Relationship Between Sociology and Anthropology

The relationship of sociology and anthropology is closely related to each other that they often appear two names for the same field of equity. A. L. Kroeber calls them “Twin sisters”.

Anthropology is the study of man It has many branches, like. Archeology. Linguistics, Social or Cultural Anthropology and Physical Anthropology. There are various forms of study of man and his behaviour. For instance, the Pre-history deals with the study of man when he could neither write nor read. Archeology pertains to the study of men and civilizations that are not alive now but have left some remains e.g. Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Taxila civilizations in Pakistan. Linguistic Anthropology lays emphasis on the study of languages and establishes a relationship among the individuals living in various parts of the world. Physical Anthropology aims at studying various forms of biological developments of mankind, form early Man to the homo sapiens. Social or Cultural Anthropology is the study of culture both material and non-material culture of relatively primitive people.

Different branches of Anthropology directly and indirectly deal with the human behaviour. A sociologist takes the help of Anthropology while describing, analyzing, interpreting and correlating the human relationships.

Starting from the assumption that Social Anthropology is the science of culture. If we define culture as mainly a system of symbols, language and values shared by given people then in that case Anthropology remains a distinct discipline in the same way as we discussed the production and distribution of goods and services the distinctive subject matter of economics. If culture is defined broadly to include patterns of ways of thinking, living, doing, value systems, normative order, institutional arrangements and belief systems then Anthropology becomes very close to Sociology.

However, Despite similarities Sociology and Anthropology remain separate disciplines. The former studies advanced societies whereas the latter primarily deals with primitive or non-literate man. The science of Sociology receives an active support from other social sciences to develop its frame of reference. But it should not be taken that Sociology is just an admixture of social sciences. It is an independent discipline and progressing rapidly throughout the world.

Difference between Sociology and Anthropology

Sociology and anthropology differ from each other in following respects.


  1. Sociology studies the modern, civilized and complex societies
  2. Sociologists more often study parts of a society and generally specialize in institutions such as family, marriage or processes, such as social change social mobility.  
  3. Sociologists study small as well as large societies.
  4. Sociology makes use of observation, interview, social survey, questionnaire. They and other methods and techniques in its methods and techniques in its investigation.


  1. Anthropology concerns itself simple, uncivilized or primitive and non-literate societies.
  2. Anthropologists tend to study societies in all their aspects as whole. They concentrate their studies in each culture area.
  3. Anthropologists usually concentrate on small societies such as those of nomads.
  4. Anthropologists directly go and lie in the communities they study. They make use of direct observation and interviews.