Posted: March 18th, 2023
Sociology and Anthropology
Because sociology and anthropology are both social sciences, one might assume that the same research methods would be utilized in the different fields. However, while some of the same approaches can be used in both fields, it is important to realize that the differences in the fields make different approaches possible for each discipline. Sociology specifically examines social life, social change, and the social factors that contribute to individual behavior. Sociologists use surveys, interviews, experiments, observation, and secondary analysis (Sociology.com, 2013). Cultural anthropology examines human culture. Anthropologists employ the following research methods: participant observation, cross-cultural comparison, survey research, interviews, archival research, media analysis, and historical analysis (Donahue-Lynch, 2000). Clearly, the disciplines are related; however, they are not the same. As a result, some approaches that are appropriate for one discipline would not be appropriate for the other discipline. This paper will investigate the different research methods used in both disciplines.
One of the most popular research methods used in sociology is the survey (Sociology.com, 2014). This is because the survey can be used to collect a variety of different types of information and can be utilized in a variety of different manners. Surveys involve asking people questions. Surveys can utilize open-ended responses or fixed responses. They can be administered orally, in writing, or via the internet. In other words, surveys are flexible. The survey is not an experimental research method, but, instead, a descriptive research method (Palmquist, 2001). As a result, while surveys may be able to identify correlations, they cannot be used to determine cause-and-effect. In sociology, this limitation is acceptable, since social conditions may focus on factors that co-occur, rather than examining whether variables cause other variables to occur.
Another research method frequently used in sociology is the experiment. Experiments compare control and experimental groups to determine the relationship between different variables. In experiments, the presence of a control and experimental group is critical, in order to determine whether the variable that is being tested has an impact on the outcome. In addition, there should be pretesting of the dependent variable for both groups in order to determine the strength, if any, of the impact of the independent variable. Furthermore, the two groups should be roughly equal prior to the introduction of the independent variable, which can be verified through pretesting. The philosophical justifications for using an experimental research design in sociology is that it can allow a researcher to isolate variables, which can help determine cause and effect.
One research method used in cultural anthropology is the interview. Interviews are similar to surveys, but allow the researcher to gain a more in-depth understanding of the issues being examined. Interviews allow for an interaction between the researcher and the subjects, and provide opportunities for the researcher to gain further information about topics raised by the subjects. The interview is a qualitative research method; rather than providing numerical data about the relationship between variables, the interview seeks to provide in-depth data, generally about a single subject or a smaller number of subjects. The interview is used by sociologists, as well. However, it is important to consider that both cultural anthropology and sociology focus on whether individual experiences are generalizable to larger groups; if they are not, then the results of a research design may be of limited utility to the social scientists that use them. The interview is one example of such a research design.
Participant observation is probably the primary means of research utilized by cultural anthropologists. “Participant observation is a fundamental method of research used in cultural anthropology. It involves a researcher, or researchers, living within a given culture for an extended period of time, to take part in its daily life in all its richness and diversity. The anthropologist in such an approach tries to experience a culture “from within,” as a person native to that culture might do (Donahue-Lynch, 2000). The philosophical justification for using participant observation is based upon the role that objectivity plays in anthropology; for the anthropologist, it is less important to be an objective observer and more important to gain a complete understanding of the culture that is being examined. Outsiders to the culture may be able to observe certain rituals or behaviors, but will probably be unable to understand their meaning without participating in those rituals.
Looking at the different approaches to research employed by sociologists and anthropologists, it becomes clear that while anthropology and sociology overlap, they focus on different aspects of human behavior. Anthropology takes a holistic approach to the study of human beings. In other words, it looks at all of the aspects of life for a group of people. As a result, it does not only focus on the people during that time period, but also on the impact that their ancestors have had on a group of people. It examines how the environment and how physical conditions, including the physical characteristics of the people being studied, impact the culture that is being examined.
Sociology is far more limited than anthropology. Rather than taking a holistic view of human beings, sociology focuses on human society specifically social relationships, and focuses on a specific society at a specific point in time. Sociology looks specifically at human relationships and how those relationships impact society as a whole. Sociologists see a link between certain relationships, such as family relationships, and how an individual will interact with society as a whole.
When examining the research methods frequently utilized in each discipline, one of the things that stands out is that anthropologists and sociologists place a different level of emphasis on objectivity. Sociologists are observers of certain societies at certain periods of time. Oftentimes, the sociologists are also members of the studied societies, but are expected to maintain a sufficient degree of objectivity in order to draw conclusions from research rather than personal experience. This is why sociologists may use the experimental design and may use other research methods that are not experimental to derive quantitative data. One of the most useful applications of such research is to describe how different sub-groups or sub-controls may respond within the framework of a larger social group. For example, sociologists may be interested in examining the impact of being from the upper socioeconomic class on people who are ethnic minorities.
In contrast, anthropologists tend to examine broader elements of humanity, going beyond social relationships. “A hallmark of sociocultural anthropology is its concern with similarities and differences, both within and among societies, and its attention to race, sexuality, class, gender, and nationality” (AAA, 2014). This means anthropologists often look for ways to compare different cultures, and then relate those cultures to the broader human experience. For example, anthropologists examine things such as art and language, which describe how humans communicate with one another, not merely the messages that they communicate. In order to fully understand this broader context, anthropologists oftentimes reject the objectivity that is considered such an important consideration in sociological research. This helps explain why anthropologists might select research methods that are immersive.
American Anthropological Association. (2014). What is anthropology? Retrieved January 29,
2014 from American Anthropological Association website: http://www.aaanet.org/about/whatisanthropology.cfm
Donahue-Lynch. (2000). Methods of research in cultural anthropology. Retrieved January 29,
2014 from Quinebaug Valley Community College website: http://www.qvctc.comment.edu/brian/methods.html
Palmquist, R. (2001). Survey methods. Retrieved January 29, 2014 from The University of Texas website: https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~palmquis/courses/survey.html
Sociology.com. (2013, June 24). 5 main research methods for sociologists. Retrieved January
29, 2014 from Sociology.com website: http://www.sociology.com/2013/06/5-main-research-methods-sociologists/
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.