Example Of Essay On Behavioral Sciences
Sociology is done mostly from the positivist perspective, where there is a growing practice of interpretive research. In anthropology, most data collection is done by interpretivist approach, in which fieldworkers who go out, listen and watch, take notes, and bring all the data home. We discussed and understood the methods used in sociology, as well as the methods of cultural anthropology, and how they differ in terms of their approach and process. These methods are all utilized by sociologists and anthropologists to further understand the roots of social sciences.
Sociological research methods
Sociological research is based on the practice of empirical information to substantiate theories and concepts, and to test hypotheses. When a researcher has some concepts and theories or a question, he must choose a method of collecting data, and decide what kind of analysis will be most suitable for the concept.
Variable research is one of the sociological research methods, in which a researcher chooses variables to represent significant concepts, calculating the variables, and evaluating the results. Data are usually collected through surveys, and analysis is numeric. In conducting surveys, people who are being interviewed commonly answer some sets of statements and questions, and these answers are recorded by researchers and will be used as a basis for an experiment. Each survey is reviewed and compared to one another to distinguish the differences on how people think and react about a certain topic. Variable is a concept that can obtain more than a single value.
Experiment is another sociological research method that is utilized to test a certain hypothesis about a cause and effect association. An experiment usually has three steps, which are calculating effect variable, revealing the effect variable to the cause variable, and calculating the cause variable once more to see if there will be any change. Any aspects that might affect the two variables that are being calculated must be controlled. The philosophical justification of experiment is that, this research method makes the variable research method essential because the steps of experiment research are based on the results of the variable research. Experiment research method utilizes the data and variables produced by variable research (sparknotes.com).
Cultural anthropology research methods
Anthropology is the study of human being as an individual, a maker of culture and history, and a creation of society. Researchers share the day by day experiences of the people and subjects of their research, and usually live with them for years. Researchers also perform informal and formal interviews, conduct surveys, gather spoken myths, histories, and lineage, take notes, record, and film (Duke University).
Linguistic analysis is one of the common types of research methods in anthropology. In this method, cultural anthropologists use various methods to measure the facts of a people’s language such as the practice of phonology, which involves accurately documenting the properties of the sound of spoken words. Several linguistic anthropologists also perform orthography, which is the technique of making written reports of spoken languages. Furthermore, anthropologists study the features of grammar in languages, searching for the rules that assist the people in communicating their thoughts through threads of words.
Cultural immersion is another anthropological research method, which traditionally, involves direct, long-term observation and participation in another culture’s life. This method is also called participant observation, and gives a chance to anthropologists to get an inner view of why and how other people do what they do. Currently, most anthropologists study local languages to help them obtain an inner view of a culture. Anthropologists usually gather information by asking questions informally to the people whom they live with. The philosophy of cultural immersion is gathering essential information by observing and researching data. The significance of this research method is one of the most important information that it study is language of a culture, which can be obtained through the information gathered by linguistic analysis. Therefore, results of linguistic analysis research should always be accurate because a part of cultural immersion depends on it (University of Toronto).
Differences of Sociological and Anthropological approaches
The research methods of sociology and anthropology share general philosophical roots and interest for the social and cultural situations of human life, though these two fields have grown independently over the past century. Traditionally, sociology existed more on the innovating world, while anthropology concentrated on unmodernized culture. Although the department of Sociology and Anthropology has developed a single curriculum to provide concrete preparation for the study of both researches because of their similarities, each of these studies has its own distinctive strengths and qualities (Lewis & Clark).
Based on the research methods of sociology and anthropology, the investigational techniques used in sociology are more on observation and measurement of data before conducting an experiment, while anthropological research methods are practiced by researchers by involving themselves in the situation or in their subject’s life. Researchers personally experience the ways of living in order to successfully perform the research methods in anthropology.
Sociology is the study of social causes and social life of human behavior. Anthropology is a study of human beings as a whole. Both studies focus on social foundations and culture of human life, and share common theoretical roots. Though they have many similarities, they differ in research methods utilized in every condition and research that they are studying. The Department of Sociology and Anthropology should broaden education about the differences of these two studies since there are many are often confused with their definitions and methods.
Duke University. (n.d.). Duke University | Cultural Anthropology: What is Cultural Anthropology. Retrieved from http://culturalanthropology.duke.edu/undergraduate/what-is-cultural-anthropology
Lewis & Clark. (n.d.). Sociology and Anthropology - Undergraduate Catalog - College of Arts and Sciences - Lewis & Clark. Retrieved from http://docs.lclark.edu/undergraduate/sociologyanthropology/
SparkNotes. (n.d.). Sociological Research Methods. Retrieved from http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/gensci/sociology/section12.php
Utoronto.ca. (n.d.). Introduction to Anthropology. Retrieved from http://individual.utoronto.ca/boyd/anthro4.htm
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