Differences between sociology, anthropology, and psychology

Sociology, anthropology and psychology are studies, theories and ideas involved the study of humankind. More often than not, the individual studies of either subject overlap slightly into one or the other. Therefore, they are the trinity to the study of man. Sociology is the scientific and biological study of societies and social relationships. Its main purpose is to give sociologists an insight into human behavior. Sociology studies how and why we behave as a society, group, family or religion member for example.

Sociology asks diverse questions from ‘why do people fall in love? ‘ ‘How did ancient executions take place? ‘ among others. Sociologists collect volumes of data based on comparative, developmental and theoretical questions. Comparative questions often compare social context between countries, such as the differences in criminal behavior and /or policing. Developmental questions plot a route from pre-existing societies to the present day, in order to study the process of a particular subject, such as the beginning of the welfare state.

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Theoretical questions (empirical a sociological term), asks the question ‘why’ things happen. Empirical questions study theories such as industrialization. Anthropology is the study of humanity throughout time. Physical anthropology involves – Biology, the study of living organisms. Demography, the study of populations as a whole. Archaeology, analysis of remains of humans, animals, crops etc. Social or cultural anthropology otherwise known in the United States as sociocultural anthropology, Studies the structures and cultures produced by humankind.

Sociocultural anthropologists’ study many of the same theories and theorists as scholars of sociology. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior within humans and animals, concentrating on theories concerned with human mental behavior. Psychological studies include – Psychoanalysis, the study of a person’s sub-conscious cravings and urges. One belief is that unconscious urges lead to a person’s unstable or neurotic behavior. Behaviorism, the study of behavior.

Studies included using animals in experiments for understanding learning by rewarding them for good behavior. And, Humanistic movement, which emphasizes ‘the self’. More importantly, how a person sees themselves through the eyes of others, otherwise known as self-perception. Although some sociology, anthropology and psychology disciplines can be beneficial to each other, they are as far apart from each other as any scientific theory, any scientific study and any social scientist who studies them.

C. WRIGHT MILLS “THE POWER ELITE” The Power Elite is a book written by sociologist C. Wright Mills in 1956. In it Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities. The structural basis of The Power Elite is that, following World War II, the United States was the leading country in military and economic terms.

According to Mills, the Power Elite are those that occupy the dominant positions, in the dominant institutions (military, economic and political) of a dominant country, and their decisions (or lack of decisions) have enormous consequences, not only for the U. S. population but, “the underlying populations of the world. ” Mills outlines the historical structural trends that led to the ascension of the power elite as involving a concentration of economic power and the cultural apparatus in the hands of a few, the emergence of a permanent war economy in the U. S. during and after WW2, the emergence of a bureaucratically standardized and conditioned (controlled) mass society and a political vacuum that was filled by economic and military elites. Due to the interchangeability of top positions within these three institutions, the members of the power elite develop class consciousness and a community of interests guided by a militarized culture, or what Mills described as the military metaphysic.

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