Monroe Community College

Anthropology, History, Political Science, & Sociology

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Exploring the World Around You

Anthropology , History , Political Science , and Sociology are among a collection of associated disciplines devoted to the study of society and the manner in which people influence, and are influenced by, the world around them. These disciplines inform us about the world beyond our immediate experience and help explain human behavior and institutional structures, through space and time.

Courses in Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology are housed in the School of Social Science and Global Studies . Our courses may be taken to satisfy general education and transfer requirements in a variety of transfer programs, including: Anthropology, History, Political Science, Sociology, Global Studies/International Studies, African-American Studies/Ethnic/Cultural Studies, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Urban Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The world is a complex and diverse place in need of problem solvers. Expand your understanding of the world and acquire the skills needed to become a problem solver by taking a class in Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology.

Location & Contacts

Brighton Campus Building 5, Room 322 (585) 292-3260

Course Listings

  • Anthropology
  • Political Science

essay about anthropology sociology and political science

Interdisciplinarity Now

A reflection on anthropology and inter/cross/multidisciplinarity.

Drawing on her recent book Anthropological Conversations , Caroline Brettell discusses the history of anthropology’s connections to other disciplines. Through examples of how anthropologists have collaborated with, influenced, and been influenced by historians, geographers, and psychologists, she traces intellectual exchanges that have been productive in understanding culture and difference.

In Memory of Sidney Mintz

Clifford Geertz, in his autobiographical volume After the Fact , 1  Geertz, Clifford. 1995. After the Fact: Two Countries Four Decades One Anthropologist . Harvard University Press. Pgs.   96, 98 suggests that the idea of discipline does not fit anthropology very well, finally labeling the field an “indisciplined discipline.” Geertz points to the “big tent” character of a scholarly field that Eric Wolf (supposedly drawing from Alfred Kroeber) once characterized as the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. Even Margaret Mead, in her presidential address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science argued that an understanding of what it means to be human derives from both a humanistic ability to engage with others with introspection and empathy, as well as a more scientific stance of objectivity in the face of the physical and animate world.

That these three heavyweights of anthropology have reflected on the complexity of their discipline should come as no surprise. Margaret Mead, as we know, frequently turned to other disciplines—to engineering, to art, and particularly to psychology and psychiatry—to open herself to ideas that might help her develop her understandings of other people and other cultures. Early in his career, Geertz was involved in an ambitious interdisciplinary project on the transformation of “old societies” into “new states.” Writing about this project forty years later, Geertz described the exuberance of the period after World War II when anthropologists were drawn into government service. He observed that “what had been an obscure, isolate, even reclusive, lone-wolf sort of discipline, concerned mainly with trial ethnography, racial, and linguistic classifications, cultural evolution and prehistory, changed in the course of a decade into the very model of a modern, policy-conscious, corporate social science.” 2 Geertz, Clifford. 2002. An Inconstant Profession: The Anthropological Life in Interesting Times. Annual Review of Anthropology 31: 1-19. The result was multi-, inter-, or cross-disciplinary research projects carried out by teams of social scientists. Geertz notes in his reflection that, while he was at Harvard pursuing his doctorate, there were any number of collaborative and interdisciplinary teams of researchers and it was as part of such a team that he went to Java to conduct ”first fieldwork.” While the exuberance of this period faded away in the context of postcolonialism and postmodernism, it is nevertheless important to remember it as a time when anthropologists were part of multidisciplinary research projects.

Eric Wolf was also part of a collaborative and comparative research project as a young field researcher—a project that involved several other young anthropologists, including Sidney Mintz in whose memory I offer this reflection, who were working under the mentorship of Julian Steward. The result was the book The People of Puerto Rico , 3 Steward, Julian H., Robert A. Manners, Eric R. Wolf, Elena Padilla Seda, Sidney W. Mintz, and Raymond L. Scheele. 1956  The People of Puerto Rico: A Study in Social Anthropology . Urbana: University of Illinois Press. a volume that still merits reading today. However, of more interest is Wolf’s consideration of the rise of the social sciences in the opening pages of his masterful Europe and the People Without History . 4 Wolf, Eric R. 1982. Europe and the People Without History . Berkeley: University of California Press. Pg. 7  He describes what he considers to have been a “false and fateful turn” in the middle of the nineteenth century “when inquiry into the nature and varieties of humankind split into separate and unequal specialties and disciplines.” This split, he argued, “led not only forward into the intensive and specialized study of particular aspects of human existence, but turned the ideological reason for that split into intellectual justification for the specialties themselves.” Thus, he points out, the social, studied by sociologists, was set apart from the political, ideological, and economic context. And anthropology, at least as cultural anthropology, got the rest of the world which they studied with a microscopic lens rooted in field research.

In its broadest terms (as a four subfield discipline composed of archaeology, physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology), anthropology brings together those interested in the past with those interested in the present, as well as those interested in the cultural dimensions of being human with those interested in the biological dimensions. However, today the discipline, like many other “disciplines” has become increasingly specialized, something reflected in the multitude of subsections that now exist under the umbrella of the American Anthropological Association and in the labels that anthropologists use to describe themselves—medical anthropologist, environmental anthropologist, urban anthropologist, psychological anthropologist, political anthropologist, etc.

Gone, some argue, are the days of the generalists (people like Alfred Kroeber and Franz Boas) who drew on data derived from across the four subfields. But in their place is perhaps less an “indisciplined” discipline than a scholarly project that is inherently interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary, importing from other fields and conversely exporting to them as well. Those who affiliate with the subspecializations mentioned above may be talking less to linguistic anthropologists, or physical anthropologists, or archaeologists, but they are often engaged with psychologists, neuroscientists, geographers, ecologists, urban planners, and architects.

It is this process of cross-disciplinary engagement, and of the importing and exporting of ideas, that I have recently explored in my book Anthropological Conversations: Talking Culture across Disciplines . 7 Brettell, Caroline. 2014. Anthropological conversations: talking culture across disciplines . Rowman & Littlefield. This book tracks six cross-disciplinary conversations that reflect interests in time and in space, in science and the humanities, and in the individual and the group as units of analysis. Many of these conversations are ones in which I have personally engaged as a scholar of migration, past and present. Here I mention three; those that have brought anthropologists into interactions with several of the other disciplines within the social sciences.

One such conversation is that which occurred between historians and anthropologists that is perhaps best epitomized by the “conversations” between Clifford Geertz and Robert Darnton at Princeton during the 1980s. This so-called historic turn led anthropologists into “fieldwork in the archives”, into an exploration of the presence of the past in the present, to an interrogation of the meaning of the past in the present, and perhaps most importantly to the study of the impact of colonialism (and hence of the inherent power dynamics between colonizers and colonized) on societies that had for decades been the object of the anthropological gaze. An additional trend was the work that anthropologists such as David Kertzer, William Douglass, and myself, all of us inspired by the emerging fields of historical demography and social science history, did tracing changes in family and household structure and patterns of marriage and fertility over time—particular among European populations for whom there were a wealth of historical records that could help to write history from the bottom up. It is worth noting that this turn occurred precisely at the time that the Social Science History Association, a venue for cross-disciplinary conversation and interdisciplinary research, was founded.

A second conversation is that between anthropologists and geographers that was at the foundation of a spatial turn. Granted, the connections between these two fields are quite deep (German geography and ethnographer Friedrich Ratzel conceived of a discipline of “anthropolo-geography”), but they took on new dimensions during the last decade of the twentieth century and into the present whereby space and place became critical to sociocultural theory. Writing about the rapprochement between anthropology and geography, Margaret Rodman argues that anthropologists can learn a good deal by exploring how geographers bring together issues of location (“the spatial distribution of socioeconomic activity”), sense of place or attachment to place, and locale (“the setting in which a particular social activity occurs, such as a church”) to develop a better understanding “of places as culturally and socially constructed in practice.” 8 Rodman, Margaret C. 2003. Empowering Place: Multilocality and Multivocality. In The Anthropology of Space and Place: Locating Culture , Setha Low and Denise Lawrence-Zuniga, exds., pp. 203-223. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Pg. 207. Many anthropologists have found the geographical concept of scale helpful in conceptualizing the relationships and processes that both integrate and divide people across space and time in the context of globalization. Others have turned to feminist geographers for inspiration on how to theorize the relationships among space, power, and difference, including gendered difference.

The inter/cross/multidisciplinarity of the perhaps “indisciplined” (but certainly still “big tent”) field of anthropology is very much a work in progress. What Talal Asad identified as a trend over thirty-five years ago has been perpetuated into the present but in distinct ways. Among those who are more scientifically-oriented, there is a decided biocultural turn (such as Alan Goodman’s “ Bringing Culture into Human Biology and Biology Back into Anthropology ” 10 Goodman, Alan H. 2013. Bringing Culture into Human Biology and Biology Back into Anthropology. American Anthropologist 115 (3): 359-373. ) that has generated interesting new approaches in the study of kinship, medical anthropology, human behavioral ecology, and Science, Technology, & Society (STS) studies. There is equally a literary turn (see Waterston and Vesperi’s Anthropology Off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing 11 Waterson, Alisse and Maria D. Vesperi (eds.). 2011. Anthropology Off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing.  Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell. in particular) among the more humanistically-inclined anthropologists who engage with fields like cultural studies and with the craft of writing. And there are many anthropologists, like myself, who as scholars of migration must read the work of economists, political scientists, sociologists, geographers, and demographers. When anthropologists engage with the work of those in other fields, or collaborate within the border zones between disciplines, a wealth of exciting new ideas and perspectives are often the result.


Caroline Brettell

Caroline Brettell is University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute at Southern Methodist University. She has written extensively on topics related to migration in Europe and the United States as well as on topics in the anthropology of gender. She has served as President of the Social Science History Association and the Society for the Anthropology of Europe. She has also served on various SSRC committees.

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The research ethic and the spirit of internationalism, the interdisciplinarity of globalizing knowledge, open the social sciences.

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The Oxford Handbook of Political Participation

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The Oxford Handbook of Political Participation

6 Anthropology and Political Participation

Julia M. Eckert, University of Bern

  • Published: 18 August 2022
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From an anthropological perspective, political participation can be defined as all action that attempts to have part in deciding upon one’s collective circumstances. It encompasses all practices that engage with the order of things to impact on it, also those not usually identified with participation in a political system. Anthropologists consider historically changing ways of how membership in polities is formed and study diverse imaginations of political community that are articulated in practices of political participation, not only those of the nation state or its parts, nor only small-scale local ones, but addressing at times the political order of world society. Political participation for anthropologists is thus defined not by its method or its addressee; nor is it restricted to formal citizenship; rather, it is all action in respect to power, which lays claim to the promise of self-determination, and the power to define that very “self”.

The study of political participation in anthropology has engendered a concept of politics that provides for the possibility to examine the constitution of political order and of a polity through diverse and divergent forms of participation. Anthropology has responded to what has been identified as the crisis of contemporary democracy, a post-democratic ( Crouch 2005 ) or even post-political ( Rancière 1999 ) era with an insistence that we are observing an intensely political time ( Postero and Elinoff 2019 ). The analysis of contemporary impossibilities to participate emerging in the neoliberal age has been the subject of many anthropological enquiries into contemporary politics (e.g., Li 2019 ); they have acknowledged a crisis of formal institutions of democracy in many places, and enquired into their de-politicizing dynamics ( Ferguson 1994 ; Coles 2004 ; Muehlebach 2012 ), as well as their employment as instruments of hegemony ( Li 2007 ). Anthropology has treated this observation as a call to take into view the diverse strategies and struggles of people to recuperate participatory possibilities, assert participatory rights, and negotiate and expand the norms that define legitimate participation.

Anthropologists focus on the modes and practices in which people attempt to realize participatory rights, and to deepen or expand the possibilities of participation in situations in which people perceive to have lost participatory possibilities. They have found political participation to rely on diverse forms of practices, including those not usually identified with participation in a political system. They observe how such participatory practices address all sorts of relations of power, not only those with the agencies of government. Moreover, they find such practices of political participation to engage with diverse imaginations of political community, not only those of the nation state or its parts, nor only small-scale local ones, but addressing at times the political order of world society.

For anthropology, political participation could be defined as all action in respect to a political order which lays claim to the promise of taking part in deciding upon one’s collective circumstances. There are other forms of relating to a political order than participation: Indifference, dependence, subjection or devotion, all form part of the repertoire of “politics.” Some of them also aim at making authorities more respondent to one’s needs, and often coexist side by side with participatory forms of relating to authorities. One could argue, furthermore, that most of these ways of relating to political authority entail aspects of participation, an observation much discussed in anthropology, but this is not my focus here. Rather, I will explore those anthropological approaches to political participation that have examined how the promises of political participation capture the imaginations and aspirations of people in the most different circumstances, and which have sought to explore the tension arising between these participatory desires and their ever-failing realization. In these anthropological perspectives, political participation appears to be driven by the attempts to realize its promises; it is a form of voice, an immanent critique, that (re-) creates and criticizes at the same time and is realized only in practice. It is the stuff of politics.

This perspective has moved three questions to the center of anthropological engagements with political participation. First is the question of in what ways people participate politically, and what makes the practices of participating in a political order “political.” Anthropologists, who take into account how the political is shaped by economic action, religious belief, or social intimacies (and vice versa), and who have therefore dissolved the boundaries between the private and the public erected by liberal conceptions of politics, pay attention to the ways in which seemingly “non-political” practices are employed as political means; or when overtly political ones change in their meaning, as when electoral experiences are significant not for their impact on electoral outcomes, but for collective identity, self-worth, or a sense of possibility. For anthropologists thus, many forms of participation make “politics”: they are quintessentially political in their projective character, seeking to impact on the order of things.

The second question that anthropologists have engaged with when they have discussed political participation in its diverse forms, is, what difference it makes that people do participate—to them, and to the order that they participate in. Anthropologists have debated whether political participation, even in their encompassing understanding, reinforces the hegemonic dynamics of an existing order or can actually effect change. Does participation merely reproduce a political order?

The third question central to anthropological explorations of political participation is who (and what) are subjects of political participation; and, related, how we need to think the constitution of the body politic. Anthropologists have in recent years developed a more processual understanding of the polity, one that reflects the practices of bordering political communities. Thus, anthropologists have explored participatory practices for their expression of “insurgent” norms of legitimate participation. The central question that emerges today is thus that of the relation between participation and membership, that is, the question whether participation is confined to members of a given polity, or whether it is itself constitutive of the polity that one participates in.

In the following, I will explore these three questions, around which anthropological perspectives on political participation have centered. I will begin with the many faces of the political that early political anthropology identified, which necessitated, or rather: enabled an encompassing concept of the political. For subsequent studies this opened up the possibility of a perspective on political participation to be identified in various acts and practices of the everyday. Moving from the observation of “different” practices and norms of participation in non-Western political orders, anthropologists came to take into view the myriad ways of participating in all political orders.

Second, I will focus on the anthropological studies which came to focus on the expressive aspects of participatory practice and the contestations over norms of legitimate participation. This brought to the fore the question of the very constitution of the polity that people participate in. Thirdly, and in order to take up this question on the constitution of the polity through participation, I will turn to the debate on the effects of participation, that is, the question whether political participation merely reproduces a political order or actually transforms it, a question that arises, on the one hand, in relation to the anthropological skepticism towards the possibilities of the subaltern to speak, but equally, on the other hand, in relation to the discipline’s presumptions about the prefigurative effects of subaltern projective practice.

The Many Faces of the Political

Political anthropology from the very beginning set out to explore norms and practices of political participation. The early political anthropologists of functionalist or structural functionalist orientation examined the rules which regulated political participation in non-state political systems (e.g., Fortes and Evans-Pritchard 1940 ; Leach 1954 ). They identified the ways that social position and aspects of the person determined participatory forms, rights, and obligations. Examining diverse ways of political participation and the specific conceptualizations of the person that underlay norms of political participation in different political orders produced a sensibility towards conceptualizations of political personhood and the way that shapes political participation. A concept of participation adequate to these diverse norms regulating participation was needed to provide for conceptual possibilities to conceive of political participation not as a right, but also as an obligation, a duty, an aspect of a specific phase of life, or of a specific subject position. Therefore, political anthropology had to employ a notion of politics that was not confined to specific practices or “methods” of participation; nor to an idea of rationality, deliberation, or voluntarism; one, furthermore, not focused on specific addressees of participatory practices or claims, such as “government.” Rather, their comparative project attended to the multivalent aspects of politics they found in different political orders. They needed to take into account in their concept of the political how different orders reflected all: the fundamental sociality of being underlying any politics ( Pina-Cabral 2018 ) and the communitas of political practice ( Turner 1969 ), as well as the “stratagems and spoils” ( Bayley 1969 ) of political negotiation and maneuvering.

The successors of the early political anthropologists in the 1960s and early 1970s often explored the egalitarian “participatory ethos” that they found in the political norms and institutions of polities without a state (e.g., Barth 1959 ; Clastres 1974 ; Sigrist 1967 ). Some explicitly countered the teleologies of modernization theory. They employed the Boasian assertion of the equal value of diverse cultural forms as a critical instrument for modernity, considering those alternative political institutions as evidence of the possibility of an “otherwise.”

For contemporary exploration of political participation from an anthropological perspective taking account of these diverse systems of political participation is thus not a matter of “difference” as such. Rather, the exploration of such different logics of organizing, normatively legitimizing, and understanding political participation necessitated anthropologists to develop a broader concept of political participation that they could employ also for understanding political participation in contemporary liberal democracies and other political systems (e.g., Hage 2015 ). Observing institutions of political participation that highlighted aspects of social obligation pertaining to people with specific capacities or in specific age groups, or understanding rituals of political participation to enact particular conceptualizations of both the person and the polity, and particularly the relation of both, provided conceptual tools to explore these aspects also in polities organized as democratic states. The holism characteristic of the anthropological endeavor made anthropologists consider the specific delineations of “the political,” that is the distinctions that different systems made between what issues and concerns pertained to the realm of the political and which did not. Thus, political anthropology developed a perspective, which paid attention to the polyvalent aspects of different forms of political participation; and which could explore the constitution of specific notions of “the political agent” through institutions of political participation, and, vice versa the constitution of political community through acts, practices, and rituals of participation.

Norms of Legitimate Participation

For anthropology, seeking to trace the expression of political norms and aspirations in such diverse forms of political participation is also a result of the long-standing predominance in the discipline to “study down,” 1 that is, to explore precisely the realities of those whose voices go mostly unheard, and whose normative orientations remain unrepresented. Paying attention to the diverse strivings to participate has been of interest to anthropologists because they are one form in which “the subaltern can speak” ( Spivak 1988 ).

Systemic impossibilities of political participation go far beyond the denial of formal participatory rights. Differential obstacles to participation in relation to class, caste, race, gender, ethnicity, legal status, sexual orientation, “ability,” or others, have always been the norm (e.g. Inda 2005 ; Nuijten and Lorenzo 2009 ; see also Chapters 33 , 34 , 35 this volume). The counter-publics ( Negt and Kluge 1972 ; Warner 2002 ) that form around systemic impossibilities of participation, create the grounds from which people begin to participate, either in order to delineate a space of autonomy, or to claim access and recognition. For anthropologists, thus, political participation appears as a promise that people strive to realize when they feel excluded in whatever way or threatened by political decisions that affect them but that they cannot influence.

When attention moved to the impact of colonialism and imperialism on political institutions, political anthropology focused on the re-definition and re-constitution of political authority that colonialism had effected (e.g., Mamdani 1996 ) and that shaped post-colonial polities. One form of political participation prominently discussed in political anthropology was patron–client relations and similar arrangements. “Clientelism” was discussed as a form of political participation because it was a predominant form of accessing the political system and the resources of states, particularly in situations shaped by high socioeconomic inequality, where access to the resources and services of states were mediated by “brokers.” For “the politics of the governed” ( Chatterjee 2004 ) brokers in state administrations and government authorities might forge particular relations with clients, that are not based on rights but rather on bio-political forms of “assistance” to life, thereby potentially continuing their exclusion from what Chatterjee (2004) called “civil society.” There has always been the observation that in many places where people suffer from insufficient infrastructures and services, votes are exchanged for immediate material benefits, be they simply money, or be it electricity connections, the paving of roads, or access to municipal waterpipes. Given the absence of many state provisions for large segments of the population of many states, however, such strategic exchanges of votes for palpable material benefits appear as immediately rational. More importantly, such transactions can be understood as a form of participation in as much as they involve negotiations, in which voters’ needs and expectations are articulated to relevant political authorities.

Often it is precisely in people’s discourses about states’ failures to fulfill people’s demands and expectations, such as in talk of corruption ( Gupta 1995 ; Parry 2000 ), that norms of rights and duties are shaped. Rather than considering such relations mainly as determined by a lack of inclusion into formal institutions of representation, however, anthropologists have analyzed them also for their productive aspects. Harri Englund (2008) and James Ferguson (2013) , for example, have both suggested, that we should re-think the (negatively connoted) concept of dependence (on patrons or “the state”) as articulations by “dependents” of norms entitling them to care, and attributing an obligation onto their patrons. Thus, relations of dependence can be conceived of as a form of political participation in as much as they are often the site in which norms of obligation are negotiated. As Veena Das (2011) has argued, rights wax and wane, and they are negotiated for in everyday interactions in which people constitute themselves as citizens, articulating their ideas of the state and their relationships to it (see also Das 2011 ; Gupta 1995 ; Harriss 2005 ; Eckert 2011 ). Such politics of negotiating relations with political authority are not necessarily properly understood when considering them simply as enactments of “traditional” forms of political relations, or as rooted in stable norms of reciprocal obligations. These are forms of political participation. They assert the right and entitlement to what they claim ( Eckert 2011 ), thereby advancing their own understandings of the norms and values that should govern the polity.

It is such attention to the articulations of the norms that should govern political relations in the diverse forms of political participation, which have put the aspirational expressiveness at the center of anthropological analyses of political participation in recent years. Anthropologists studying democracy (see e.g., the contributions in Paley 2008 ), for example, have often observed the embrace of electoral rights in diverse situations ( Edelman 1985 ; Spencer 2007 : 93; Coburn and Larson 2009 ). Voting, they have found, is valued, because it is the one moment when the promise of equality inherent in democratic ideals becomes real (e.g., Banerjee 2011a ; Carswell and de Neve 2014). It is less the idea that one’s vote actually has an impact on the future of one’s government; rather, it is the enactment of the equality of all through the equality of all votes, which is central to this particular form of political participation. In anthropologists’ exploration of voting, the ritual of elections is a symbol of that ever-unfulfilled idea of equality, and a symbolic assertion of its validity. Such an ideal of equality can refer to the individual, but also to a particular community aspiring for greater self-determination and the possibility of having power as a group ( Michelutti 2007 ; Witsoe 2011 ; see also Chapter 47 this volume). Aspirations to equality are enacted in elections also through the experience of “communitas” that such ritual enables (Banerjee 2011b; see also Chapter 38 this volume). From an anthropological perspective, to speak of elections as “mere” ritual is thus misguided, since it is precisely the ritual that is of significance ( Spencer 2007 : 77), both as the moment of communitas, and in terms of the expression of political values and norms, of hopes, aspirations, and expectations.

Such expressive aspects have often been studied in relation to the projects of social movements. While anthropology has its own rich literature on social movements (e.g., Edelman 2001 ; Nash 2005 ; Susser 2016 ), it has not confined the exploration of such expressive aspects to these. Rather, anthropologists have analyzed “pre-ideological” ( Bayat 2010 : 19) everyday struggles for “social citizenship” (e.g., Holston 2007 ; 2011 ; Das 2011 ) and “acts of citizenship” ( Isin 2008 ) for such expressions of goals and desires “unrepresented” and before their articulation within the framework of a particular vision of social and political change. They have assumed the immediate needs of marginalized people to give rise to the articulation of new norms of legitimate participation, evident in multitudinous squatting of urban land (e.g., Bayat 2000 ), the unregulated construction of homes (e.g., Holston 2007 ), the assertion of access to public space (e.g., Bayat 2010 : 96–114; Göle 2006 ), and the mass mobilities that demand freedom of movement and the right to “be there” (e.g., De Genova 2009 ; Mezzadra 2006 ).

We observe also legal challenges to governmental agencies, international organizations, or multinational corporations (e.g., Eckert 2006 ; Santos and Rodríguez-Garavito 2006 ), to be employed for such expressive goals: The “juridification of protest” ( Eckert et al. 2012 ), while often charged with de-politizing at base political struggles (e.g., Comaroff and Comaroff 2006 ), is increasingly a means to express political objectives and projects and advance alternative or novel understandings of legal norms ( Eckert 2021 ). These all are ways in which the subaltern not only claim and appropriate access to specific goods, but through which they express their ideas of justice and injustice and formulate norms of legitimate participation.

Imagining the Polity

Since the social struggles explored by anthropologists are at base about defining the polity in terms of legitimate participation, questions about the constitution of the polity and its boundaries moved center stage. The struggles observed by anthropologists proposed new grounds for claiming membership: People referred to their labor ( Eckert 2011 ), or to their shared humanity ( Das 2011 ). Holston (2011) has pointed to “contributor rights,” that particular legitimation of claims based on the labor and consumption of everyday existence that creates the polity in all its circumstance, and that in turn is grounds for participatory rights. The practical claims to participation that redefine the polity express visions of possibilities, ideas of oneself “(and others) as subjects of rights” ( Isin 2009 , 371) and ways of realizing them. These attempts to define legitimate participation in effect expanded the boundaries of political communities through the participation of people who had but insecure rights and possibilities of formal participation or who were denied them altogether. The central question that emerges for political anthropology today is that of the relation between participation and membership.

Anthropology had had no difficulties in conceptualizing polities without “states” and “acephalous orders” (e.g., Fortes and Evans-Pritchard 1940 ; Sigrist 1967 ). However, it has proven more difficult to leave behind other essentialized notions, such as those of unified cultural communities. While the specific limitations of participatory rights with their discriminations in terms of gender, age, caste, and class were paid attention to, anthropological ideas of membership nonetheless often left unquestioned the processes by which the actual polities of which membership was negotiated, were constituted. Hence, membership and community were not, for a long time, problematized in anthropology: they were often defined by the assumedly given ethnic or kin belonging or national citizenship. The very term “culture,” particularly in its plural form “cultures,” which anthropology propagated, suggested units integrated by some given commonalities, be that language, history, blood, or even simply the cultural “text” and its collective reading. The critiques of such ideas of a unity of community constituted by “shared culture” began early (e.g., Barth 1969 ), but methodological nationalism ( Wimmer and Glick Schiller 2002 ) shaped the design of fields for research in anthropology as much as in other social sciences for long (and continues to do so). While systemic limits to participation were thus considered, they were perceived as internal to a given polity, whether exploring membership in national polities or in sub-national communities, anthropologists thus focusing on the impossibility to participate of those who had whatever kind of given membership status.

The fact that practices of participation often seek to define and redefine the very borders of political communities by suggesting alternative grounds for claims to legitimate participatory possibilities, was theorized only when the easy identifications of membership and ascribed identities of national–territorial or ethnic belonging was undermined by the emergence of more processual concepts of culture and identity in anthropology. They paved the way also for more processual approaches to the understanding of belonging and membership, and thus for taking into view the ways in which political participation itself constitutes political communities and their boundaries. Leaving behind seemingly pre-defined notions of a polity that people are members of to participate in, anthropologists have moved towards more pragmatic notions of polity, in the sense of examining the very constitution of political communities through multifarious practices of participation, bordering, “encroachment” ( Bayat 2000 ) and appropriations ( Eckert 2015 ).

Anthropologists have thus found political participation to articulate diverse imaginations of political community, often unaligned with jurisdictional boundaries, sometimes more expansive than membership in an “imagined community” of a nation-state, and operating across multiple scales such as the local, transnational, and transversal (see Holston 2019 ; Çağlar and Glick Schiller 2018 ; for the transnational see also Chapter 50 this volume). Anthropologists have in recent years addressed more centrally also the ways in which polities have been conceptualized “otherwise,” paying attention particularly to more egalitarian and participatory forms, and those polities that in their institutions reflect human and non-human cohabitation in the Anthropocene ( Blaser 2019 ; Youatt 2020 ). They thus not only appropriate existing notions of membership in some form of pre-constituted collectivity, but radically rework ideas of membership ( McNevin et al. 2021 ).

Political participation then is about being effective in shaping one’s own circumstances in relation to others one is connected to through the multifarious entanglements of existence in our contemporary world. A “politics of presence” in a particular locality—the sheer fact of being there—carries a conceptualization of participatory rights that are currently tried out in those initiatives that experiment with “urban citizenship” (e.g., Glick Schiller and Çağlar 2009 ; Hess and Lebuhn 2014 ). They conceive of participatory rights as arising from coexistence or cohabitation in a locality or within a particular social situation.

Focusing on the diverse forms of political participation that people engage in thus makes it possible to conceive of a polity, not as already constituted by an apparatus of institutions that distinguishes between members and non-members, but as actually always created by politics, that is, greater or lesser degrees of participation. This Arendtian conception of politics as participation ( Arendt 1993 : 15), that is, the very definition of politics as participation, enables us to rethink political participation in a manner that overcomes the methodological nationalism ( Wimmer and Glick Schiller 2002 ) inherent in conceptions of polity as a pre-constituted collectivity. Unlike Arendt, who upheld a specific delineation between the public and the private founded in Greek political theory, politics therein residing exclusively in the public, and taking only specific forms considered appropriate and civil, anthropology, with its holistic attention to the myriad ways the political takes expression in the seemingly non-political, overcomes both the division between the public and the private, and the exclusion of some forms of political expression from what is (conceptually) admitted to the realm of the political. Anthropologists can thus contribute to a nuanced perspective on the actual processes of drawing such distinctions and delineating both the political and the polity.

Beyond Hegemony: The Effects of Participation

Anthropologists differed as to the question what difference it makes that people do participate—to them, and to the order that they participate in. They have been skeptical towards the potential of political participation to actually build and shape state institutions, and the institution building capacities of political participation have mostly been observed in relation to the development of institutions alternative to established ones. Many considered participation (also) a form of obedience to the order people were scrambling to participate in, a form of disciplinary method that brought people to strive for what reproduces the order of things, a means of hegemony, or of ideology ( Edelman 1985 ).

The suggestion inherent in Rancière’s proposition that all forms of “successful participation” are already incorporated into the realm of “police,” “politics” residing in rupture rather than participation, points us to the question in how far participation is obedient to the constraints a political system imposes on it, and thus actually potentially effective in shaping that very system. Anthropologists have often considered the formation of subjectivities through the governmental colonization of minds and bodies (e.g., Comaroff and Comaroff 1991 ), the effect of state categories and classifications (e.g., Mitchell 1999 ; Collier et al. 1995 ). Following a pessimistic reading of Bourdieu’s notion of habitus and Michel Foucault’s notion of subjectivation, the discipline has paid attention to how social orders are reproduced through practice shaped by the habitual dispositions of agents, the mimetic elements ( Gupta and Sharma 2006 ), and the bio-political governmentality articulated in democratic participation ( Li 2007 ). Particularly, anthropologists studying the participatory standards in development “cooperation” and their rhetoric of “ownership,” have dissected such obligations to participate as a method of hegemony, a disciplinary tool that trains people into the desires and goals, procedures, and norms of a political order ( Ferguson and Gupta 2002 ; Li 2007 ).

Anthropologists have thus considered obedience in relation to political orders and the ways they are reproduced through people actively—intentionally or inadvertently—obeying their rules. A particularly precise study of such political participation is Emma Tarlo’s, who, in her ethnography of the emergency rule of the government of Indira Gandhi in India from 1973 to 1975, examined how state oppression was perpetuated by the active participation by many of those targeted by various programs ( Tarlo 2003 ). Obedience is thus an important form of participation, the striving of the marginalized to be part of the system of marginalization proving the latter’s hegemonic force. It has often been the very unfulfillment of the normative promises of a political system that are the driving force of claims and demands for political inclusion; they are ubiquitous as the universalist claims of most modern orders have nowhere fulfilled their promises to all they promised participation ( Holston 2007 ; Ong 2005 ). In short, any striving for inclusion indicates a valuation of the goods that the status quo could offer if one were included in it in a more privileged position, and thus also a limit to the political imagination.

However, anthropologists have equally observed how precisely the limits imposed triggered the political imagination for an “otherwise.” Despite the frequent reading of Bourdieu as deterministic, his practice theoretical position also enabled anthropologists to examine the “break with the doxa” (1985: 734) and to explore the struggles between agents to impose their worldview by the “work of representation”: “The truth of the social world is the stake in struggle between agents very unequally equipped to achieve absolute, i.e. self-fulfilling, vision and forecasting” ( Bourdieu 1985 : 732). In his text on social space and the genesis of groups (1985), Bourdieu insists that we have “to integrate the agents’ representation of the social world; more precisely [we] must take account of the contribution that agents make towards constructing the view of the social world, and through this, towards constructing this world ( … )” ( Bourdieu 1985 : 727). While subaltern visions of political participation are often shaped by the aspirations founded in the very legitimating grounds that a political order entails, these promises are interpreted in ways that mesh moral or ethical and future imaginations possibly stemming from realms other than the dominant normative order. Interpretations of norms and of practices contain projects that are socially situated, grounded in past experience, the myths and rumors ( Hansen and Stepputat 2006 , 296) about the state as well as by normative assumptions about what ought to be.

Attention to this interpretative and representational work has elucidated the creative and innovative use of existing political institutions that people engage in. They are creative in as much as they put forth specific interpretations of norms and act upon them in order to shape institutions accordingly. Isin, for example, sees “acts of citizenship” precisely in those actions that break with habitual practice, and allow for new norms to be enacted, distinguishing “between justice and injustice, between equal and unequal and between fair and unfair” ( Isin 2012 : 123). In this light, struggles for political participation could be considered a form of prefigurative politics in the sense of David Graeber, who argued that “the structure of one’s own act becomes a kind of microutopia, a concrete model for one’s vision of a free society” (2009: 210).

The corrosion of the status quo that often goes along with its partial affirmation in the practices of participation that anthropologists have studied often lies in incremental transformations. (See also Chapter 46 this volume.) It consists first and foremost in slow and sometimes contradictory changes of the norms of what is “normal.” The slow and small transformations in the ideas about the acceptable and the right way of governing can add up to rather substantive changes in the relations of domination. These practices and forms of action constitute social change: They “succeed” when they affect what is considered “normal,” “standard,” and legitimate practice, or even shift the line between legal and illegal.

In their attention to such “prefigurative” dimensions of participatory practice, anthropologists, however, have often neglected theoretical reflection on the “political neutrality” of a concept of prefigurative politics. Examining how participatory practices re-define the boundaries of polities, for example, needs to take into view all those struggles that strive for a prerogative of participatory rights, and seek to define polities in more narrow ways. Participatory rights are rights to membership in a polity, and such rights are more often than not asserted as the prerogative of specific identity groups. The “politics of the public square” ( Graeber 2013 ) can enact all sorts of imaginations of polities. There, in the gathering, a self-constitution of “we, the people’s” ( Butler 2015 ) claims to be legitimate members have more often than not turned into claims to be more legitimate than others, and to exclude those others who are not deemed to be “the people.” Nationalist and fascist mobilisation build precisely on the concomitance of participatory promises and exclusion of “others” ( Eckert 2003 ).

Popular political participation can take the form of the “mob” ( Tazzioli et al. 2021 ) and it is fascist politics that has often reverted to a politics of “direct action” and thereby provided (and provides) possibilities for public action and political participation, claiming public space through violent confrontations ( Eckert 2003 ). Such aspects of prefiguration within political participation appear as particularly relevant and worthy of attention in times of a perceived crisis of political participation (see Giugni and Grasso 2019 ). Hence, attention to participatory prefigurations does not lead inevitably to a theory of democratization. (Unfortunately), the end to which political participation is put is open.

Precisely because anthropologists consider the political dimension of many of the practices, acts, rituals, and relations they study, there is no unified position on political participation in anthropology, not even an integrated debate on it. The one position anthropologists would probably share is that if one wants to enquire into political participation in any way, be that in relation to its effects on a political order, be that into its reverberations in “the private,” insights can be found in all fields of existence.

From identifying different forms of organizing participation in non-Western political systems, anthropology moved to analyzing the multivarious forms of participating they observed in the everyday; from studying the norms regulating how different subject positions determined legitimate participation, anthropologists came to study how different subject positions were differently restricted to participate—and how they struggled to overcome these impediments. The attention to the diverse but specific limits of and exclusions from political participation, when freed from its structural functionalist underpinnings, engendered attention to the multifarious ways in which those excluded or hindered from participation strove to overcome such limitations, and produced relations to political authorities beyond those formally instituted.

These shifts in perspective from studying plurality, to studying inequality so to say, or: the concatenation of plurality and inequality ( Eckert 2016 ) provided for the possibility of anthropology to perceive the many ways of political participation, from the extraordinary in “acts of citizenship” to the everyday negotiations of membership. The focus on the struggles to overcome impediments to participation, to realize, expand, or deepen one’s participatory possibilities were analyzed as to their constitutive role of the political order in question. Thus, thirdly, anthropologists came to conceive of the polity as constituted (and delineated) by participatory practice. The attention to diverse forms of participation, and particularly those practices that strive to overcome forms of exclusion from the polity, be they ideological, legal, economic, or other, necessitates for anthropology a concept of political participation that considers it to come before membership, yes, to constitute membership. This has also opened the way in recent years for new notions of the polity: as constituted by the participatory practices of those present. Political anthropology thus, from studying mostly non-state polities, but with a largely unreflected notion of the constitution of political community, and through studying myriad ways of participating politically, has moved to radically different concepts of both politics ( Postero and Elinoff 2019 ) and the polity ( McNevin et al. 2021 ), which leave behind the methodological nationalism of earlier, and consider participation as constitutive of political community. In fact, in the anthropological perspective on political participation, politics comes to be tantamount to participation, and the polity can be perceived as delineated by diverse participatory struggles.

This “prefigurative” perspective has had a slant, often overlooking those movements that struggled to narrow participatory possibilities to a specific group, or to limit the role of participation. Notwithstanding this bias, the anthropological perspective can enrich a tradition of theorizing the polity as constituted and delineated by participation. The question whether and how political participation is transformative of a political order, redefining political institutions, can then enquire into the differential possibilities of diverse practices to initiate processes of change. This is the contribution of anthropology.

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“Studying down” for long replaced studying “the other”; studying up ( Nader 1969 ) and studying “through” ( Wedel et al. 2005 ) have become important but have not informed explorations of political participation. See also Chapter 16 this volume on ethnographic methods.

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In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Political Anthropology

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Political Anthropology by Ajantha Subramanian LAST REVIEWED: 31 July 2020 LAST MODIFIED: 11 January 2012 DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766567-0018

Political anthropology emphasizes context, process, and scale. The field has been most concerned with the contextual specificity of political processes and the mechanisms through which localities are differentially incorporated into larger scales of social, economic, and political life. Whereas political anthropology inhabits much of the same analytical ground as political science in considering phenomena such as state formation, democracy, citizenship, rights, and development, political anthropologists challenge normative assumptions of what counts as “politics” by illuminating connections between formal and informal political arenas, and among cultural, social, and political processes. There is a key internal distinction that has marked political anthropology virtually from the outset: that between a structuralist approach emphasizing the systemic nature of power and the role of political behavior and institutions in social reproduction, and a processual approach that highlights conflict, contradiction, and change. Significantly, political anthropology has been distinguished from other fields of anthropology by its relative lack of preoccupation with “culture” as an analytical category; most political anthropologists focus instead on social inequality, institutional dynamics, and political transformation. To put it differently, political anthropologists typically think of their research sites relationally and dynamically, and not in terms of enduring difference from a purported mainstream.

Several volumes provide overviews of work in political anthropology, and together they mark shifts in the themes and approaches of the field. Swartz, et al. 1966 marks a shift from an older structuralist analysis to a focus on political processes, highlighting in particular the role of conflict, authority, ritual, and boundary-making in the politics of decolonization. Vincent 1978 also elaborates a processual approach to politics but draws attention to interest, strategy, and the role of individuals within wider political dynamics. Lewellen 1992 offers a comprehensive survey of 20th-century trends in political anthropology, whereas Vincent 1990 situates Anglophone anthropological work on politics in its broader historical context. Finally, Vincent 2002 and Nugent and Vincent 2004 are masterful collections of essays that convey the breadth of political anthropological scholarship, including the thematic continuities and shifts that comprise the field.

Lewellen, Ted C. 1992. Political anthropology: An introduction . Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Very useful and comprehensive overview of the history of political anthropology that illuminates shifting trends in context, from structural-functionalism, through process theory, to the impact of theoretical work on postmodernism and globalization.

Nugent, David, and Joan Vincent, eds. 2004. A companion to the anthropology of politics . Oxford: Blackwell.

Follows Vincent 2002 , offering essays on central themes in political anthropology by leading anthropologists. Themes include citizenship, cosmopolitanism, development, feminism, globalization, hegemony, identity, and postcolonialism.

Swartz, Mark, Victor Turner, and Arthur Tuden, eds. 1966. Political anthropology . Chicago: Aldline.

Essays documenting the shift from a structuralist to a processual approach to political analysis, with a particular focus on contexts of decolonization.

Vincent, Joan. 1978. Political anthropology: Manipulative strategies. Annual Review of Anthropology 7:175–194.

DOI: 10.1146/

Review essay that highlights work on strategy, interest, and individual agency in wider political processes.

Vincent, Joan. 1990. Anthropology and politics: Visions, traditions, and trends . Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press.

Wide-ranging critical review of Anglophone political anthropology from 1879 to the present, situating it in national and international contexts of production, and considering how intellectual, social, and political conditions have influenced the field. Also examines reasons for the survival of particular schools of thought and the influence of certain individuals and departments.

Vincent, Joan, ed. 2002. The anthropology of politics: A reader in ethnography, theory, and critique . Oxford: Blackwell.

A masterful collection of essays that includes key Enlightenment texts whose ideas continue to find resonance within anthropological work on politics, classics in political anthropology, and contemporary works organized under imperialism and colonialism, and under cosmopolitics. Also includes an extremely useful introduction by Vincent on trends, continuities, and ruptures in political anthropology.

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essay about anthropology sociology and political science

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book: Anthropology and Political Science

Anthropology and Political Science

A convergent approach.

  • Myron J. Aronoff and Jan Kubik
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  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books
  • Copyright year: 2012
  • Audience: Professional and scholarly;
  • Main content: 368
  • Keywords: Theory and Methodology ; Political and Economic Anthropology
  • Published: November 1, 2012
  • ISBN: 9780857457264

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  • Relationship between Anthropology and Sociology
  • Last Updated: Jun 3, 2023

Anthropology and sociology rely on social life and cultural research to fully comprehend the causes and effects of human behavior. The study of sociology and anthropology focuses on the traditional cultures of both Western and non-Western civilisations , as well as the modern, industrial society. They investigate the effect of social institutions , including religion, family, and education, on people’s attitudes, actions, and chances of living happy lives. They also focus on the effect of culture on social structures , including families, organizations, and communities.

Anthropology and Sociology - Anthroholic

Approaches of Sociology and anthropology

Sociology and anthropology employ both scientific and humanistic approaches to examine society . Researchers in the fields of sociology and anthropology study a broad variety of topics and draw on many theoretical stances, including those related to culture, socialization, deviance, inequality, health and sickness, family structures, social change, and connections between races and ethnic groups.

Segmental thinking still exists in academic circles when curricula are being made. Many people fail to recognize the fact that the universe in which we live is a unified whole and the various disciplines are merely different approaches to this totality. There is even doubt concerning the close relationship between cultural anthropology and sociology. A recent article brings out the fact that the relationship is not entirely understood by some of the specialists in these two fields.’ The purpose of this discussion is to compare the phenomena throughout these two fields of study. An analysis of the phenomena in these two disciplines reveals unity throughout-biologically, culturally, and from the standpoint of human nature. The phenomena are identical in a broad connotative sense. They vary only as differentiations in the same category. In each of the three realms of the existence of all people-the biological, the cultural, and the human nature-the phenomena had a common origin and were produced in the same way. In each area there is a universal common denominator of interactive factors as the analysis will show. Furthermore, the same scientific laws are equally valid and the research methods in each of these three aspects of life can be universally the same. Any law or unifying principle established either by a sociologist or by an anthropologist would have universal application 

Biological Unity  in Anthropology and sociology 

People studied by the anthropologist belong to the same genus and species as those studied by the sociologist. They were produced in the biological process in the same way, through the interaction of the two parent cells, the sperm cell of the male and the ovum of the female. The individuals of all groups can freely interbreed and produce fertile children. Fertile children have been produced through the mating of the most extreme types of whites and Negroes. Had they not belonged to the same species, sterility in the offspring would have resulted. Modern science has revealed the fact that all human blood is the same whether it comes from the “purest Aryan” or from the African pygmy.

There are four blood types found among all human divisions. Blood plasma, no matter what may be its origin, can be used to save the life of any person. The differences between groups in the world are found in nonessentials-pigmentation, hair texture, and other external characteristics. Throughout this species, there is an organic heritage that is truly common. Undefined, dynamic, organic processes possess the same human potentialities. These are random vocalization; undefined intellectual and emotional processes; undefined hunger, sex and thirst processes; and the undefined processes connected with the senses.

The random vocalizations of any newborn can become any language; the intellectual and emotional processes lend themselves to development in any culture; the sex and thirst processes do not require a particular culture. They can be accommodated by any food-habit system, and they can be accommodated by any culture. Undefined processes connected with the senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell have no quality that demands any specific social heritage in anthropology and sociology.

 The newborn anywhere in the world is an unbiased candidate for human nature that can be developed in any culture. In other words, he is equipped to achieve a life organization in any social milieu. These undefined, organic potentialities for human nature provide a universal common denominator of interactive factors. Laws concerning these potentialities, before they are defined or after they are defined and integrated into a life an organization that would benefit everyone. If the neonates in groups were swapped with the babies in groups that anthropologists saw,

The study of human nature and society by sociologists would not bring about change. Though it would be a cultural problem rather than a biological one, how society perceives color differences would have an effect. Culture has a minor impact on biological potential. They may fit with any culture. Because of its variegated population, which includes African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, and immigrants from every continent in Europe, the United States is a great case study for this topic.

Oneness of Creation Anthropology and sociology 

The four interrelated processes of astronomy, geology, biology, and society generated the universe in which we live. One of these techniques was applied to manufacture everything in the universe. The social process is how all civilizations came to be, even as people altered these four processes and their impacts one of these techniques was applied to manufacture everything in the universe. The social process is how all civilizations came to be, even as people altered these four processes and their impacts. The implications are always the same: society’s structure and human nature. In one example, the changes may be mystical and non-scientific, while in another, they may be more or less scientific.

By studying each culture or aspect of each civilization, one can learn about human nature and society structure. Thus, the basic ingredient that unites all civilizations is composed of these two intertwined components. These two components are always present simultaneously and are similar in all cases from a functional standpoint.

Human nature, which contains attitudes, ideas, interests, needs, ideologies, and more, is the subjective aspect of civilization that works as an all-inclusive common denominator. Social organization covers both aspects inherited from nature and items developed for the development and expression of human nature.Every culture on earth is basically a unique manner in which people interact and how society is developed; it is an individual result of how society runs. All cultures have a similar root in social interaction for their development, preservation, and alteration.

The social process is how humans engage with one another on a cultural level. All human groups, even the most “primitive” individuals, the majority in cultural life, and the source populations for anthropologists and sociologists, are subject to the same scientific principles.

Man’s Universal Nature in Anthropology and sociology 

Every infant in society has the ability to develop into a person. He lacks human nature and is uncontaminated by civilization. Gaining human nature and a world in which to live are difficult for him. This is brought on by a normal process.

By virtue of their experiences, concepts, and points of view, infants learn about the world. The picked item permeates his world, and the attitude gets a life of its own.

In many regards, the phenomenon is akin to human nature once it has been acquired. It integrates cultures, beliefs, hobbies, and other things everywhere. It is done by using the same innate human potentialities as were stated in the paragraph on this page on “biological oneness.” These include actions tied to the senses, mental and emotional processes, behaviors related to hunger, thirst, and sex, as well as meaningless vocalizations. The interaction between these potentialities and other potentialities in social life culminates in human nature. Human nature can only grow in this manner in  anthropology and sociology.

Human nature becomes vital in any coming adjustment when the potential in these two heritages has interacted and been accomplished. As a consequence, each work is imbued with the person’s biological, social, and human essence. He is taking everything in in a way that only he can because no one else will ever have the same experience.

Each person’s social and biological inheritance, human character, and unique experiences are the universal common denominator seen in their connections with others in every culture. They are constantly engaged as he matures through each stage of his human nature and acquires a world to live in. Every person from every culture had at that time evolved into a social, organic, and mental oneness. Only in the context of the four dimensions of his existence that were previously outlined can he be comprehended. As a consequence, there is a unifying framework for assessing everyone while taking into consideration their particular experiences, social and biological histories, and human nature in anthropology and sociology.

These four characteristics are experiences as well as interactive features. Every person has an influence on the structural component of his social legacy. Similarly, his training in organic chemistry. Its interruptions, in particular, are an attitude-based experience. In addition, the individual is continually responding to human nature and his own views.

Ideas, hobbies, and initiatives that try to develop human nature Similar to this, the individual constantly revisits his separate experiences in his imagination, strengthening the attitudes, wants, etc. that he first felt as a result of them. Everyone has the same potential in their nature, regardless of where they reside. Ideas from mental or social psychology that are true in one scenario are also true in another.

Limitation of sociology

Bringing up societal issues while finding significance Sociologist Berger thinks that skepticism is a vital part of social study. This is a critical beginning step if sociology is to be effective.  According to Berger, the objective of sociology is to offer innovative interpretations of conventional facts, question conventional wisdom, and contribute to the corpus of knowledge beyond what can be gathered through empirical inquiry.

So how do we receive the knowledge that sociology aims to provide? How can we transcend beyond the accumulated knowledge of many people’s experiences to extend our grasp of social life? How can we move beyond what is previously known? Sociologist Asplund elaborates on the tiny but important difference between reporting a social occurrence and problematizing the same thing in order to comprehend the art of researching social phenomena. According to me, this assertion is a cornerstone of sociology. One sort of study entails in-depth analyses of particular events in anthropology and sociology. A synopsis of its occurrence and any relevant connections may also be included in descriptions. Asplund makes the argument that such a descriptive analysis is worthless or what we may refer to as a-theoretical without saying that such an analytical framework is erroneous or senseless. Even the most extensive explanation will fall short of conveying the occurrences properly. Even though it will bring us comfort knowing we comprehend the present conditions sufficiently, it won’t have made it clear what it signifies.

In order to regard a phenomenon as anything, an analysis that strives to comprehend its meaning would try out alternative interpretations. A descriptive investigation merely wants one piece of data, while a focus on meaning seeks to grasp the events at a deeper level. The approach for accomplishing this purpose is to build a flexible style of seeing rather than gathering a rising and copious amount of correct and detailed knowledge. To effectively appreciate a social phenomenon, one must be able to embrace a multiplicity of views and explanatory models.

Aspect blindness of Anthropology and Sociology 

“Aspectblindness” is how Asplund refers to the lack of certain talents. Theories are vital because they educate us about a variety of facets of reality, even though we should be cautious that they may not completely match reality. Reality may be perceived via comparison with abstractions. This is the right way to put ideas to use, and this is what “seeing something as something” genuinely entails. Since they are typically not formed on empirical generalizations, interpretations that seek the significance or meaning of a phenomenon do not lend themselves to verifications. Similar to Weber’s ideal-types, these interpretations are exaggerated, although they are nevertheless important as they aid to make a message.

But resolving all the questions about a phenomenon is merely one part in the research process. What Asplund refers to as “greediness” reinforces the argument for prioritizing meaning over presentation. Analyses that depend on descriptions generated from statistical or ethnographic data aren’t always inappropriate in  anthropology and sociology. However, if the technique is concluded with a well-organized presentation of the data’s conclusions, the sociological investigation still falls short. Even though such narratives offer vital information regarding the existence and history of a certain phenomenon, Asplund argues that the sociologist must continue the investigation by asking, “What does this mean? ” The capacity to problematize data—ask questions about the application of the collected data—and the capability to gather data must be balanced (using qualitative or quantitative methods)

Is research on development “pointless” In Anthropology and Sociology ?

What link does this issue have to an examination of the limits of sociology with respect to development studies? Asplund’s warning regarding data gluttony. A lack of social curiosity that lifts the study beyond a straightforward description is especially crucial in the context of development studies research.

It may not be all that weird to suppose that research undertaken in connection with development initiatives is driven by a preconceived purpose. After all, the purpose of these studies is to analyze sustainability, follow current operations, and measure the efficiency of particular activities. But queries that masquerade as “academic research” frequently have aspects in common with project-related inquiries. Studies on development encompass research that is directly relevant to development in praxis as well as expectations that have arisen to underline moral obligations in connection to the issue being researched. These commitments typically prioritize policy and practice recommendations over sociological concerns about the significance of social events.According to Ferguson, the majority of development literature reflects this, with an emphasis on what goes wrong with development initiatives, why it goes wrong, and how it may be remedied.

In his research of the literature on development, he noticed that writers considered development as a large joint effort to create change, and works from this perspective are designed to offer readers a better working environment. Similar phrases like “manageability” and “social engineering” are used by the authors van Ufford, Giri, and Mosse  to characterize the nature of development research and practices. Once again, the impulse to “fix things” takes priority over an interest in grasping the complexity and illogic of social events.

Donations have a big influence in the case of Bangladesh while looking in comparison with  Anthropology and Sociology.

The major purpose of research initiatives is to acquire knowledge for development and policy activities. Research is commonly performed in Bangladeshi literature with the purpose of directly impacting decision-making processes Long-term or scholarly viewpoints are infrequently employed when conducting research, and donor interests dictate the agenda, which is primarily to blame. According to van Schendel and Westergaard, funders are “interested in outcomes that may rapidly be fed into the management of development operations”

The foundation for analysis and empirical study is thus already constructed, and the data collected during investigations is simply added to this already-existing framework. Though terms like gender, livelihoods, the hard core poor, and sustainability are simple to grasp, their utility in research is typically limited to  anthropology and sociology. They don’t allow for a complete and inquisitive assessment; rather, they are appended to an already-existing operating order. According to Sarah White, writings on gender problems that are commonly backed by foreign assistance present facts rather than views. She contends that positivism, rather than a hermeneutic approach designed to comprehend social processes and social change, characterizes development research in general, not simply that associated with gender.

Publication foci in Anthropology and Sociology.

The majority of publications on empowerment and engagement in development concentrate on propagating these ideals. The analysis is based on the ideas that management- and problem-solving approaches are what give analyzes their unique flavor, and that participation can and should be made to work.Although the literature includes sharp and critical evaluations of participation, the criticism is typically emphasized in order to strengthen methods and definitions. These arguments, which strive to define how participation should be employed, have led to books that go into greater depth on the ideas and procedures associated with participatory tactics. In other words, the studies lack a critical viewpoint that will challenge the established wisdom, in this example, that involvement in development would lead to the democratic empowerment of the impoverished, which Berger considers vital to sociology. The studies also demonstrate a predisposition for prolonged explanations and fail to answer Asplund’s critical question, “What does this mean?” with regard to the obtained data.

Although these judgements are illogical and non-theoretical, they still have some utility. However, by disputing what is usually assumed, namely that participation leads to the empowerment of the impoverished and universal democracy, they may become socially relevant. Behind the rhetoric of involvement in development, standard social theories regarding how people should engage in democracy incorporate opposing concepts

These theories investigate, among other things, the issue of encouraging people’s freedom of speech while simultaneously forcing them to accept decisions that may limit their own freedom and opinions held by a majority that are in contrast to their own. Sociologically speaking, it may also be helpful in this situation to understand the social psychology components of group decision-making, which show that fear of exclusion may lead us to accept recommendations that do not align with our own opinions about what is the best solution to a problem.

We may be able to better comprehend the primary issues driving people’s engagement in development by employing alternative theoretical insights gained in other study fields.

They show an underlying complexity that is difficult to address from a managerial perspective. Instead of only concentrating on how they can be handled technically, a focus on their complexity as social phenomena offers a more thorough understanding. much room for analysis. Social skepticism may be applied in this fashion to investigate both common knowledge and our personal beliefs. By studying the facts we already consider to be true, we may better appreciate the core problems surrounding participation and start to view it as more of a social phenomenon than merely a development plan restricted by negative social dynamics or physical limits. Discussions on empowerment and involvement in development NGOs tend to emphasize a variety of attributes

Anthropology and Sociology

Literature often delivers significant perspectives that involve historical information and background details about NGOs. Critical appraisals of the regional, national, and international political and economic conditions in which NGOs operate are equally crucial. These descriptions, regrettably, are confined in that they only boost our ability to perceive obstacles; they do not, nevertheless, improve our capacity to understand them more thoroughly, to use Asplund’s very harsh word once again. The arguments are further complicated by the fact that discussions of development NGOs are based on a certain purpose, one that encourages the involvement of NGOs as partners and implies the fulfillment of the ideal, i.e., NGOs motivated by altruism and committed to solidarity. One example is the emphasis on expanding organizational management, people issues, and financial considerations in order to develop the necessary attitudes, as seen in both the literature and the sheer number of management courses provided to NGOs. 

This is also represented in efforts to identify and differentiate the bad actors from the true and legitimate NGOs, as well as the dependency on external reasons or a lack of introspective analysis as components undermining the actual ideals of NGOs in NGO literature. This provides a venue for conversations that are mostly concerned with generating practical answers to challenges that hinder NGOs from accomplishing their declared purposes and objectives in anthropology and sociology. According to David Lewis, the literature is as follows: Despite being sometimes critical of the existing focus on NGOs, its tone usually recognises and supports NGOs’ capacity to positively impact the development process

Comparing objectives of Anthropology and Sociology.

A sociological research project that is driven by goals or ideological views of how things should be may suffer substantial implications because it runs the danger of neglecting a comprehensive examination of the assumptions that underlie these ideals. The philosophy given is related to the principles and aspects of development NGOs.

 Examining these presumptions entails analyzing compassion’s ethical difficulties. Is altruism real or not? What occurs when conduct is related to moral principles? These studies lead us down a different route than others that are more anchored in reality and concerned with how we may restore the original NGO ethos in a flourishing but unethically troubled sector. social engineer, revolutionary leader, or undercover investigator?

A review of sociology’s contributions would be unsatisfactory without taking into account the fact that there are plainly diverse perspectives on the role that a sociologist should undertake. Since sociology’s origins as a subject of academic study, the question has been under dispute. A sociologist should function as a social architect, an advocate for the weak, and an academic who should be as removed from politics or any other direct endeavor to make social change in society as is practical, according to Durkheim, Marx, and Weber. Berger’s embrace of skepticism as an essential component of sociology reflects his understanding of the function of the sociologist. According to Berger, a sociologist’s major purpose should be to comprehend society. This makes it unlawful to carry out physical chores, including writing 633 words.

Engage in the genuine process of addressing problems. Even though a social worker’s research topic and, for example, a sociologist’s may initially seem to be similar, their respective goals differ because the social worker is attempting to address a societal issue (such as the effects or repercussions of high blood pressure) (for example, the repercussions of high blood pressure or the impacts of high blood pressure) , whereas a sociologist examines social issues (such as the institution of marriage) (such as the institution of marriage). They, therefore, execute diverse duties as a result.

 According to Berger, any objective of retaining true social commitments should be set on hold in favor of making an attempt to conceptualize and explain sociological issues or social realities. Berger agrees with Max Weber’s stance, which is similar, that sociology should not impose its own moral standards on society. Although Weber used the word “value-free,” it doesn’t appear that he is sustaining the concept that the researcher should be unbiased and objective. Instead, I regard Berger’s advice that the researcher adopts a skepticism toward the material and arguments offered to her, take into account her personal preconceptions, and abstains from functioning as a social engineer as being comparable to his demand for a value-free social science. Sociologists are not compelled to suggest solutions to societal difficulties. However, practitioners may very well exploit the material offered by sociology to enhance their understanding of these difficulties before seeking to tackle social concerns.

Methodological Approaches of Anthropology and Sociology .

As a consequence, and quite properly, sociologists have come under attack for their lack of empathy and compassion. As was previously noted, in response to this criticism, new methodological approaches such as action research, ethnomethodology, and emotionalism have been established. This presents the difficulty of how to display empathy and attention to reality and the body of research. Simply asserting that skepticism is a vital component of sociology does not insulate one from a lack of empathy for the subjects of one’s study or a lack of responsibility for the discipline’s purpose of gaining a thorough understanding of social processes. In the realm of social science, “a skeptical attitude” may be interpreted in a variety of different ways. Kuhn anticipated obedience to the game’s rules, such as those directing research design, analysis, and presentation, as well as adherence to certain concepts and theories of the prevailing paradigm

On the other hand, Feyerabend maintained that the rogue scientist was vital to the advancement of science. He finds that “insistence on the norms would not have improved situations; it would have prevented practise” after reviewing historical instances of how new information has been acquired by scientific effort Feyerabend feels that research should be defined by skepticism and questioning of hypotheses and conceptions rather than having a duty to affirm what is already known. According to Asplund, while inventiveness and breaking convention are typically commended in the present academic milieu, it might be tougher to win over the academic community.

Robert Chambers, a well-known social scientist who has contributed to development studies, appears to have a different perspective on this, claiming that social science is fundamentally all about uncovering defects and delivering critical assessments. But it doesn’t seem like the uncertainty Chambers is talking to is the creative and enlivening variety, which is a sign of liberating oneself from constraining norms and duties. Chambers thinks that pessimism has emerged from the acceptance of rural development and development solutions. However, when skepticism is the norm, it may also be misleading as it may serve special objectives related to the researcher’s comfort and advancement at the price of the purposes of science.

Even though the study topics of a sociologist and, for instance, a social worker may initially appear to be similar, their respective aims are different, as the social worker intends to solve a societal issue (for example, the repercussions of high blood pressure or the impacts of high blood pressure).

Issues in Anthropology and Sociology.

Sociologists analyze societal issues, such as the institution of marriage and the prevalence of marriage. As a result, they carry out distinct tasks. According to Berger, the ambition of conceptualizing and analyzing sociological subjects or social realities should begin before any desire to carry out meaningful societal acts. Berger has the same position as Max Weber, that sociology should not impose its own moral principles on society. Weber used the phrase “value-free,” but this does not, in my opinion, indicate that Weber is in favor of the premise that the researcher should be unbiased and neutral. Instead, I relate his plea for a social science devoid of values to Berger’s exhortation to the researcher to adopt a skepticism toward the facts and arguments provided to her, account for her own preconceptions, and stop working as a social engineer. Sociologists are not expected to give solutions to societal concerns. However, practitioners may very well leverage the sociology-produced material to expand their awareness of these constraints before attempting to tackle social issues.

The rationale behind such a position, along with the assertions made by sociology that the knowledge it offers is something more than an understanding and interpretation held by the average citizen, may give the impression that the sociologist is a “self-appointed superior man” with the authority to challenge people’s interpretations of their own lives as well as a “cold manipulator of men” who is disengaged from reality

Therefore, sociologists have justifiably faced significant criticism for their lack of empathy and compassion. As was indicated previously, in response to this criticism, new methodological processes such as action research, ethnomethodology, and emotionalism have been devised. This underscores the subject of how to demonstrate empathy and attentiveness in light of reality and the research thereon.

Simply saying that skepticism is a key component of sociology does not absolve one of responsibility for the discipline’s objective of gaining a thorough understanding of social phenomena or from a lack of empathy for the subjects of one’s study. In the realm of social science, “a skeptical attitude” may be understood in a number of different ways. Kuhn anticipated obedience to specific notions and theories of the prevailing paradigm as well as compliance with the game’s rules, such as those guiding study design, analysis, and presentation

Academic innovation in Anthropology and Sociology.

On the other hand, Feyerabend claimed that the independent researcher is vital to the advancement of knowledge. He reaches the conclusion that “insistence on the standards would not have benefited situations; it would have blocked practise” after analyzing the historical methods by which new information has been obtained via scientific effort

Although innovation and breaking tradition are usually hailed in the contemporary academic atmosphere, Asplund points out that, in reality, it could be harder to attract support from the academic community. Robert Chambers, a famous social scientist who has made contributions to development studies, seems to have a different take on this, claiming that the foundation of social science is issue identification and critical assessment

 But it doesn’t seem that the cynicism Chambers is referring to is the inventive and vivifying kind, which is a sign of emancipation from limits like norms and duties. According to Chambers, skepticism is needed to effectively appreciate rural development and development solutions. But if cynicism becomes the norm, it might also be deceitful since it can favor the convenience and growth of the researcher at the expense of the purposes of science.

Bringing up the literature on participation and empowerment in development once again, as well as these studies offer analysis based on important data, although they are deceptive as they eliminate perspectives that disagree with the mainstream narrative. Skepticism, which is described as flexibility and open-mindedness or as having a skepticism toward expectations and preconceived conceptions, is so lacking.

Advantages of anthropology over sociology

Eric Wolf says that anthropology is a scientific and humanistic area of the humanities. In addition to physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and physical anthropology studies, the majority of university curricula now incorporate cultural or social anthropology courses. Cultural anthropology looks at people’s historical, political, and psychological features to understand how numerous events are connected as well as human nature and how it came to be the way it is.

Some people claim that anthropology is a study of colonialism, that early anthropologists frequently had more authority than the subjects they were investigating, and that the knowledge collected is regarded as a type of theft where the anthropologist gains power at the expense of informants. No matter where it originated, anthropology has grown into a science that is interested in all parts of culture, from the exceptional to the banal, from the study of ancient civilizations to that of current economic systems.

Sometimes, anthropologists are shown as professionals chatting with inhabitants on far-off, exotic islands or as true Indiana Joneses entranced with their mummies. Actually, it is no longer the case. Currently, anthropologists have a range of professions outside of academia, including those in social services, government, and charitable groups. Journalism, finance, commerce, advertising, administration, market research, sales management, and organizational studies are a few of these areas. It has been established that the study of anthropology is no longer relegated to the study of little, isolated civilizations and that anthropological ideas, methodologies, and theories may be applied to comprehend the humanity of modern cultures and global communities. As a result, various other subfields of anthropology—including linguistic, urban, visual, corporate, medical, and forensic anthropology—have emerged over time.

Why do anthropologists have such broad interests? What role does anthropology play in our endeavor to grasp how people interact with one another, their environment, and a certain culture?

In my honest judgment, anthropology has had some success in a variety of sectors owing to its basically scientific approach. The humanities and social sciences offer a strong framework for anthropology, a branch of study that predominantly focuses on qualitative research. Anthropology involves qualitative study and analysis to seek to comprehend culture, whereas the main objective of quantitative research is to quantify.

To identify the value and relevance of objects to the tribes and civilizations for whom they were made, anthropologists study them. They employ a more emic than etic strategy, elevating the researchers’ viewpoints above those of the study participants. To limit any prejudice emanating from their own cultural perspective, anthropologists must ensure neutrality.

Anthropologists also use participant observation and ethnography as alternatives. Instead of merely watching their subjects, anthropologists may obtain a better grasp of how people go about their everyday lives by engaging in their activities. Participant observation has various benefits, one of which is that it supports anthropologists in understanding a community’s activities, people’s thinking, and how and why a civilization runs on a deeper level.

Anthropologists adopt Ethnography

Anthropologists adopt ethnography, which is based on fieldwork, as a way to research and comprehend cultural diversity.

A separate culture, civilization, or tribe is described in ethnography. Spending a year or more connecting with residents in a foreign place, learning about their culture, and participating in their activities is a regular fieldwork requirement. Observers take part in ethnography. They take part in the activities they watch since it helps them better grasp the area’s customs and practices.

In spite of the current global economic crisis, many countries are making efforts to defend their economies. President Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 in October of the previous year. This Act, commonly referred to as the “Bailout Plan,” allows the US Secretary of the Treasury the ability to spend up to US$700 billion to support the struggling economy. The CEOs of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler requested $34 billion from Congress on Capitol Hill in December. They stated that the money was important for restoring the auto sector. One of the CEOs claimed that they had learned from previous failures and were striving to make the firm more client-oriented while still keeping an eye on the consumer and market in one of their suggestions to Congress that explained how they would employ loans to return to profitability.

Since anthropological research and methodologies may help academics better understand customers, their consumption habits, and how people utilize goods and services, business is becoming more interested in them. Major consumer goods corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool, Volvo, and Electrolux have segmented a range of socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial groupings and offered things mainly to these target categories in an effort to better understand customer behavior. Firm anthropology is a terrific marketing tool, but it can also be used to grasp the corporate culture of a business. With increased knowledge of employee behavior, cognition, and perception in a workplace or factory, enhancing individual performance and creative output may someday be attainable. Examining various peer groups or social groupings may assist with this. Globalization has expanded as a consequence of improvements in technology, communication, and transportation. People in other parts of the world are quickly affected by events in the United States. Conventional boundaries are virtually useless because it is so easy to cross between various zones.

In the current global civilization, we no longer live in rural areas. In actuality, individuals from various countries, ethnic groups, and dialects occasionally congregate in the same spot. Each person has their own traditions, language, cuisine, philosophy, and way of life; a human cannot thrive without culture. The concept of a multicultural and diversified society is confirmed by the fact that this tendency affects almost all groups and even institutions. Culture penetrates a broad array of subjects in today’s global, complicated society and international commerce. Never take culture for granted, as it may tell you a lot about individuals and what motivates them.

Let’s Evaluate between Anthropology and Sociology.

Social scientists and anthropologists observe the same events from distinct perspectives. The two academic fields create functional labor divisions. Anthropology and sociology are both valid labels for the two subjects. The ideas would have the same connotative and denotative meanings if the experts in the two disciplines were concerned with a frame of reference and the universal common denominator in the occurrences under consideration. If one is, then both academic fields must be in the sciences.

A village study taken out among “primitive” people would be equivalent to one carried out in the US. Any other unit could be described in the same way. There will always be research on social structure and human nature.

The Sociology Session with Anthropology

Some sociologists tend to disagree with the inclusion of anthropological information in the foundational sociology course. Actually, it doesn’t matter whose culture the artist is influenced by. The goal of the introductory sociology course is to educate the student with knowledge that will let them comprehend any culture. The universal principles that apply to all social circumstances should be evident.

It should establish a context within which every cultural element may be looked at, comprehended, and promoted. If well done, the introductory sociology course may serve as the foundational course for either sociology or anthropology. For schools that compare diverse civilizations, a considerable amount of anthropological material must be kept.

Further Reading

  • Asplund, Johan (1970). Om undran inför samhället. Stockholm: Argos Förlag AB Arvidson, Malin (2003).
  •  Demanding Values. Participation, Empowerment and NGOs in Bangladesh. Lund Dissertation in Sociology no 51 ( Bauman, Z. (1990). 
  • Thinking Sociologically. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Berger, Peter L. (1966). Invitation to Sociology.
  •  A Humanistic Perspective. Middlesex: Penguin Books Chambers, Robert (1983). 
  • Whose reality counts? Putting the last first. Essex: Longman, Scientific & Technical
  • Chowdhury, A. N. (1990). Let the Grassroots Speak: people’s participation, self-help groups and NGOs in Bangladesh. Dhaka: Dhaka University Press Ltd Cook, B. and U. Kothari (eds.) (2001). 
  • Participation – the New Tyranny? London: Zed Books Ferguson, J. (1990). The Anti-Politics Machine. ‘Development’ Depoliticization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press Feyerabend, P. (1975). Against Method. London: New Left Books Gubrium , J.F. & J. A. Holstein (1997). 
  • The New Language of Qualitative Method. New York: Oxford University Press Kalam, A. (ed.) (1996). Bangladesh: Internal Dynamics and External Linkages. Dhaka: University Press Ltd Kuhn T. (1970). 
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: Chicago University Press Kramsjö & Wood (1992).
  •  Breaking the Chains. Collective action for social justice among the rural poor of Bangladesh. Dhaka: University Press Ltd Lewis, David (ed.) (1999). 
  • International Perspectives in Voluntary Action. Reshaping the Third Sector. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd Lewis, David (2002). 
  • To Bite the Hands that Feed? Strengthening the future of anthropology and development research in Bangladesh, in Contemporary Anthropology. Theory and Practice, by S. M. Nurul Alam (ed.). Dhaka: University Press Ltd Long, Norman (2001). 
  • Development Sociology: Actor Perspectives. London: Routledge Lovell, C. H. (1992). Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.
  • The BRAC Strategy. Dhaka: University Press Ltd 
  • Pateman, C. (1970). Participation and Democratic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

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Drishti Kalra - Author at Anthroholic

Drishti Kalra is an Assistant professor at DCAC College in the Department of History, at Delhi University. She is also a PhD Research scholar at the Department of History at Delhi University. She has also been employed as a Research Assistant on two projects at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and JNU. Currently, she is also working as a Research Associate at the DU Centenary Project on the "History of Delhi University". She has lately held positions with institutions such as The Telegraph, Médecins Sans Frontières, Intern, and Hindu Business Line.

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The significance of studying anthropology, sociology, and Political…

  • ➢ Anthropology broadens your horizon and changes your perspectives.
  • ➢ Anthropology is relevant.
  • ➢ Anthropology is useful
  • ➢ Anthropology helps us to deal with complexity
  • ➢ Anthropology is interesting
  • ➢ Sociology makes you a different person from the rest.
  • ➢ Sociology helps us understand that individuality and in dependence are highly valued in our society.
  • ➢ As a discipline, Sociology involves the description and explanation of social structures and processes.
  • ➢ Sociological research also reveals the multifaceted nature of social reality, its multiple causes and multiple effects.
  • ➢ By studying Sociology, we can become aware of underlying social dimensions in political, economic and legal systems.
  • ➢ Understanding social behavior and social processes are important in a democratic country.
  • ➢ Sociology tell us that health is a human right.
  • ➢ Sociology tell us that religion and technology are also human forms of expressions.
  • ➢ Sociology tell us that education contributes to the development of individual’s capacities for active participation in community life.
  • ➢ Sociology provides valuable information about race and its impact to p-resent
  • ➢ Political science deepens knowledge and understanding of students in the field of government and politics.
  • ➢ Political science trains students to develop critical skills.
  • ➢ Political science helps students to obtain practical knowledge and insights on political issues. It has been called “Queen Of the science.”
  • ➢ Political science helps the students to understand why people behave the way they do politically. no longer supports Internet Explorer.

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