RELATIONSHIP OF ANTHROPOLOGY WITH OTHER DESCIPLINES:- Social Science, Behaviour Science, Life Sciences, Medical Science,Earth Science and Humanities

July 23, 2016

Social Sciences: - Anthropology studies social, economic and political

aspects of man, which is why anthropology is related to sociology,

economics and political science.

Anthropology’s relationship with sociology is very close. Both the

disciplines study social aspect of man such as marriage, family, kinship,

group, institution, association, community, band, tribe, caste, peasants etc.

Because of this commonness, social anthropology is regarded as

comparative sociology. However the two disciplines differ in their focus

and approach.

1. Anthropology is more concerned with simple tribal societies, whereas

sociological preference is modern societies.

2. Anthropology studies origin and biological characteristic of man,

whereas sociology ignores the study of biological aspect of man.

 

Anthropology and Economics: - Both the disciplines look into economic

aspects of man, however differently.

Anthropology studies economic aspect of man in simple tribal societies

from non-economic (socio-cultural) point of view. On the other hand

Economics studies economic activities of modern societies from economic

point of view (demand and supply, profit and loss etc.)

 

Anthropology and Political Science: - Both the disciplines study political

aspect of man, however in different ways; Anthropology studies political

aspect of man in simple tribal societies from non-political (socio-cultural)

point of view, on the other hand political science studies political activities

of modern societies from political point of view in terms of legislative,

executive, and judiciary.

 

Anthropology and Behavioural Science: - Anthropology is closely related

to behavioural sciences especially psychology. Anthropology and

psychology, both study behaviour of man, socialization process, culture and

personality etc. However, in the study and analysis of behaviour of man,

both disciplines differ as follows. The focus of anthropological study is

culture and from the study of culture, inference is drawn regarding

behaviour of man. On the other hand psychology studies behaviour and

from the study of behaviour, inference is drawn regarding culture. A man

behaves in a certain way because he might have come from such and such

cultural back ground.

 

Anthropology and Life Science: - Since anthropology studies origin and

biological characteristics of man, that is why, anthropology is related to life

science such as zoology and botany. Botany studies how existing plants

evolved from pre-existing plants and their present functioning. Zoology

studies how existing organism including man evolved from pre-existing

organism and their present functioning. Anthropology is mainly concerned

with how present human evolved from past human ancestors (Fossil men)

such as Ramapithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus and Neanderthal.

Mendel’s Laws developed on Pea plant (in Botany) are very useful in

anthropology for understanding human similarities and differences.

Biological advancement such as DNA finger printing, Recombinant DNA

technologies are useful in anthropology for the study of prevention and

cure of human diseases.

 

Anthropology and Medical Science: - Both medical anthropology and

medical science are concerned with the study of health and disease,

however differently. Medical anthropology studies health and disease in

primitive societies in socio-cultural dimension. It involves the study of

sorcery, witchcraft, black magic, ritual practices, and herbal medicine in

order to understand health and disease in tribal societies.

On the other hand, medical science studies health and disease of modern

societies in term of biological factors- bacteria, virus, protozoa etc.

 

Anthropology and Earth Science: - Anthropology is related to earth

science i.e. geography and geology. Both anthropology and geography study

man-environment relationship.

Geography studies environment and its impacts of man’s social, cultural,

economic, political and biological aspect. On the other hand, anthropology

studies man and his behavioural impacts on environment in term of

deforestation, pollution etc. which further damages the quality of human

life, longevity etc. by inflicting man with new diseases.

 

Anthropology and Humanities: - Science and humanities, although have

exclusive approaches, but both come together in anthropology. The

humanistic side of anthropology is evident in its concern with other

culture’s language, values and achievement in arts and literature (oral

literature, among the people who lack wriiting). In those aspects

anthropology is close to humanistic disciplines such as literature, history,

fine arts etc., however anthropology differs from these disciplines in the

way of studying the aspects in scientific manner. Anthropologists try to

understand the humanistic aspects of other cultures by observing them

from their eyes, living throughout with them, sharing their joys and

suffering their deprivation including sickness.

Anthropology has amassed about human frailty and nobility – the study of

humanities as any other humanistic discipline.

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