UPSC Sociology Mains Syllabus
Paper 1 – Chapter 1 – Sociology – The Discipline
Topic – Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
- Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures and societies, in both the present and past, including past human species.
- Social anthropology studies patterns of behaviour, while cultural anthropology studies cultural meaning, including norms and values.
- Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life.
- Anthropology has taken birth from curiosity of Western scholars in primitive societies in non-Western countries.
- Sociology originated from philosophy of history, political thought and positive sciences.
- Anthropologists in their study place themselves as outsiders without being involved in values.
- The methods employed by sociologists are loaded with values.
- Social anthropology tend to study society in all the aspects as a whole.
- Sociology is often study parts of an existing society like family or processes such as social mobility.
- Anthropologist generally live in the community they study to observe and their analysis essentially qualitative.
- Sociology often rely on statistics and questionnaires which are mostly quantitative.
- Anthropology studies physical aspects related to the evolution and biology.
- Sociology mainly focuses on cultural and social aspects.
- Time and cultural elements are the aspects that separate the two disciplines.
- Classical Western notions view sociology as a study of industrialised society while anthropology as study of primitive society. This is not applicable in today’s society is like India.
- The two disciplines grew up in close cooperation with each other in terms of the concepts used, areas of interest and their methods of study.
- Both the disciplines study the same subject matter – man.
- The small units of study which the anthropology is required are fast disappearing and both anthropologists and sociology are concerned with the process of economic growth and social changes.
- Examples of convergence of the two disciplines – Talcott Parsons and R K Merton attempted towards an adaptation of functionalist approach to study industrial societies; William Whyte adopted participant observation for the study of modern industrial society.