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Sociology vs. Cultural Anthropology Essay

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The research methods in sociology and anthropology are similar yet follow a specific set of guidelines for each. Each field approaches research in a similar fashion but the methodology and intentions can differ. The differences reflect the distinct differences that are present in sociology and anthropology. The way that an anthropologist approaches a problem and attempts to solve it is different than a sociologist because of the discerning basis of their knowledge. Some of the research methods require a researcher to be up close and personal with subjects while in other methods the subject don’t even realize they are being observed. From these research methods, sociologists and anthropologists draw conclusions from their observations.
Sociological research methods include experiments and social surveys. Experiments are carefully designed investigations in which the variables being studied are controlled and the researcher obtains results through precise observation and measurement (Tischler, 2007). The researcher then studies those measurements to determine the impact of the variables. Experiments are designed to simulate real-life under controlled circumstances to the absolute best of the researcher’s ability. Advantages to conducting an expirement are that variables can be isolated and controlled and are the perfect setting for testing cause -and -effect relationships. However, most things that sociologists study can not be studied in a “lab”. There are 3 different types of experiments; Laboratory, natural and field experiments. In a ‘lab’ setting the subjects are in a contained setting. Natural experiments come from actual occurrences and this creates a sort of living and breathing laboratory. Natural disasters provid...


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...r, 2007). Many of the theories and concepts between sociology and cultural overlap because on a very basic level it is people being studied and their behaviors in the past and present. Using the methods of research, researchers can make predictions about society in the future.


Works Cited

Research Methods. (n.d.). Eastern Oregon University - Home. Retrieved January 3, 2011, from http://www2.eou.edu/~kdahl/methdef.html
Sociological Research Methods. (n.d.). Sociological Research Methods. Retrieved January 3, 2011, from www.fdbond.com/Sociology
Sociological Research Methods : SparkCharts. (n.d.). SparkNotes: SparkCharts. Retrieved January 4, 2011, from http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/gensci/sociology/section12.php
Tischler, H. L. (2007). The Sociological Perspective. Introduction to sociology (9th ed., pp. 9-10). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.


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