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Writing for Sociology

Developing the Sociological Imagination

How does the sociological perspective differ from that of other social sciences

The table below, was adapted from A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers by the Sociology Writing Group, pages 5-6.


  Similarities Differences
Contrasting the sociological perspective with other social sciences
Psychology Both concerned with attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, emotions, customs, interpersonal relationships  Psychology more likely to focus on individuals, sociology with individuals in social groups
Political Science Both are concerned with government Political Science studies different forms of government and the political process, sociology the interrelationship between political structure and behavior and other aspects of society such as economics, religion, attitudes, etc.
 
History Both examine human activities over time History focuses on the influence of individuals and cause of events, sociology on the causes and effects of changes in patterns of social life
 
Philosophy Both study beliefs about the nature of life Philosophy seeks to understand by using abstract reasoning based on rules of logic; sociology is empirical and gathers data about the behavior of people
Anthropology Both are concerned with aspects of social life: culture, beliefs relationships, etc.


Anthropology often studies societies other than our own, and makes comparisons cross-culturally

Economics

Both are concerned with the production and distribution of goods and services
Economics studies the economy in its own right; sociology studies the affects of the economy on other social processes and how they affect the economy in return