Application of Social Sciences in Human Life
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Social Sciences concern people’s relationship and interactions with one another. Sociology can be defined as the science that deals with human relationship. It is the study of how human beings relate with each other, how each individual relationship has been influenced by other people and patterns which are formed out of their interactive relationships. Sociology emphasizes group relationships and total social environment. Sociology studies human behaviour in a different way from other academic approaches. It is widely applicable in all spheres of human life like economics, law, anthropology, history, sociology, political science. Sociology is considered as mother of social sciences. Hence there is a close and intimate relationship between sociology and other social sciences. A multi-disciplinary field, Sociology draws from a variety of other social sciences, including anthropology, political science, psychology and economics. Many comparatively new fields such as communication studies, cultural studies, demography and literacy theory, draw upon methods that originated in sociology.
Sociology and History are so intimately related that writers like Von-Bulow have refused to acknowledge Sociology as a science distinct from History. History is the record of the life of societies of men, of the changes which the societies have gone through, of the ideas which have determined the actions of these societies and of the material conditions which have helped or hindered their development. It studies the various stages of life, modes of living customs, manners and their expression in the form of social institutions. Sociology is concerned with the study of the historical development of the societies. G.H. Howard even remarked that History is past Sociology and Sociology is present History. G.E.C Catlin remarked that Political Science and Sociology are two faces or aspects of same figure. Political Science is a branch of social science dealing with the principles of organization and government of human society. It deals with the social groups organized under the sovereign of the state.
It’s rightly said that without the sociological background the study of Political Science will be incomplete. Sociology shares a close, intimate and personal relationship with economics as economic relationships bear a close relation to social activities and relationships. Likewise Social relationships also affected by economic relationships. Economic activates to a great extent are social activities. Thomas even remarked that Economics is, in fact, but one branch of Sociology. The relationship between Sociology and Anthropology is so close that Anthropologists consider Sociology and Anthropology as twin sisters. Sociology is concerned with the association of human beings. It is a science that deals with social groups. Anthropology is concerned with study of man’s a science of man, it deals with man, his works and his behavior.
R. Redfield even commented that they appear to be two names for the same subject. Sociology and psychology has so closely interlinked that psychologists like Karl Pearson refuse to accept both as a special science. Sociology is a science of social phenomenon and social relationship. It is a science of collective behavior studying human behavior in groups. Psychology is a science of mind or mental processes. It is a science of human behaviour that analyses attitudes, emotions, perceptions, process of learning and process of formality formation in society. Sociology receives from psychology and without help of psychology; Sociology cannot understand itself fully and properly. Applicability of Social Sciences in terms of some of the following aspect of the human life: Anthropology
Application of Social Science or Sociology in Anthropology:
Illustration and Examples
1.1) What is Anthropology?
Etymologically, Anthropology means the study of science of mankind. According to the oxford dictionary, Anthropology is the study of humankind, past and present. The word “Anthropology” has been derived from two Greek words anthropos which means human and logia which mean study, which makes Anthropology the study of humankind. The study of anthropology includes the study of human cultures and societies, the study of their behaviour, their beliefs, and their way of surviving since the inception of the human clan. 1.2) Definitions of Anthropology
Different Anthropologists have at times given different definitions of the science which makes it easy for us to have a clear understanding of the science. Some of them are quoted below:- “Anthropology is the study of humankind. Of all the disciplines that examine aspects of human existence and accomplishments, only Anthropology explores the entire panorama of the human experience from human origins to contemporary forms of culture and social life.”1 Anthropologists attempt to answer the question: “how can one explain the diversity of human cultures that are currently found on earth and how have they evolved?” Given that we will have to change rather rapidly within the next generation or two this is a very pertinent question for anthropologists.2 Anthropology is the study of human diversity around the world. Anthropologists look at cross-cultural differences in social institutions, cultural beliefs, and communication styles. They often seek to promote understanding between groups by “translating” each culture to the other, for instance by spelling out common, taken-for-granted assumptions.
Anthropology seeks to uncover principles of behaviour that apply to all human communities. To an anthropologist, diversity itself-seen in body shapes and sizes, customs, clothing, speech, religion, and worldview-provides a frame of reference for understanding any single aspect of life in any given community.4 “Anthropology is the study of people. In this discipline, people are considered in all their biological and cultural diversities, in the present as well as in the prehistoric past, and wherever people have existed. Students are introduced to the interaction between people and their environments to develop an appreciation of human adaptations past and present.”5 “Anthropology is the only discipline that can access evidence about the entire human experience on this planet.”6 Anthropology is devoted to the study of human beings and human societies as they exist across time and space. It is distinct from other social sciences in that it gives central attention to the full time span of human history, and to the full range of human societies and cultures, including those located in historically marginalized parts of the world. It is therefore especially attuned to questions of social, cultural, and biological diversity, to issues of power, identity, and inequality, and to the understanding of dynamic processes of social, historical, ecological, and biological change over time.7
1.3) Summing up the definitions
So many different definitions have been given to explain this science of the study of humankind and some they quoted above. But if we closely oversee them, all these definitions come up at a same conclusion, though using different words that Anthropology is the study of humankind that seeks to uncover principles of behaviour that apply to all human communities and examine aspects of human existence and accomplishments. A study that tries to answer how one can explain the diversity of human cultures that are currently found on earth and how have they evolved? 2) Relationship between sociology and Anthropology
Anthropologist Kroeber stated both Sociology and Anthropology are like twin sisters.8 According to Robert Redfield, he told that by viewing the whole United States, one can see that the relations between sociology and anthropology are closer than those between Anthropology and Political Science that is partly due to greater similarity in ways of work. Both Anthropology and Sociology are general sciences. Like Sociologists Anthropologists are solicitous about mankind, their races cultures and custom and not with particular man. There are a lot of similarities between the two sciences. A number of them include society, culture, family religion, social stratification, etc. Sociology studies the current human society, their customs and cultures whereas Anthropology traces the development of human race, and studies, the primitive people and their culture. Anthropology, in fact, has many subdivisions one of which exclusively deals with society and is called Social Anthropology. 2.1) Social Anthropology
Social Anthropology takes man as a social being. It is said that ‘social anthropology studies, in social situations, the behaviour of man.’ Some sociologists say that Social Anthropology and sociology in a sense are more or less same and some regard it as a branch of sociology. Had there only been the similarities between the two sciences, then they would have been the same. But the fact that both the sciences are studied under different names insinuate that despite these similarities some differences must also be existing between the sciences that make us study them differently. The differences between Sociology and Anthropology are as follows:- a. Anthropology studies the primitive preliterate human race, their culture and their development on the other hand Sociology is concerned with the human race, society, culture and custom in present context. b. Sociologists manage with the second-hand information, while anthropologists depend upon the first-hand knowledge. c. Anthropology is concerned with the past whereas sociology is concerned with the present and is deeply concerned with the future of social institutions. Despite these differences there are some scholars who do not agree to study the sciences under different names and consider both as a single subject.
Application of Social Sciences or Sociology in Political Science: Illustrations and Examples
As a mother of social sciences Sociology has close and intimate relationship with all other social science. Hence it has close relationship with political science as well. Their relationship is so close and intimate that led G.E.C. Catlin to remark “Political Science and Sociology are two faces or aspects of the same figure.”9 Similarly other scholars could not find any difference between the two disciplines. Sociology is a Science of society. It is a science of social groups and social institutions. It is a general science of society. It studies human interaction and inter-relations their conditions and consequences. Political Science is a science of state and Government. It studies power, political processes, political systems, types of government and international relations. It deals with social groups organized under the sovereign of the state. In the words of Paul Junket, “Political Science is that part of social science which treats the foundation of the state and principles of government.”10 It studies the political activities of man. It only studies the organized society. However their inter-relationship and inter-dependence can be known from interdependence and mutual relationship. Traditional political science has had three main aspects:
1. Descriptive: Accounts of the formal organization of central and local government and historical studies of development of such organization 2. Practical: The study of current problems of organization, procedure, etc. 3. Philosophical: The mingling of descriptive and evaluative statements in what is called, in a broad sense, political theory
In most political science of this kind there has been little attempt at generalization beyond that which is involved in an elementary classification of the types of political regime, largely in terms of their formal characteristics. Sociology depends on political science. In the words of Morris Ginsberg, “Historically Sociology has its main roots in politics and philosophy of history.”11 Sociology greatly benefited by the books written by political scientists like Plato, Aristotle and Kautilya such as The Republic, The Politics and Arthasastra respectively. Each and every social problem has a political cause. Political Science is a part of sociology. Hence sociology depends on political science to comprehend itself. To understand different political events sociology takes the help from political science. Sociology to draw its conclusions depends on political science. Any change in the political system or nature of power structure brings changes in society. Hence Sociology takes the help of political science to understand the changes in society. Hence both are inter-dependent. Similarly political science also depends on Sociology.
Political Science is a part of sociology. To understand the part it is necessary to understand the whole. Almost all political problems have a social cause and for the solution of these political problems political science takes the help of sociology. State frames its rules, regulations and laws on the basis of social customs, tradition and values. Without Sociological background the study of political science will be incomplete. Political Scientists largely benefited by the researches and research methods of the Sociologist. Some consider political science as a branch of Sociology. State is considered as a social group hence is a subject of Sociology. Besides, there are some common topics which are being studied by both the subjects. These topics are War, Propaganda, authority, communal riots and law. With the help of both political science and sociology a new subject comes into existence which is known as political sociology. Some political events like war are also significant social events. Thus both political science and sociology contribute to each other. But inspite of their inter-relationship and inter-dependence both the sciences differ from each other in the following way. 2) Differences
Sociology is the science of society; Political Science is the science of state. Gilchrist says, “Sociology studies Man as a social being and as political organization, it is a special kind of social organization; Political Science is a more specialized science than Sociology.”12 The scope of Sociology is wider than that of Political Science. The scope of political science is much wider than that of Political Science. Political science studies the state and government only, whereas Sociology studies all the social institutions. Sociology deals with social man, Political science deals with political man. Sociology being the science of society deals with man and all his associated processes, while political Science being the science of the Political society is concerned with only one form of human associations.
Sociology is a general science; Political Science is a special science. Political organizations are a special kind of social organization and that is why Political Science is a special science while Sociology is a general science. Sociology is the study of both organized and unorganized communities. Political Science deals with organized communities only. Sociology deals with both organized and unorganized communities whereas Political Science is concerned only with organized communities. As such sociology is prior to Political science. Sociology deals with unconscious activities also. Unlike Political Science which treats only conscious activities of man, Sociology treats unconscious activities of man also. There is a difference in approach in the sense that Political Science starts with the assumption that man is a political being, Sociology goes behind this assumption and tries to explain how and why man became a political being.