Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology

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Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology

#1  Postby Kenaz » Aug 12, 2013 3:25 am

Hey all,

I have a fascination with understanding how sentient entities interact with themselves and others. One of my main focuses would be to study what is healthy for an individual (and thus society) and how we can increase this through specific practices and perspectives.

I think Sociology is interesting, but I don't want to be on such a macro-perspective. Society and 'others' are important to the individual, having a heavy influence, but society is also not created without a group of individuals (psychology).

Anthropology is very similar to sociology from what I've read up on. It seems to differ in that it tends to be more 'embodied' research, both qualitative and quantitative, but it usually included immersion into the culture being studied. I love this, but sometimes I feel it would be too broad and other disciplines (sociology and psychology) focus more on the specifics of anthropology.

From what I've read about Social Psychology, it is a good mix of all of this. It allows us to study the individual and their behavior as well as how this interpersonal element of interactions with "others" (other people, culture, society, etc). It seems to have a good synthesis, that I feel allows it to be more balanced and integrated than choosing just one.

This is a very intertwining subject, and it can be a bit gray. That is why I'd like to open this discussion and get some input from those in the field of Social Science in which they all contribute.

Thanks in advance for your time and input! I hope this helps not only me, but others.
Question marks may be at the end of sentences; but in life they are the introduction.
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Re: Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology

#2  Postby Asta666 » Oct 12, 2013 5:49 pm

Very interesting and problematic topic. In the past anthropology differed from sociology in that the former mainly studied foreign cultures while the latter was concerned with the European populations, but nowadays I don't see any meaningful disparity besides perhaps a stronger focus in qualitative and quantitative methodologies respectively.
Defining a healthy individual or society surely involves a degree of values that would be interesting to study, discuss and agree upon if we don't want to engage in dogma-driven moralizing practices (i. e. http://i.imgur.com/MbLDnhe.jpg?1). Apart from that there are a lot of problems with the generalizability and stability over time of the empirical results, but nevertheless I think many interdisciplinary, socially useful things might be done.
For instance in the northern area of my country (Argentina) Chagas disease (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chagas_disease) is pretty common, which is transmitted by an insect. I remember reading that public agents advised the local populations not to build the roofs of their houses with straw because this type of insect likes to nest in that material, but people wouldn't change their ways because they didn't have alternative materials available and they've been doing it that way for centuries (similar to http://www.rationalskepticism.org/psych ... 41531.html).
So to reduce the prevalence of Chagas disease in these groups, we'd be evaluating cultural, psychological, and economic variables that would need to be taken into account in order to produce effective interventions.
The behavioral account sets the task for the physiologist. Mentalism on the other hand has done a great disservice by leading physiologists on false trails in search of the neural correlates of images, memories, consciousness, and so on. Skinner
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Re: Sociology, Anthropology, and Psychology

#3  Postby Asta666 » Nov 27, 2013 5:41 pm

The behavioral account sets the task for the physiologist. Mentalism on the other hand has done a great disservice by leading physiologists on false trails in search of the neural correlates of images, memories, consciousness, and so on. Skinner
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