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SH1661

Understanding the Concepts of Anthropology, Sociology, and Political Science

ANTHROPOLOGY
· It includes topics such as human origin, globalization, social change, and world history.
· It is the study of humankind in all times and all places.
· It is the study of humanity including our prehistoric origins and contemporary human diversity.

Goals
· Discover what makes people different from one another in order to understand and preserve
diversity – Anthropology attempts to answer questions like, “What does it mean to be a Filipino
and a citizen of the world?” It is not enough that anthropologists find out the characteristics that
make Filipinos unique, it is also important to emphasize the Filipino traits that makes them “one”
with the rest of the world.
· Discover what all people have in common – By studying commonalities (folklores, traditions,
language, etc.) in all humanity, we could understand more about the human’s nature.
· Look at one’s own culture more objectively like an outsider – It aims to make “the strange
familiar and the familiar strange.” Anthropology also challenges individuals to evaluate and
criticize their own culture. This is important so that people will be aware of the faults in their
own culture and make necessary changes for its betterment.
· Produce new knowledge and new theories about humankind and human behavior – This new
knowledge is then applied in an attempt to alleviate human challenges.

Fields
· Cultural Anthropology – Refers to the study of living people and their cultures including
variation and change. It deals with the description and analysis of the forms and styles and the
social lives of past and present ages. Cultural anthropologists also study art, religion, migration,
marriage, and family.
· Linguistic Anthropology – Refers to the study of communication, mainly (but not exclusively)
among humans. It includes the study of communication’s origins, history, and contemporary
variation.
· Archaeology - Refers to the study of past human cultures through their material remains. It is the
study of past human cultures through the recovery and analysis of artifacts.
· Biological anthropology – Also known as “physical anthropology”, this refers to the study of
humans as biological organisms including their evolution and contemporary variation. It seeks to
describe the distribution of hereditary variations among contemporary populations and to sort out
and measure the relative contributions made by heredity, environment, and culture to human
biology.

SOCIOLOGY
· The term sociology was derived from the Latin word socius meaning "associate" and the Greek
word logos, meaning “study of knowledge.”
· It was coined by August Comte who was regarded as the “Father of Sociology.”
· It is a science that studies human civilization.
· It is a systematic study of groups and societies that people build and how these affect their
behavior.
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· It focuses on various social connections, institutions, organizations, structures, and processes.


· It gathers social inputs which are composed of frequent forms and manners namely: attitude,
viewpoints, consolidated values, and norms of social institutions which form part of social array.

The scientific study of Sociology enables us to:


· Obtain possible theories and principles about society as well as various aspects of social life;
· Critically study the nature of humanity, which also leads to examining our roles within the
society;
· Appreciate that all things (in society) are interdependent with each other. An individual’s
personal history is connected to his/her environment’s history, which is also tied into the nation’s
history;
· Broaden our familiarity on sociological facts, which are acquired through empirical process.
Incidentally, it makes us realize our prejudices on various social issues; and
· Expose our minds to the different perspectives on attaining the truth. For instance, some theorists
(especially social philosophers) argue that the truth is relative. This sociological viewpoint
diminishes the theory that there is an absolute truth. Furthermore, the determination whether an
action/behavior is good or bad depends on one’s social norms.

Branches
· Social Organization – This includes the study of social institutions, social inequality, social
mobility, religious groups, and bureaucracy.
· Social Psychology – This area focuses on the study of human nature and its emphasis on social
processes as they affect individual or responses which are called “social stimuli”.
· Applied Sociology – This is concerned with the specific intent of yielding practical applications
for human behavior and organizations. The goal of Applied Sociology is to assist in resolving
social problems through the use of sociological research.
· Population Studies – This area includes size, growth, demographic characteristics, composition,
migration, changes, and quality vis-à-vis economic, political, and social systems.
· Human Ecology – It pertains to the study of the effects of various social organizations (religious
organizations, political institutions and etc.) to the population’s behavior.
· Sociological Theory and Research – It focuses on the discovery of theoretical tools, methods, and
techniques to scientifically explain a particular sociological issue.
· Social Change – It studies factors that cause social organization and social disorganization like
calamity, drug abuse, drastic and gradual social change, health and welfare problems, political
instability, unemployment and underemployment, child and women’s issue, etc.

POLITICAL SCIENCE
· It is an academic discipline that deals with the study of government and political processes,
institutions, and behaviors.
· It is a study of the complex behavior of various political actors such as the government
administration, opposition, and subjects.
· It is the systematic study of political and government institutions and processes.

The study of Politics has something to do with power – who wields it and how it is used. Therefore,
it is important to study politics to understand society and to help change it for the better. This means
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SH1661

that political science is not just for politicians or for aspiring lawyers instead, it is also a give and
take relationship between the government (as a state apparatus) and its people (as a subject).

Politics
· It originated from the Greek word ‘polis’, which means ‘city’ or ‘state’.
· It is the art and science of governing city/state.
· It is the social process or strategy in any position of control which people gain, use, or lose
power.

Due to the negative connotations of politics, the term is now applied to many different social
situations. For example, politics is present when a teacher is bribed to include a certain student in the
honor list or when an employee spreads rumors against his/her officemate to get ahead in a
promotion.

Politics is often used synonymously with government, however, the two (2) are distinct from each
another. The government that takes shape in a country is a reflection of the country’s political
philosophy. While government typically refers to the established legislative and executive
departments of a nation or state, politics is a broad term that is related to the power sharing in any
organization. In other words, politics is an idea while government is the concrete realization of that
idea.

Government
· It is the agency to which the will of the state is formulated, expressed, and carried out.
· It is the organized agency in a state tasked to impose social control.
· It is a group of people that governs a community or unit. It sets and administers public policy and
exercises executive, political, and sovereign power through customs, institutions and laws within
a state.

The government exists for the benefit of the governed. It is there for our benefit not for the
government officials to benefit from us. It is not just governing the people or the citizens but also the
territory and the sovereignty or independence of the country. Collectively, the government, people,
territory, and sovereignty are known as the elements of the State.

People often interchangeably use the terms state and nation but the difference lies on how the latter
refers to an ethnic concept which means that people are bound together by common ethnical
elements such as race, language, and culture. On the other hand, a state is more of a political concept.
It refers to a community of persons more or less numerous permanently occupying a definite portion
of territory, having a government of their own to which the great body of inhabitants render
obedience and enjoying freedom from external control.

References:
American Anthropological Association. (2016). What is anthropology? Retrieved from
http://www.americananthro.org/AdvanceYourCareer/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=2150
American Sociological Association. (2016). What is sociology? Retrieved from http://www.asanet.org/about-asa/asa-story/what-
sociology
Royal Anthropological Institute. (2016). What is anthropology? Retrieved from https://www.discoveranthropology.org.uk/about-
anthropology/what-is-anthropology.html
Study.com. (2003-2016). What is political science? Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-political-science.html
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