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Sahlins, M. (1976) The Use and Abuse of Biology: An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology, London: Tavistock Tiger, L. and R.Fox (1971) The Imperial Animal, New York: Secker and Warburg Williams, G.C. (1966) Adaptation and Natural Selection, Princeton: Princeton University Press Wilson, E.O. (1975) Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

sociology
Sociology is so varied a discipline that it can be identified only very loosely as the study of social relationships, institutions and structures. Not only is this definition loose, it is also negative, for social often means, in effect, not distinctly economic, not distinctly political, not distinctly religious and so forth. Although sociologists can trace their intellectual origins back to the Scottish *Enlightenment and beyond, the discipline did not begin to become established until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Although sociology is concerned with the study of social relationships, institutions and structures, the discipline is a child of industrial *capitalism and its predominant field of study is modern Western societies. There are differences in style among the sociologies of various countries. However, the predominant sociology worldwide is that of the United States, despite the fact that the word sociology was invented by a French philosopher, Auguste Comte, early in the nineteenth century (Coser 1971). This does not reflect just the countrys general power and influence, but also the fact that it was in the US that the discipline first established a strong institutional base, though sociology appeared fairly early in France as well. For instance, the two leading American sociology journals, the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review, were founded in 1895 and 1936. Contrast this with the two leading British sociology journals, the British Journal of Sociology and Sociology, which were founded only in 1950 and 1967. (Durkheim founded LAnne Sociologique in 1898.)

Sociologys focus
Even though sociology is a varied discipline, there are some general intellectual attributes that distinguish it from anthropology. I have already noted one, its concern with the nature of modern societies. Also striking are its social meliorism and its tendency to scientific generalization. Briefly put, sociology much more than anthropology seeks to identify *modernity and the problems associated with it by producing valid empirical generalizations about its subject matter.

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From the establishment of their discipline late in the nineteenth century, sociologists have attempted to map the nature of modernity in general. Such a grand project led sociologists to subordinate their descriptions of specific times and places to the larger and more abstract question that concerned them. In consequence, sociology did not develop a valued body of specific case studies that parallel anthropologys *ethnography. Instead, it has concentrated on what *Radcliffe-Brown (1952:2) calls comparative sociology, an area that is much less important in anthropology. Meliorism, too, has been important from the earliest sociological works; the discipline has been concerned not just to study modern society but also to alleviate the problems associated with modernity. If Comte is the first sociologist by virtue of his invention of the word, it is pertinent that one issue that concerned him was the decay of social cohesion associated with modernity. Further, of the three leading nineteenth-century thinkers who are taken as the substantive founders of sociology, Marx, Weber and Durkheim, all but Weber wrote extensively about the problems of modernity and their solution. This melioristic tendency continues to the present, as sociologists describe the nature and consequences of specific social inequalities and injustices, as well as the problems that many see as systematic features of modern capitalist society. Likewise, from the early decades of the twentieth century sociologists have been concerned to pursue their enquires scientifically. While this manifested itself in a concern for theoretical and analytical rigour, its more striking form has been a concern for empirical and particularly quantitative analysis, though this tendency is more pronounced in the United States than elsewhere. Thus, sociology embraced hard data, quantitative series and social surveys. This is reflected in postgraduate education. Many sociology departments urge or require their students to study statistics and quantitative methods. Similarly, many students organize their doctoral research in the classic framework of the formulation and empirical testing of hypotheses, and base their work solely on the secondary statistical analysis of national surveys and government statistics. This tendency has never been overwhelming, however, partly because of the influence of the more interpretative German verstehende sociology, particularly embodied in Max Webers The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1958 [1904]); and partly because of the influence of the more qualitative *political economy, particularly embodied in the work of Karl Marx (though this influence was much weaker in the United States than elsewhere). In spite of these qualifications, sociologists are much more likely than anthropologists to present their findings in numerical terms and to make their arguments in statistical terms. This tendency to scientific generalization about modernity and its problems is rooted deeply in the discipline. In Britain, for instance, late nineteenthcentury social reformers like Rowntree and Booth surveyed the populations of York and London to assess the empirical degree and distribution of poverty, much as sociologists late in the twentieth century surveyed the cities of the United States to assess the empirical degree and distribution of homelessness. More striking is Durkheims Suicide (1951 [1897]). Not only was his topic considered a social problem, but his method was the investigation of a succession of hypotheses about the causes of suicide, which he tested quantitatively using an extensive body of statistics over a number of years from several European countries. Although the quality of Durkheims data and his statistical techniques would not satisfy modern sociologists, his overall approach is indistinguishable from attempts a century

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later to investigate, for instance, the causes of differences in pay between men and women.

Sociology and anthropology


Sociology and anthropology share a number of common intellectual forebears, notably Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Equally, they can be said to share a common historical origin: the growing conception in the nineteenth century that modern (which is to say industrial capitalist) societies are unique. In spite of these commonalities, however, the two disciplines have developed in different ways and there has been less communication between the two sciences of society than one might have thought likely. The most obvious reason for this lack of communication is that the disciplines addressed opposed faces of the question of modern society: while sociology was concerned with the world that the modern West had gained, anthropology was concerned with the world that it had lostwhat early scholars called communal and, ultimately, primitive society (Kuper 1988). Equally, as I have already noted, the research strategies of the two disciplines have been very different, with sociologists oriented more towards quantitative generalization and anthropologists oriented more toward qualitative description. This concern with different faces of the question of modernity leads to a more subtle difference between the two disciplines that also hinders communication between them. Each tends to embrace a stylized distortion of the concerns of the other discipline that makes its theories and findings appear fairly irrelevant. Anthropologists, then, tend not only to be ignorant of the nature of modern societies, but tend also to have a stereotyped view of such societies that exaggerates the difference between them and the societies that anthropologists normally study. Some call this stereotyping *Occidentalism. Equally, sociologists tend not only to be ignorant of the nature of societies outside the modern sphere, but also to have a stereotyped view of such societies that exaggerates the difference between them and the modern societies they conventionally study. Some call this stereotyping *Orientalism. This misperception of each others subject matter means that people tend to ignore the possibility that the information, interests and ideas found in one discipline are pertinent to the concerns of the other. What have models of bureaucratic organization and capitalism to do with studies of villages in Melanesia? What have models of kinship and exchange to do with studies of factory workers in Leeds? While the connections certainly exist, there is little pressure to discern and describe them. The intellectual barriers between the two disciplines, however, are not absolute. For example, some anthropologists have studied under and been influenced by sociologists, as David Schneider studied under and was influenced by Talcott Parsons. Likewise, there is a tradition of community studies in sociology, exemplified by the Lynds classic description of Middletown (1929); a tradition that extended by the 1970s to include studies that were more narrowly focused but that used ethnographic techniques (e.g. Willis 1977). While the authors of these studies may have been concerned with the

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sociological question of modernity and its discontents, many of the results resemble conventional ethnography. The barriers between the two disciplines are generally weakest when scholars in one discipline become dissatisfied with conventional approaches to problems and seek new ones. Thus, for instance, the anthropologist Scheffler (1965), confronted with seemingly intractable theoretical problems in the study of Oceanic *kinship and social organization, went outside the discipline to draw on Goffmans (1961) more sociological model of social groups. Similarly, sociologists dissatisfied with their own disciplines limited view of *culture draw on anthropologists like Mary Douglas and Clifford Geertz. In the closing decades of the twentieth century these barriers were weakened still further, in two different ways. First, they weakened with the growth of specialist areas of study (such as *gender and *consumption) that attracted members of both disciplines. Second, they weakened as a growing number of anthropologists began to study Western societies; a change that occurred without a corresponding growth in the number of sociologists studying societies outside the modern sphere. It is important, however, not to exaggerate the weakening of the barriers between the two disciplines, for the differences between them remain strong and members of each generally remain ignorant of the issues of interest in the other. A telling example of this is the work of Bourdieu. Sociologists are likely to be aware of his writings on French education (Bourdieu and Passeron 1977) but ignorant of more than the title of his work on the Kabyle (Bourdieu 1977), while the reverse is the case for most anthropologists. An example of the difference in orientation is the way that each discipline deals with *exchange. This has been an important topic in anthropology for several decades, as researchers have described different forms and understandings of exchange. However, the topic is much less important in sociology, where the dominant approach sees exchange as the transaction of equivalents between autonomous and self- regarding actors (Emerson 1976).

Conclusions
Since about 1960, sociology has grown rapidly and become markedly more fragmented, so that it is difficult to assess likely trends within the discipline. However, part of that fragmentation seems to involve a bifurcation into more quantitative and more qualitative approaches. This is apparent in the fact that there has been a growing interest in historical and cultural topics at the same time that the statistical techniques used in sociology have become more refined. While historical and cultural topics can be studied in a rigourously quantitative way, the growing concern with them marks a rejection by many of the established and powerful quantitative, scientific orientation within the discipline. Further, it seems likely that the relationship between the two disciplines will become more complex as a growing number of anthropologists study modern Western societies. Probably this will bring individuals and sub-disciplines in the two fields into greater contact, as I have already mentioned with regard to the studies of gender and consumption. It is premature, however, to suggest any significant interchange between

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the two disciplines more generally, for their orientations and methods remain markedly distinct. JAMES G.CARRIER See also: complex societies, capitalism, class, functionalism, methodology

Further reading
Bottomore, Tom and Robert Nisbet (eds) (1978) A History of Sociological Analysis, London: Heinemann Bourdieu, Pierre (1977) Outline of a Theory of Practice (trans. Richard Nice), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Bourdieu, Pierre and Jean-Claude Passeron (1977) Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture (trans. Richard Nice), London: Sage Publications Coser, Lewis A. (1971) Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Durkheim, mile (1951 [1897]) Suicide: A Study in Sociology (trans. John A.Spaulding and George Simpson), New York: The Free Press Emerson, Richard M. (1976) Social Exchange Theory, Annual Review of Sociology 2:33562 Friedrichs, Robert W. (1970) A Sociology of Sociology, New York: The Free Press Goffman, Erving (1961) Encounters, Indianapolis: BobbsMerrill Hinkle, Roscoe C. and Gisella J.Hinkle (1954) The Development of Modern Sociology, Its Nature and Growth in the United States, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Kuper, Adam (1988) The Invention of Primitive Society, London: Routledge Lynd, Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd (1929) Middletown: A Study in American Culture, New York: Harcourt, Brace Madge, John (1962) The Origins of Scientific Sociology, New York: Free Press of Glencoe Radcliffe-Brown, A.R. (1952) Structure and Function in Primitive Society, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ross, Dorothy (1991) The Origins of American Social Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Scheffler, Harold (1965) Choiseul Island Social Structure, Berkeley: University of California Press Weber, Max (1958 [1904]) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New York: Scribners Willis, Paul (1977) Learning to Labour, Aldershot: Gower

state
The problem of the state runs through the history of anthropology. This is as much due to the nature of the objectthe state as a mode of grouping and control of peopleas to the history and presuppositions of anthropology itself. The question has a long philosophical heritage culminating in the *Enlightenment: thinkers as different as Locke, Diderot and Rousseau all thought that structured and centralized political organization begins from a state of nature, from an aggregate of individuals left to their own devices, good or bad, innocent or industrious, according to the particular view of each author. From these

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Further Readings

Theoretical Perspectives
Sociology is characterized by the use of broad theories to guide research and to provide an explanatory framework for data gathered through systematic observation. The major theoretical perspectives are briefly described below. Functionalism. Associated with the earliest sociologists such as Comte and Durkheim, functionalism takes as its basic assumption that society works as a system, where each part contributes to the well-being and smooth operation of the entire group. Each part has a function that contributes to the stability of the system. Social solidarity rests on shared values as well as shared culture. Social problems are typically seen as a result of reduced social solidarity, often as a result of rapid social change. Social change may originate outside the social system; for example, the Industrial Revolution and the rapid urbanization that followed created disequilibrium in society, the aftershocks of which are still being felt today. Functionalists are also sometimes referred to as structural functionalists because they analyze how the parts of society, or structures, fit together and how each part contributes to the stability of the whole, its function. Conflict Theory. A macrolevel perspective like functionalism, conflict theory focuses on inequality in society. It begins with the assumption that society is made up of groups that compete for scarce resources. Resources may be seen as financial, political, or social, such as prestige or respect. Privileged groups try to maintain their advantages, less privileged groups try to increase their resources. Conflict theory originated in the work of German social thinker Karl Marx (18181883), who observed and wrote about the conditions suffered by workers in the factories in the early years of industrialization. He developed a theory of class conflict, arguing that there is a fundamental conflict between those who own the means of production, the capitalists, and the workers, who only own their own labor and thus must work for wages. Symbolic Interactionism. The focus of symbolic interactionism is interpersonal communication and the subjective meanings created in small social settings. A microapproach, it stresses that people are active agents in creating meaning, not passive recipients of culture. The dramaturgical approach (Goffman) looks at how people present themselves to others in everyday life so as to make the best impression. He compared social interactions to a carefully

Fasold, R. (1990). Sociolinguistics of language. Oxford: Blackwell. Ferguson, C. A. (1996). Socio-linguistic perspectives (T. Huebner, Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. MacNeil, R., & Cran, W. (2005). Do you speak American? New York: Doubleday. Tannen, D. (1991). You just dont understand: Women and men in conversation. New York: Ballantine.

4 SOCIOLOGY
Sociology is the systematic study of human behavior occurring in a social context. It seeks to understand how and why people act the way they do across an enormous variety of settings. Two major influences are acknowledged to affect human social behavior: (1) cultural factors such as values and norms and (2) structural factors such as the economic and political structures of society. Sociologists generally study human behavior in complex rather than small-scale societies. Sociology is a relatively young discipline, arising out of the tumult of the Industrial Revolution in Europe beginning in the 18th century. The social organization of society was profoundly altered by the processes of industrialization and urbanization. The term sociology was coined in 1822 by the French philosopher Auguste Comte (17981857), who was the first to suggest that society itself is an appropriate subject for scientific study. Many of the earliest intellectual influences on sociology also heavily influenced the field of anthropology, including Max Weber, mile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Herbert Spencer. A unifying concept among all sociologists is the belief that society constrains the options and opportunities of all individuals to some degree. In Durkheims (18581917) terms, social facts, the context in which peoples lives are embedded, shape human behavior by defining the constraints and opportunities within which people must act. C. Wright Mills (19161962) argued that sociology allowed people to see their own personal troubles in the context of larger structural factors; he termed the ability to see this connection the sociological imagination.

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staged play, with actors playing roles on both the front and back stage. Social constructionists are interested in how individuals create society through interactions. Feminist Theory. Developing with the second wave of the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s, feminist theory has two major tenets. First, gender matters must be addressed in theory and research. Second, it questions the assumptions of rational objectivity and value-free research that had prevailed in sociology since its earliest days. Feminists argue that gender inequality, often called patriarchy, is pervasive and exerts an influence on society equal to that of social class. While a great diversity exists among feminists regarding the causes and contributing factors of inequality, there is agreement that the origin is primarily structural rather than biological.

Methods of Sociology
Sociological research is based on scientific principles, not so different from those methods used by the hard sciences, in that the bases of nearly all social science research is observation and theory. Data are gathered systematically and analyzed within a theoretical framework that allows sense to be made from the mass of data collected, using one of several typical methods. Broadly speaking, sociological research can be described as either quantitative, meaning the collection and analysis of data that is numeric in nature, or that can be turned into numbers, and qualitative, or nonnumeric data. Survey Research. Perhaps the most common type of social science research methodology, surveys are widely used by pollsters and marketers as well and have become ubiquitous in modern life. Surveys can be conducted over the telephone, through the mail, in person, and increasingly over the Internet. Survey research involves the use of standard questions, asked of a group of people, referred to as respondents, who are believed to be representative of the population of interest, a sample. In large-scale surveys, the sample should be drawn using random selection techniques that increase the likelihood that the sample will be representative of the larger population of interest. Field Research. Observing people in their natural surroundings is a useful way of obtaining rich, detailed, and nuanced information, especially regarding how people actually behave, rather than how they say they behave. One of the many challenges of field

research is systematically collecting and organizing the wealth of information that goes on in a natural setting. Data are often collected through the use of unstructured interviews, which are then transcribed and analyzed for patterns and insights. Participant Observation. Like field research, participant observation occurs in natural settings where the researcher engages with his or her research subjects. By more actively participating in their subjects lives, for example, by living and working among the population of interest, the researchers gain an understanding of reality from their point of view. Experiments. Elements of classical experimental design include random assignment of subjects to the control and experimental group; pretesting of all subjects on the dependent, or outcome, variable; administration of the intervention, or independent variable; and a posttest to measure change in the dependent variable. The hallmark of experimental design is control: the research controls all (or virtually all) extraneous variables in order to focus on the effects of the variable of interest. Sociological research is often not amenable to laboratory experiments, and so often experimental conditions are approximated in the field. Natural experiments, for example, take advantage of change occurring in the real world such as a new law; data from before the change were introduced and afterward are compared in order to assess the effect of the change.

Topics
The topics of sociology include all aspects of human behavior and experience. Topics can be broadly categorized into social processes, the mechanics of human interaction and development; inequality; the major institutions that organize social life; and social change. Each of these broad categories is further developed below.
Social Processes

Culture, the sum of shared ideas, practices, and material objects that people have created, allow humans to adapt to and thrive in any environment. Culture is learned, primarily through language, and acquired through the process of socialization. Socialization is the process by which individuals acquire self-identity and the skills needed for survival in society. It is essential for survival and development; children reared alone never develop the skills to live

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productive, independent lives. Socialization is a lifelong process as we take on new roles throughout the life course. Sociologists acknowledge the contributions of psychologists to the understanding of human development, but focus their research and theory on the role of interactions with others in the creation of a self-concept. We gain information about ourselves through interactions with others and through imagining how others see us. Agents of socialization include important significant others, such as family and peers, and institutions, such as schools and the mass media. Interaction, social intercourse, is a microlevel process that relies on shared meaning among the participants. Members of a society or subculture share norms and an interaction order that regulates social situations. Sociologists operating within the symbolic interactionist perspective argue that reality is socially constructed; that is, our perception of reality is largely shaped by the subjective meaning we assign an experience.
Inequality

Deviance and Crime. Sociologists have always taken a keen interest in crime and deviance, making some of their most significant and well-known contributions in this area. Durkheim, in the functionalist tradition, held that deviance often operates to increase social cohesion as societies pull together against perceived deviants. Defining what is deviant or outside the pale helps societies define their values and what they stand for. Thus, most sociologists believe that definitions of deviance and crime vary across societies. From a conflict perspective, powerful groups in society define what is deviant in order to control the behavior of the less powerful. Stratification. All societies are marked by some form of social stratification, the organization of society into levels, although the most small-scale societies are generally only stratified by age and gender. The different layers are known as classes, and labels such as upper, middle, and lower class are used to describe the various levels. While classes may be defined by their economic conditionsMarx classified classes by their relation to the means of production, or economic statusthere are noneconomic dimensions of class as well. Max Weber pointed out that class is not based on money alone but is also based on power and prestige. Members of different classes advertise their rank by displays of material and

symbolic culture, which are also important markers of class. Race and Ethnicity. Sociologists hold that race and ethnicity are socially constructed ideas, used to distinguish people based on perceived physical or cultural differences. Race more than ethnicity is often a master status, an identity that takes precedence over all other identities or statuses a person holds. Minority racial or ethnic status has profound consequences for people, affecting their life chances in virtually all areas. Gender and Sexuality. Gender is one of the most influential and pervasive forces shaping our lives. The dominant gender ideology is patriarchal in that men, masculinity, and masculine attributes are more valued in society than women and female characteristics and values. Children are socialized into gender identity through various agents of socialization such as the family, media, peers, and schools. Significant debate occurs over the relative strength of these different agents and the degree to which individuals are able to shape their own gender image, as well as over the causes of persistent inequality in the labor market. Women have increased their level of education and labor force participation rate significantly but still lag behind men in terms of income and opportunities.
Institutions

An institution, to a sociologist, is a form of organization that performs basic functions in a society. They are supported by social norms of the society and are slow to change. Work and the Economy. The truly major changes in the world of work occurred around 10,000 years ago with the agricultural revolution, the consequences of which are that most people eventually gave up hunting and gathering for a life of agriculture or raising domesticated animals. Then sometime in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution ushered in a new era of work organized around the ability to massproduce goods for the market. Some have argued that we are experiencing a third revolution characterized by service occupations and high technology. Government and Politics. Politics is the arena of power relations, the social institution through which power is acquired and used by people and groups. Government is a formal organization that is responsible for regulating relationships among members of a society and between a society and societies outside its borders. Political sociologists primarily focus on how

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the political arena and its actors are intertwined with other social institutions such as the media, economy, religion, and education. Families. The traditional nuclear family in the United States consists of a mother, father, and at least one child. Today less than one quarter of all households are traditionally structured with a stay-at-home wife and children under age 18. Family diversity has been increasing for many reasons, one of which is the fact that many of the functions once performed by families have been taken over by other institutions, including education, health care, defense, and religion. As people live longer and are more invested in their own happiness, the divorce rate has increased, although it has now stabilized. Religion. The sociological study of religion looks at the visible and knowable aspects of religion, such as individual beliefs and practices, and the actions and organizational structure of religious groups and institutions. How are individuals socialized into religious communities? What is the nature and source of conflicts between different religions or between religious and secular groups in society? What is the effect of religious belief or identity on individuals actions in other aspects of their lives? These are the types of questions sociologists of religion strive to answer. Education is the social institution responsible for the transmission of knowledge, skills, and cultural values, enhancing social stability and also facilitating social change. Education begins at birth, with socialization within the family, but in modern industrial society formal education lasts into adulthood as young people must master an enormous body of knowledge to prepare for careers. Functionalists see education as promoting social solidarity and stability in society, whereas a conflict perspective notes the contributions of formal education to the reproduction of class inequality. The Mass Media. The media, operating through the newspapers, television, radio, and movies, are significant agents of socialization in todays society. The media both reflect the concerns and issues of society and help shape cultural norms and values. Interactionists look at the way media influences society, whereas conflict theorists focus on who controls the media and this information in society. Health and Health Care. Health, health care, and disability are major concerns not only for individuals but for societies as well. Paying for health care is a major expenditure for governments and employers.

People have control over their health through lifestyle factors, although social class, race, and gender influence health outcomes significantly.
Social Change

Population. Demography is the study of population size, composition, and distribution. Demography underlies many other areas of sociology because demographic variables such as age, gender, race, and population size, and growth rates affect many other social processes and aspects of social life. Changes in populations occur as a result of three processes: fertility, mortality, and migration. Urbanization. Although cities have existed for thousands of years, up until 200 years ago no more than 3% of the worlds population lived in cities. Today that figure is almost 50%. By 2050 it is estimated that two out of every three people will live in an urban area. Urban sociologists look at the evolution of the urban form, the experience of urban living, populations and groups living in and struggling for control of urban space, and many issues surrounding urban life, including race, gender, poverty, crime, urban economics, and the interaction between globalization and urbanization. Collective Action and Social Movements. The history of modern, urban, industrial, and postindustrial society is increasingly the history of social movements. Social movements are involved in nationalism and movements toward independence and the increase in demands for equal treatment by disadvantaged groups across the globe. Social problems are typically recognized and addressed by social movements before they are tackled by governments.

The Future of Sociology


Sociology continues to be a vibrant discipline, continuing to grow and adapt to the changing needs of each generation. While in the past there was a significant divide between quantitative and qualitative sociologists, there is recognition that not only does each side make important contributions to understanding social life and processes, but it is also useful for researchers working in multiple traditions to collaborate. Large-scale survey research projects often now include a smaller qualitative component. Other areas that are expanding are examination of the role of technology and the Internet in social life. Patricia B. Christian

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Further Readings

Becker, H. (1963). Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York: Free Press. Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Collins, R. (1994). Four sociological traditions. New York: Oxford University Press. Giddens, A. (1987). Sociology: A brief but critical introduction (2nd ed.). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, NY: Anchor. Mills, C. W. (1959). The sociological imagination. New York: Oxford University Press. Ritzer, G., & Goodman, D. J. (2003). Sociological theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.

as witch in the King James Version of 1611, thereby constructing that terrible commandment in Exodus 22:18: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.) Sorcery generally has a negative connotation, as in black magic, but not always; sometimes it refers to any individual efforts at manipulating the supernatural for personal benefit. Even within anthropology there is not uniform agreement on its appropriate usage. The following discussion will survey the most common meanings of sorcery by anthropologists, spirit invocation and command and harmful magic, and will consider some defenses against sorcery, remedies for misfortune caused by it, and anthropological explanations for this apparently dysfunctional phenomenon.

Sorcery in Anthropology
E. E. Evans-Pritchard in his famous work, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (1937), is credited for having clarified the distinction between sorcery and witchcraft that most anthropologists recognize: sorcery is a learned magical practice requiring words, objects, and rituals, whereas witchcraft is an innate power that develops within some adults and operates mystically and sometimes without its bearers knowledge. The same distinction had been noted earlier in Melanesia by Reo Fortune in his Sorcerers of Dobu (1932), with the difference that on Dobu, mystical witchcraft is womens unique capacity; sorcery is mens. But Fortunes report was not given credence until three decades later, and his pioneering place in the anthropology of sorcery and witchcraft was overshadowed by Evans-Pritchard. Presumably the evil magician can demonstrate his techniques, and there are some ethnographic descriptions of how harmful magic is performed, but most descriptions of how sorcerers work are anecdotal, based in popular belief. One reason for the ethnographic difficulty in obtaining firsthand data is that sorcery is almost always covert. Sorcery manipulates the supernatural, which is always dangerous, and it is antisocial, so it is everywhere forbidden, even illegal; hence, it is clandestine, deeply feared, and discussed reluctantly and furtively, and it is more suspected than demonstrated in society. And some of the sorcerers alleged techniques involve invocation and command of spirits, or fantastic animal familiars, or mystical powers, and are impossible to verify. Worldwide, sorcerers are far more often men than

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The word sorcery usually means some sort of individual manipulation of supernatural forces to harm another person or to enrich the self at the expense of another, and in this sense belief in it seems to be absolutely universal. The English word derives from the Latin sort-, sors (lots), as in sortilege, to decide by the random fall of certain designated objects. This was a common method of divination in the classical world, which anyone could learn to perform but which was widely considered to be a human intrusion into divine business; hence, it was frequently forbidden under both ecclesiastical and civil law. This is especially true in the Judeo-Christian tradition. But the term sorcery came to refer to a great many occult dealings that were potentially dangerous. Often where it appears, the term is not defined, and its various possible meanings may have very different conceptual bases, and so the student must take care to ascertain exactly what is meant. Sorcery can have any of the many meanings of magic or witchcraft. It is often used as synonymous with shamanism. It can mean any of the occult dabblings and traffickings condemned in the Bible, including conjuring of spirits and any of various methods of divination; it is the most frequent English gloss for the Hebrew kishuf or kishef (mechashefa, a female practitioner of kishef, was famously translated

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development with inuences in all the social sciences as well as philosophy and literature. The future holds promise for the development of a normal science paradigm within which constructive disputes will be possible and cumulative progress made. The big question for social anthropology is the degree of its willingness to end its irtation with anti-scientic trends in the social sciences and to enter into a constructive debate with the sociobiologists.
ROBIN FOX

sociology
Sociology is so varied a discipline that it can be identied only very loosely as the study of social relationships, institutions and structures. Not only is this denition loose, it is also negative, for social often means, in effect, not distinctly economic, not distinctly political, not distinctly religious and so forth. Although sociologists can trace their intellectual origins back to the Scottish Enlightenment and beyond, the discipline did not begin to become established until the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Although sociology is concerned with the study of social relationships, institutions and structures, the discipline is a child of industrial capitalism and its predominant eld of study is modern Western societies. There are differences in style among the sociologies of various countries. However, the predominant sociology worldwide is that of the United States, despite the fact that the word sociology was invented by a French philosopher, Auguste Comte, early in the nineteenth century (Coser 1971). This does not reect just the countrys general power and inuence, but also the fact that it was in the USA that the discipline rst established a strong institutional base, though sociology appeared fairly early in France as well. For instance, the two leading American sociology journals, the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review, were founded in 1895 and 1936. Contrast this with the two leading British sociology journals, the British Journal of Sociology and Sociology, which were founded only in 1950 and 1967. (Durkheim founded LAnne Sociologique in 1898.) Sociologys focus Even though sociology is a varied discipline, there are some general intellectual attributes that distinguish it from anthropology. I have already noted one, its concern with the nature of modern societies. Also striking are its social meliorism and its tendency to scientic generalization. Briey put, sociology much more than anthropology seeks to identify modernity and the problems associated with it by producing valid empirical generalizations about its subject matter.

See also: biological anthropology, ecological anthropology, environment Further reading Alexander, R.D. (1974) The Evolution of Social Behavior, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 5: 32583. Betzig, L., M.B. Mulder and P. Turke (1988) Human Reproductive Behavior: A Darwinian Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chagnon, N. and W. Irons (1979) Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior, North Scituate, MA: Duxbury. Darwin, C. (1861 [1859]) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, London: John Murray. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1989) Human Ethology, New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Fox, R. (ed.) (1975) Biosocial Anthropology, London and New York: Malaby Press. (1993) Reproduction and Succession, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Fox, R. and U. Fleising (1976) Human Ethology, Annual Review of Anthropology 5: 26588. Hamilton, W.D. (1963) The Evolution of Altruistic Behavior, American Naturalist 97: 35456. (1964) The Genetical Evolution of Social Behavior, Journal of Theoretical Biology 1: 189. Sahlins, M. (1976) The Use and Abuse of Biology: An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology, London: Tavistock. Tiger, L. and R. Fox (1971) The Imperial Animal, New York: Secker and Warburg. Williams, G.C. (1966) Adaptation and Natural Selection, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Wilson, E.O. (1975) Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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From the establishment of their discipline late in the nineteenth century, sociologists have attempted to map the nature of modernity in general. Such a grand project led sociologists to subordinate their descriptions of specic times and places to the larger and more abstract question that concerned them. In consequence, sociology did not develop a valued body of specic case studies that parallel anthropologys ethnography. Instead, it has concentrated on what Radcliffe-Brown (1952: 2) calls comparative sociology, an area that is much less important in anthropology. Meliorism, too, has been important from the earliest sociological works; the discipline has been concerned not just to study modern society but also to alleviate the problems associated with modernity. If Comte is the rst sociologist by virtue of his invention of the word, it is pertinent that one issue that concerned him was the decay of social cohesion associated with modernity. Further, of the three leading nineteenth-century thinkers who are taken as the substantive founders of sociology, Marx, Weber and Durkheim, all but Weber wrote extensively about the problems of modernity and their solution. This melioristic tendency continues to the present, as sociologists describe the nature and consequences of specic social inequalities and injustices, as well as the problems that many see as systematic features of modern capitalist society. Likewise, from the early decades of the twentieth century sociologists have been concerned to pursue their enquires scientically. While this manifested itself in a concern for theoretical and analytical rigour, its more striking form has been a concern for empirical and particularly quantitative analysis, though this tendency is more pronounced in the United States than elsewhere. Thus, sociology embraced hard data, quantitative series and social surveys. This is reected in postgraduate education. Many sociology departments urge or require their students to study statistics and quantitative methods. Similarly, many students organize their doctoral research in the classic framework of the formulation and empirical testing of hypotheses, and base their work solely on the secondary statistical analysis of national surveys and government statistics. This tendency has never been overwhelming, however, partly because of the inuence of the

more interpretative German verstehende sociology, particularly embodied in Max Webers The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1958 [1904]); and partly because of the inuence of the more qualitative political economy, particularly embodied in the work of Karl Marx (though this inuence was much weaker in the United States than elsewhere). In spite of these qualications, sociologists are much more likely than anthropologists to present their ndings in numerical terms and to make their arguments in statistical terms. This tendency to scientic generalization about modernity and its problems is rooted deeply in the discipline. In Britain, for instance, late nineteenth-century social reformers like Rowntree and Booth surveyed the populations of York and London to assess the empirical degree and distribution of poverty, much as sociologists late in the twentieth century surveyed the cities of the United States to assess the empirical degree and distribution of homelessness. More striking is Durkheims Suicide (1951 [1897]). Not only was his topic considered a social problem, but his method was the investigation of a succession of hypotheses about the causes of suicide, which he tested quantitatively using an extensive body of statistics over a number of years from several European countries. Although the quality of Durkheims data and his statistical techniques would not satisfy modern sociologists, his overall approach is indistinguishable from attempts a century later to investigate, for instance, the causes of differences in pay between men and women. Sociology and anthropology Sociology and anthropology share a number of common intellectual forebears, notably Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Equally, they can be said to share a common historical origin: the growing conception in the nineteenth century that modern (which is to say industrial capitalist) societies are unique. In spite of these commonalities, however, the two disciplines have developed in different ways and there has been less communication between the two sciences of society than one might have thought likely. The most obvious reason for this lack of communication is that the disciplines addressed

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opposed faces of the question of modern society: while sociology was concerned with the world that the modern West had gained, anthropology was concerned with the world that it had lost what early scholars called communal and, ultimately, primitive society (Kuper 1988). Equally, as I have already noted, the research strategies of the two disciplines have been very different, with sociologists oriented more towards quantitative generalization and anthropologists oriented more toward qualitative description. This concern with different faces of the question of modernity leads to a more subtle difference between the two disciplines that also hinders communication between them. Each tends to embrace a stylized distortion of the concerns of the other discipline that makes its theories and ndings appear fairly irrelevant. Anthropologists, then, tend not only to be ignorant of the nature of modern societies, but tend also to have a stereotyped view of such societies that exaggerates the difference between them and the societies that anthropologists normally study. Some call this stereotyping Occidentalism. Equally, sociologists tend not only to be ignorant of the nature of societies outside the modern sphere, but also to have a stereotyped view of such societies that exaggerates the difference between them and the modern societies they conventionally study. Some call this stereotyping Orientalism. This misperception of each others subject matter means that people tend to ignore the possibility that the information, interests and ideas found in one discipline are pertinent to the concerns of the other. What have models of bureaucratic organization and capitalism to do with studies of villages in Melanesia? What have models of kinship and exchange to do with studies of factory workers in Leeds? While the connections certainly exist, there is little pressure to discern and describe them. The intellectual barriers between the two disciplines, however, are not absolute. For example, some anthropologists have studied under and been inuenced by sociologists, as David Schneider studied under and was inuenced by Talcott Parsons. Likewise, there is a tradition of community studies in sociology, exemplied by the Lynds classic description of Middletown (1929); a tradition that extended by the 1970s to

include studies that were more narrowly focused but that used ethnographic techniques (e.g. Willis 1977). While the authors of these studies may have been concerned with the sociological question of modernity and its discontents, many of the results resemble conventional ethnography. The barriers between the two disciplines are generally weakest when scholars in one discipline become dissatised with conventional approaches to problems and seek new ones. Thus, for instance, the anthropologist Schefer (1965), confronted with seemingly intractable theoretical problems in the study of Oceanic kinship and social organization, went outside the discipline to draw on Goffmans (1961) more sociological model of social groups. Similarly, sociologists dissatised with their own disciplines limited view of culture draw on anthropologists like Mary Douglas and Clifford Geertz. In the closing decades of the twentieth century these barriers were weakened still further, in two different ways. First, they weakened with the growth of specialist areas of study (such as gender and consumption) that attracted members of both disciplines. Second, they weakened as a growing number of anthropologists began to study Western societies; a change that occurred without a corresponding growth in the number of sociologists studying societies outside the modern sphere. It is important, however, not to exaggerate the weakening of the barriers between the two disciplines, for the differences between them remain strong and members of each generally remain ignorant of the issues of interest in the other. A telling example of this is the work of Bourdieu. Sociologists are likely to be aware of his writings on French education (Bourdieu and Passeron 1977) but ignorant of more than the title of his work on the Kabyle (Bourdieu 1977), while the reverse is the case for most anthropologists. An example of the difference in orientation is the way that each discipline deals with exchange. This has been an important topic in anthropology for several decades, as researchers have described different forms and understandings of exchange. However, the topic is much less important in sociology, where the dominant approach sees exchange as the transaction of equivalents between autonomous and self-regarding actors (Emerson 1976).

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Conclusions Since about 1960, sociology has grown rapidly and become markedly more fragmented, so that it is difcult to assess likely trends within the discipline. However, part of that fragmentation seems to involve a bifurcation into more quantitative and more qualitative approaches. This is apparent in the fact that there has been a growing interest in historical and cultural topics at the same time that the statistical techniques used in sociology have become more rened. While historical and cultural topics can be studied in a rigourously quantitative way, the growing concern with them marks a rejection by many of the established and powerful quantitative, scientic orientation within the discipline. Further, it seems likely that the relationship between the two disciplines will become more complex as a growing number of anthropologists study modern Western societies. Probably this will bring individuals and subdisciplines in the two elds into greater contact, as I have already mentioned with regard to the studies of gender and consumption. It is premature, however, to suggest any signicant interchange between the two disciplines more generally, for their orientations and methods remain markedly distinct.
JAMES G. CARRIER

Friedrichs, Robert W. (1970) A Sociology of Sociology, New York: The Free Press. Goffman, Erving (1961) Encounters, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. Hinkle, Roscoe C. and Gisella J. Hinkle (1954) The Development of Modern Sociology, Its Nature and Growth in the United States, Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Kuper, Adam (1988) The Invention of Primitive Society, London: Routledge. Lynd, Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd (1929) Middletown: A Study in American Culture, New York: Harcourt, Brace. Madge, John (1962) The Origins of Scientic Sociology, New York: Free Press of Glencoe. Radcliffe-Brown, A.R. (1952) Structure and Function in Primitive Society, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Ross, Dorothy (1991) The Origins of American Social Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schefer, Harold (1965) Choiseul Island Social Structure, Berkeley: University of California Press. Weber, Max (1958 [1904]) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New York: Scribners. Willis, Paul (1977) Learning to Labour, Aldershot: Gower.

South African anthropology


South African anthropology has a long and distinguished history. Ethnographic writings stems from the eighteenth century when European travellers and missionaries, who came into contact with indigenous people, recorded the languages and customs they observed. The most prominent of these authors were Wilhelm Bleek, Eugene Callais and Henri Junod, whose classical account of the Tsonga was published in 1913 as The Life of a South African Tribe. Black Christian converts, such as S.M. Molema and Sol Plaatjie, also published important accounts of folklore and local histories. Anthropology was professionalised in the 1920s, when teaching positions were established at various universities. Radcliffe-Brown was appointed to Cape Town in 1921, Winifred Hoernl to the Witwatersrand in 1924, and Werner Eiselen to Stellenbosch in 1926. These teachers, particularly Hoernl, produced a network of extremely talented scholars. They

See also: capitalism, class, complex societies, functionalism, methodology Further reading Bottomore, Tom and Robert Nisbet (eds) (1978) A History of Sociological Analysis, London: Heinemann. Bourdieu, Pierre (1977) Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. Richard Nice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bourdieu, Pierre and Jean-Claude Passeron (1977) Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture, trans. Richard Nice, London: Sage. Coser, Lewis A. (1971) Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Durkheim, Emile (1951 [1897]) Suicide: A Study in Sociology, trans. John A. Spaulding and George Simpson, New York: The Free Press. Emerson, Richard M. (1976) Social Exchange Theory, Annual Review of Sociology 2: 33562.