Relationship of Anthropology with other disciplines

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Relationship of Anthropology with other disciplines

Anthropology does not deal with a single subject. Anthropology is such field that relates with other subjects to deal with a given problem. That is why Anthropology is a broad-based study.

To know about the subject Anthropology, go through the article- Introduction of Anthropology.

We know about different branches of Anthropology which I discussed in my earlier article – Branches of Anthropology.

Now let’s discuss the Relationship of anthropology with other disciplines.

Social Anthropology with Social science

Social science studies human behaviour. Likewise, anthropology is a science of man which studies human behaviour in totality. Both sciences use their methods for data collection like sampling, statistical techniques etc. Both conduct the same type of study such as caste system, the village community, social class, power relation, races, ethnicity etc.

There are a lot of similarities between both subjects but they also differ in respect of their methods of study.

Relation with History-

History is the study of past events in sequence. Anthropologists focused on the present conditions of culture and community under study. Anthropologists use the data collected by historians to understand past events of a particular culture. History helps anthropologists to relate past events with present situations. Here history act as a tool for anthropology to study past events.

Historians use written documents while anthropologists use the observation method.

Relation with Psychology-

Psychology deals with the nature and function of the human mind. Psychology and social anthropology both deal with people about other people.

Image- HubPages

Anthropologists like Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead both study psychological anthropology. Psychological anthropology deals with moral values.

Relation with Earth science-

Earth science study geology and human geography while Archaeology is also linked with geology. Archaeology is another important branch of anthropology. Archaeology deals with past events in sequence based on material remaining live cave paintings, tools, fossils etc.

Anthropology with Medical science-

Link- Medical anthropology

Anthropology and Life sciences

Here life sciences include Zoology (deals with the position of man in Animal Kingdom), Biology (study of the evolution of man), Genetics (concerned with variations in different populations) and Anatomy (involve the study of function and operation of physical features of the human body).  

Physical anthropology, another branch of anthropology, deals with all those topics which come under Life sciences.

It does not restrict itself to the study of present man only but is the comparative study of man concerning past, present and future.

Relation with the Environment-

Anthropology is the study of human’s culture in its surrounding environment. To understand the culture of a society one should know its surrounding. Man is regarded as an interaction between heredity and the environment.

Natural settings play an important role in the development of the human lifestyle.

Source- SlideServe

For example- one can understand the effect of the environment on the human lifestyle by comparing the life of rural people with those of industrial people.

To read in detail, go through the link- Ecological Anthropology

Anthropology and humanities-

Humanities are concerned with human nature, human culture, the human race etc. Likewise, anthropology also studies human culture.

Anthropology with Political science-

Political science studies the organization and activities of the society while anthropology gives knowledge of the origin of state from stateless society. In a way, both help each other. Political science deals with the political life of society while anthropology deals with complete social life.

Anthropology with the Economy-

Anthropology is the complete study of social life while the economy only focuses on the economic life of a society. The economic life of an individual is examined in both subjects. Anthropology is more interested in simple society than modern society but the economy gives importance to modern complex society only.

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