introduction to sociology and anthropology

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Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology:

Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology Complied by: Jeevan Acharya

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objectives Origin, Meaning, Definition and Scope of Sociology Sub-division of Sociology Origin, Meaning, Definition and scope of Anthropology Sub division of Anthropology Similarities and differences between Sociology and anthropology

Factors contributing to the emergence of sociology::

Factors contributing to the emergence of sociology: Three factors led to the development of sociology 1.Industrial Revolution 2.Travel 3.Success of Natural Sciences


LATE 1700s-1800s THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Scientific and technological advances are applied to agriculture, transportation, and industry.


Travel The Europeans had been successful in obtaining colonies Their colonial empires exposed them to radically different cultures Startled by these contrasting ways of life, they began to ask questions why cultures differed

Success in natural sciences :

Success in natural sciences Newton’s laws explained the movement of everything visible in the universe (from planets to buildings) It seemed logical to discover the laws underlying social phenomena

The Development of Sociology:

The Development of Sociology Sociology emerged as a separate discipline in the nineteenth century This was a time of great social upheaval due largely to the French and Industrial Revolutions Several early sociologists shaped the direction of the discipline

Pioneering founders of sociology:

Pioneering founders of sociology August Comte, French, 1798-1857 Karl Marx, German, 1818-1883 Emile Durkheim, French, 1858-1917 Max Weber, German, 1864-1920 Herbert Spencer, British, 1820-1903 Harriet Martineau, British, 1802-1876

Auguste Comte: The Father of Sociology:

Auguste Comte : The Father of Sociology Responsible for coining the term “sociology” Set out to develop the “science of man” that would be based on empirical observation Focused on two aspects of society: Social Statics— forces which produce order and stability Social Dynamics— forces which contribute to social change

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876):

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) Authored one of the earliest analyses of culture and life in the United States entitled Theory and Practice of Society in America Translated Comte’s Positive Philosophy into English Harriet Martineau

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903):

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) Authored the first sociology text, Principles of Sociology Most well known for proposing a doctrine called “Social Darwinism” Suggested that people who could not compete were poorly adapted to the environment and inferior This is an idea commonly called survival of the fittest

Karl Marx (1818-1883):

Karl Marx (1818-1883) Marx is the father of conflict theory Saw human history in a continual state of conflict between two major classes: Bourgeoisie— owners of the means of production (capitalists) Proletariat— the workers Predicted that revolution would occur producing first a socialist state, followed by a communist society

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917):

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) Durkheim moved sociology fully into the realm of an empirical science Most well known empirical study is called Suicide , where he looks at the social causes of suicide Generally regarded as the founder of functionalist theory Emile Durkheim

Max Weber (1864-1920):

Max Weber (1864-1920) Much of Weber’s work was a critique or clarification of Marx His most famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism directly challenged Marx’s ideas on the role of religion in society Weber was also interested in bureaucracies and the process of rationalization in society

Meaning of sociology:

Meaning of sociology One of the youngest social science Composed of two word, “ Socius” meaning companion or associate and “ logos ” meaning science or study. The etymological, literal definition of sociology is that it is the word or speaking about society.

Meaning of sociology (cont…):

Meaning of sociology (cont…) Sociology is not social studies but queen of all science. Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies which encompasses elements of other social science, but views society in a holistic way.

Definition of Sociology:

Definition of Sociology “Sociology is a debunking science; that is, it looks for levels of reality other than those presented in official interpretations of society and people’s common sense explanations of the social world. Sociologists are interested in understanding what is and do not make value judgments.” -Soroka

Definition of Sociology (cont…):

Definition of Sociology (cont…) “Sociology is a science of social relationship’” -A.W Small “Sociology as the science of social phenomenon subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation.” -Auguste Comte

Is Sociology a science?:

Is Sociology a science? Sociology deserves a scientific character: Society is an open laboratory Experimentation Comparative methods Prediction Predict the future social behaviour with different social problems and social life Generalization Generalization social aspects after a research

Is Sociology a science? (cont…):

Is Sociology a science? (cont…) B. Sociology does not deserves a scientific character: Open laboratory: human society is always changeable and dynamic Experimentation: cannot applied scientific formula and principles in human society Comparative methods: less reliable in natural science Prediction : difficult to predict human behaviour Generalization: In the case of sociology study, this case may not necessary build up the theory

Nature of sociology:

Nature of sociology Independent science A social science and not a physical science A categorical and not a normative discipline A pure science and not a applied science Relatively an abstract science and not a concrete science A generalizing and not a particularizing science Both a Rationale and an Empirical science Enlisted by Robert Biersteadt in his book “The social order”

Subject matter of sociology:

Subject matter of sociology The subject matter of sociology is complex and varied. However, sociology seeks find explanation for these basic question: 1. How and why societies emerge? 2. How and why societies persist? 3. How and why societies change?

Subject matter of sociology (cont…):

Subject matter of sociology (cont…) A general outline of the fields of sociology on which there is considerable agreement among sociologist could be given below: 1. Sociological Analysis 2. Studies primary unit of social life 3. Study of basic social institutions 4. Study of social process 5. Method of Research 6. Concepts, propositions and theories 7. Specialization in study

Scope of sociology:

Scope of sociology There are two main school of thought regarding the scope of sociology: Specialitic or formalistic school of thought Sociology studies one specified aspect of social relations. A comparison is drawn between the social relationships and a bottle. George Simmel, A.W. Small, Max Weber & F. Tonnis as its main advocate

Scope of sociology (cont…):

Scope of sociology (cont…) Synthetic school of thought The Synthetic school want to make sociology a synthesis of the social science or general science Emile Durkheim, Hob House, Sorokin and Ginsberg has been the chief exponent of this school

Specific Sub-division of sociology:

Specific Sub-division of sociology criminology; demography; human ecology; political sociology; medical sociology; Sociology of the family; sociology of sports; rural sociology; economic sociology; industrial sociology. sociology of development; social psychology; socio- linguistics; sociology of education; sociology of religion; sociology of knowledge; sociology of art; sociology of science and technology; sociology of law; and urban sociology

Most important fields of Sociology:

Most important fields of Sociology The Field of Social Organization and Theory of Social Order Social Control Social Change Social Processes Social Groups Social Problems World Book Encyclopedia, 1994: Vol. 18; Pp. 564-568

Levels of analysis in sociology:

Levels of analysis in sociology Micro-sociology: Analyzing small scale social phenomena Macro-sociology: analyzing large-scale social phenomena Meso-sociology: analysis of social phenomena in between the micro- and macro- levels.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Comparing Theoretical Perspectives Perspective Scope of Analysis Point of View Focus of Analysis Structural-Functionalism Macro Level Various parts of society are interdependent Social systems are highly stable Social life governed by consensus & cooperation Functional and dysfunctional aspects of society Conflict Theory Macro Level Society accommodates between competing interest groups Society unstable and prone to change Social life conflict-laden 1. How social inequalities produce conflict 2. Who benefits from social arrangements Interactionist Micro-Level Actions have symbolic meanings Meanings can vary How people make sense of their world

History of Anthropology:

History of Anthropology Even though anthropology, as a discipline of study, did not appear until the 16th century. Most of the early philosophers who carried anthropology related research were Greek, like Herodotus in 500 BC, Aristotle in 400 BC and Strabo in 100 BC.

History of Anthropology (cont…) :

History of Anthropology (cont…) Historians of anthropology often claim that anthropology as a discipline originated during, and due to, the period in history known as the Renaissance. The term 'anthropology' was coined in 16th century Germany, by German university professors.

History of Anthropology (cont…) :

History of Anthropology (cont…) The most revolutionizing works in anthropology were written by Charles Darwin. He wrote The Voyage of the Beagle, that was published in 1845 AD, and On the Origin of Species, that appeared in 1859 AD. 'Histoire Naturelle' written by French naturalist Georges Buffon is an encyclopedia in which 2 of the 44 volumes have been dedicated to anthropology.

History of Anthropology (cont…) :

History of Anthropology (cont…) The German anthropologist, Johann F. Blumenbach, played a highly instrumental role in the development of the branch of anthropology known as physical anthropology. Modern-day anthropology has been highly influenced by the works of American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, during the middle of the 20th century.


EARLY 20th CENTURY ANTHROPOLOGY Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) and Franz Boas (1858-1942) developed the method of “participant observation,” and lived among other cultures for extended periods. They were both emphatically opposed to social evolution. Anthropology becomes more grounded in cultural relativism. Anthropologists stop focusing on the origins of religions to: How religions spread through DIFFUSION, the mixing of cultural elements from one society to another through contact over time. What FUNCTIONS religions serve in society.

SIR EDWARD B. TYLOR “Father of Anthropology”:

SIR EDWARD B. TYLOR “Father of Anthropology” A social evolutionist. He asserted that the development of religions from one stage to the next is universal throughout the world’s cultures: ANIMISM: Belief in souls, and that all things in the world are endowed with a soul. TOTEMISM: Religious practices centered around animals, plants, or other aspects of the natural world held to be ancestral or closely identified with a group and its individuals. POLYTHEISM: Belief in more than one, or many gods. MONOTHEISM: Belief in one god.

CHARLES DARWIN 1809 to 1882:

CHARLES DARWIN 1809 to 1882 The Origin of Species , 1859. "Much light will be shed on the origin of man (sic) and his history” (p. 459). Darwin’s biological studies of evolution paralleled an interest in social evolution that produced a body of knowledge that supported social, economic, and political policies.

Meaning of Anthropology :

Meaning of Anthropology Derived from two Greek word, “Anthropos” which means man and “logos” means study or science. Thus, Anthropology is the science of man and his works and behaviour. British Anthropologist E.B. Tylor is called the father of anthropology. Another British scholar Charles Darwin is also believed to be major contributors in the fields of anthropology.

Meaning of Anthropology (cont…) :

Meaning of Anthropology (cont…) Anthropology, a uniquely holistic and comparative discipline, is the scientific and humanistic study of human species, of human biology and cultural diversity and its immediate ancestors. Simply, Anthropology is a historical study which explores the origin of and changes in human biology and culture.

Definition of Anthropology:

Definition of Anthropology “Anthropology is the study of man and his works, races, and customs of human life.” -EN Hobble “Anthropology is the science of groups of men and their behaviour and production” -A.L. Krober

Characteristics of Anthropology:

Characteristics of Anthropology 1. Anthropology is “Holistic”. ‘Holism’ refers to the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present, future; biology, sociology, language and culture. It is also the study of human’s immediate ancestors (person from whom one is descended).

Characteristics of Anthropology (cont…):

Characteristics of Anthropology (cont…) 2. Anthropology is also “Comparative” and “Cross-Cultural”. It is a comparative field that examines all societies- ancient and modern; simple and complex. It systematically compares data from different populations and time periods. However, the other social sciences tend to focus on a single society whereas the anthropology offers a unique cross-cultural perspective by constantly comparing the customs of one society with those of others.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Division and sub division of Anthropology Physical Anthropology Cultural anthropology Human genetic Human paleontology Anthropometry Biometry Archaeology Ethnology Linguistics Applied anthropology Social anthropology

Short description on division and sub-division of Anthropology :

Short description on division and sub-division of Anthropology A. Physical Anthropology: Deals with bodily characteristics of early man and our primitive contemporaries. And for an appropriate and scientific study of these aspects, physical anthropology is divided into various branches, these are: Human genetic: In which we compare inherited genetic character as well as the pattern of the change in the human gene. Human paleontology: Study the human fossils both inside and outside the surface of the earth which are found in different parts.

Short description on division and sub-division of Anthropology (cont…) :

Short description on division and sub-division of Anthropology (cont…) 3. Anthropometry : It is the comparative study of physical body. 4. Biometry: study the biological aspects like birth, growth, death etc and analyses statistically. B. Cultural anthropology: Which investigate the cultural remains of early man and of the living cultures of some of the primitives contemporaries. It is divided into various subdivision they are: 1. Archaeology: Describes past human behavior, cultural (social, economic, religious, political) patterns by studying material remains, usually of prehistoric populations.

Short description on division and sub-division of Anthropology (cont…) :

Short description on division and sub-division of Anthropology (cont…) 2. Ethnology: Ethnology examines, interprets, analyzes, and compares the results of Ethnography– the data gathered from different societies. 3. Linguistics: studies language in its social and cultural context, across space and over time 4. Applied anthropology : application of anthropologic data, perspectives, theory, and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems 5. Social anthropology: concerned with the cultures and ways of life of all the world’s societies in both the present and recent past - from remote tribal communities to industrial societies.

Scope of Anthropology:

Scope of Anthropology The scope of anthropology consists the origin of human evolution, racial variation. How the physical structure is made, and how variation occurred during a span of life. Physical variations among human species & primates and between animals and human. What kind of ancestors of man was emerged in places, how they shifted to other places and how they collapsed etc. Subject matter of racial variation Subject matter of physical variation, variations among species & the change

Scope of Anthropology (cont…):

Scope of Anthropology (cont…) Study of human fossils Genetic effect and the state of change in man Biological study of birth, growth, diseases and death of man Culture those developed in various periods evolution and change etc Subjects related to the origin and developments of social cultural, ethnic and political organization and institutions Subjects related to development, variation and changes in language

Scope of Anthropology (cont…):

Scope of Anthropology (cont…) Tendencies like conflicts, cultural collapses racial differentiation and poverty those appeared in the changing society. System, tradition , laws, working procedure etc of a society Marriage, kinship, family, politics are also the scopes of anthropological study

Similarities and differences between anthropology and other sociology :

Similarities and differences between anthropology and other sociology 1. Similarities : Cultural anthropology and sociology share an interest in - social relations, - organizations, - behavior, - race, ethnicity, - social class, - gender, power relations in modern nations. As the modern system grows, sociologists do research in 3rd world countries. Also, as industrialization spreads, many anthropologists work in industrial nations.

Similarities and differences between anthropology and other sociology (cont…):

Similarities and differences between anthropology and other sociology (cont…) 2. Difference : Initially sociologists focused on the industrial west; anthropologists on nonindustrial societies. Different methods on data collection and analysis emerged to deal with these different kinds of societies. To study large-scale, complex nations, sociologists came to rely on questionnaires and other means of gathering masses of quantifiable data. For many years, sampling and Statistical techniques have been basic to sociology, where as statistical training has been less common in anthropology. Traditional ethnographers studied small and non-literate populations and relied on methods appropriate to that context – such as, close observation, records, engaging in the daily life of another culture, writing accounts of this culture, emphasizing descriptive details and participant observation (taking part in the events one is observing, describing, and analyzing).

Reference :

Reference Acharya BR. Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology . National Book Center,Kathmandu, 2010 Shankar Rao CN. Sociology: Primary Principles . S Chand and Company Ltd, New Delhi, 2005. Bhusan V, Sachdeva DR. An Introduction to Sociology . Kitab Mahal, Allahabad, India, 2009. Doda,Zerihun. Introduction to Sociology. Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, The Carter Center, the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, and the Ethiopia Ministry of Education, June 2005 Presentation given on anthropology by Mohammad Ehsanul Karim <>Institute of Statistical Research and Training University of Dhaka, Dhaka- 1000, Bangladesh Gowda krishne. Sociology for nurses , CBS publishers & distributors Pvt. Ltd, India , 1011 Google website, PU notes and LGIC notes

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