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Sociology and Cultural Anthropology: Compare and Contrast

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Sociology and Cultural Anthropology: Compare and Contrast
Western Governor’s University
Issues in Behavioral Science (UG, GLT1-0310)

Sociology and cultural anthropology are two of the major social sciences. Sociology is the study of the progress, arrangement, relationship and performance of a group of people. It studies the group in a specific given time frame (Calhoun, 2002). Cultural anthropology is the study of human beings through their ancestors in terms of surroundings, social relationships, language, religious beliefs and the principles of their societies (O’Neil, 2011). Both of these fields are inter-related in the study of a society and social culture but they each use specific research methods that are appropriate for their own course of studies. Sociology identifies associations or correlations between variables in a small group of sample population and applies these findings to a larger population (Calhoun, 2002). Cultural anthropology looks at small groups of people in their studies. Researchers may compare their understandings of the subjects with other cultures we are familiar with, but they do not necessarily have to use these findings to explain other cultures (O’Neil, 2011). Sociologists use five main methods of research that include surveys, interviews, experiments, observations, and secondary analysis (Admin, 2013). Each research method has its positive and negative effects and the study itself determines which tool is best suited, though most research will use several methods. Philosophical justifications dictate which methodology should be used to fit the topics the researchers are trying to investigate. Survey research can be either written survey such as questionnaires or they can be interviewing surveys where the researcher administers the survey. Large number of people are asked the same questions and the...

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