Difference between Sociology and Anthropology

Difference between Sociology and Anthropology

Differences in Sociology and Anthropology |. Humans and their behavior in society have always been the subject of study for many researchers, especially for sociologists and anthropologists. Anthropology is the branch of science in which we learn about humans and their evolution, with respect to culture, physical traits, interactions, language, behavior, etc.

Anthropology is a broad field of study, the subject of which is ‘Humans’, both past and present. Many think that sociology is the same as anthropology, but in reality sociology is a sub-domain of anthropology.

Sociology is a social science that studies organized groups, their functions, origins, interactions, problems etc. In this article excerpt, we will discuss the difference between Sociology and Anthropology.

Definition of Sociology

Sociology is a behavioral science that deals with social life, changes, interactions, causes and results of human behavior. Basically, sociology studies how people interact with each other in society, as well as how a person’s behavior is moved according to social structures, categories, etc.

Sociologists study the structure, patterns, processes, organization, culture and behavior of society by observing and surveying changes in important elements of organized groups such as communities, societies, etc.

Sociology is a scientific field of study in which, we get to know human society, its social behavior, interactions, structures, processes, relationship patterns and forms. Individuals who study sociology are referred to as sociologists. Social facts collected by sociologists including attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, traditions, institutions and so on, constitute a social order.

Sociology helps in tackling a number of social issues like societal beliefs and practices, social mobility, stratification, change, chaos/restlessness, etc.

Definition of Anthropology

Anthropology refers to the methodical study of humans regarding their evolution and development, the way they behave and communicate, the culture they follow, how they adapt to a dynamic environment, how they socialize, etc. Physically, socially and culturally.

Furthermore, he also discusses the origin of prehistory, the uniqueness of humans as a species, and the diversity of modern humans. In more refined terms, anthropology is the study of ‘humans’ in terms of biological and sociocultural aspects.

Individuals who study anthropology are known as anthropologists. Anthropologists seek to explore more about human origins and antiquity, and they do so by researching our ancestors through archaeological surveys and by analyzing cultures around the world.

Anthropology Branch
Physical Anthropology: The subject of physical anthropology is the human body, ancestral characteristics and the status of a man in a group.

Physical Anthropology is divided into five branches, namely:

  1. Human genetics
  2. Human paleontology
  3. Ethnology
  4. Anthropometry
  5. Biometry

Cultural Anthropology: The terminology itself suggests cultural anthropology as a branch of anthropology whose subject is human culture. It studies the history, evolution and development of culture. Culture implies shared customs, morals, norms, traditions, values, beliefs, signs, symbols, language, religion, science, literature, etc. from a group.

Cultural Anthropology is divided into two subcategories, namely:

  1. Prehistoric Archeology
  2. Social Anthropology.

Key Differences Between Sociology and Anthropology

The difference between sociology and anthropology can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:

  1. Sociology refers to the social science that studies society, its structure, patterns of relationships, interactions, etc. of everyday life. In contrast, Anthropology is a social science that studies humans, with respect to their origin, development and behavior.
  2. Sociology deals with people living in interdependence, namely society. In contrast, anthropology deals with humans and their ancestors, such as how they evolved, how they adapted, how they interacted with each other and how they differed from other species.
  3. While sociologists study human behavior, with respect to cause and effect at the group level or societal level, anthropology studies the same at the individual level.
  4. Sociology aims to eliminate social problems through policies. On the other hand, the main aim of anthropology is to know about human diversity and cultural differences.
  5. Sociology studies both pre-graduate and educated, i.e. modern and ancient society. In contrast, the study of Anthropology is only preliterate, i.e. civilized, ancient and primitive societies. Here preliterate indicates a society or culture that has not developed the use of writing as a medium of communication.
  6. Sociologists use both qualitative and quantitative methods for research purposes. In contrast, anthropologists use only qualitative methods.


In short, anthropology is the study of ‘humans’. It studies all aspects and characteristics of humans, including the sociology of ancestors. On the other hand, in sociology, we study the patterned and shared behavior of human beings, and their social life, social change, social mobility, etc.