differences between Anthropology and Psychology

  1. Psychology studies the actions of an individual, while anthropology studies the human being as a whole.
  2. Psychology makes a subtle study of a person and his central subject is the monthly process and experience of a human being. Anthropology on the other hand studies groups of individuals.
  3. Psychology studies only the mental aspect of human life, whereas anthropology is the study of physical, social, and cultural aspects of human beings.

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