Difference Between Sociology and Anthropology

Main Difference – Sociology vs Anthropology

Sociology and Anthropology are both fields that study the human society and the human being. The main difference between sociology and anthropology is the approach adopted in each discipline. Anthropology studies human societies and cultures and their development. Sociology studies the development, structure, and functions of the human society.

What is Sociology

Sociology is an academic field that focuses on human interactions, social structure, and social organization. Areas like development, structures, organizations, units, institutions and social roles of individuals, etc. are studied under this field. The subject matter of sociology ranges from micro levels such as individual and family to macro level of systems and social structures.

Social class, social stratification, social mobility, law, etc. are the areas which are traditionally focused in sociology. It has now expanded to other disciplines such as medicine, politics, education, military, etc.

Sociology uses both quantitative and qualitative data collected through surveys and sampling. In addition, sociology traditionally focused on the industrialized western societies.

Difference Between Sociology and Anthropology

What is Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of human beings in terms of physical characteristics, environmental and social relations, and culture. Anthropology focuses on culture and its characteristics. Areas like art, gender, language, religion are studied under anthropology. In anthropology, communities, their cultures, traditions are closely observed. Anthropologists study how individuals, families, and communities engage with the larger society and social trends. The characteristics of one group of people are often compared to another.

There are different sub-fields in anthropology. For example, cultural anthropology focuses on the study of cultural variations among different groups. Linguistic anthropology focuses on the influence of language on society. Biological anthropology is a scientific discipline that focuses on the biological and behavioral aspects of human beings.

Anthropology mainly uses qualitative data since it studies the culture and communities. Anthropology traditionally focused on non-western countries, but this practice is changing now.

Main Difference - Sociology vs Anthropology

Difference Between Sociology and Anthropology


Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society.

Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures and their development.


Sociology focuses on social problems and institutions.

Anthropology focuses on culture and community.


Sociology uses quantitative and qualitative data.

Anthropology uses qualitative data.


Sociology studies areas like social class, social stratification, social mobility, law, etc.

Anthropology studies areas like art, gender, language, and religion.


Sociology traditionally focused on western societies.

Anthropology traditionally focused on non-western societies.


Sociology is divided into different sub-fields such as gender studies, criminology, social work, etc.

Anthropology is divided into different sub-fields such as linguistic anthropology, archaeology, forensic anthropology, etc.Difference Between Sociology and Anthropology- infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Sociology” by By Tamaric1997 – Сопствено дело,  via

“Anthropology” by Antony Stanley from Gloucester, UK – Coatlicue Statue in National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City via

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