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anthropology vs. sociology

koushiroukoushirou Posts: 250Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2007 in College Life
not really sure where this belongs, so i figured i'd post it here.

i started out freshman year this fall as a music major, but decided it wasn't for me. currently i'm taking classes both in anthropology and sociology, and i think one of these is the right fit. the only problem is, i can't decide between them. some of my concerns include the perception of sociology as a "fluff" major (or something that football players take or whatever). obviously i realize this is a generalization, but it's something to consider. also, i wonder about the career opportunities/salaries for graduates of each major. i get the feeling that sociology is more "marketable", but i don't know. on the other hand, i could major in anthropology and minor in something such as consumer behavior or marketing, in order to be better prepared for getting a job. of course, if i am really unable to find a job after graduation, i would be open to grad/law school. perhaps one of these majors would be better suited for that than the other?

clearly, i am thinking a lot about this, almost to a neurotic extent. but it feels like a tough decision. the thing is that they seem kind of similar, and i think i would enjoy both of them, so i'm not sure how to decide.

to complicate the matter somewhat, i am currently attending USC, where from what i can tell, it seems like the anthropology department is a lot better (has better professors) than the sociology department. however, due to financial problems, i might find myself transferring to UCLA (or another public school, but UCLA would be the top choice) in my junior year. From what I can tell, the UCLA sociology department seems "better" than its anthropology department. For this reason, considering which department is better at my school doesn't necessarily help, because my school could change.

Thanks for reading this post. I'd appreciate any guidance you can provide.
Post edited by koushirou on

Replies to: anthropology vs. sociology

  • VyseVyse Posts: 1,861Registered User Senior Member
    A minor in marketing probably wont get you a job. Marketing majors have a hard enough trouble on the job market.
  • tenniscrazetenniscraze Posts: 1,397- Senior Member
    I think Anthropology is a much more interesting major.
  • jaso9n2jaso9n2 Posts: 856Registered User Member
    I think Sociology is more interesting. Anthropology at the entry level is kinda...boring. Plus, you can study Sociology all day. Anthropology exists mostly in books and Guns, Germs, and Steel.
  • tenniscrazetenniscraze Posts: 1,397- Senior Member
    Sociology is less challenging than anthropology. On the other hand, anthropology will really open up your eyes to the flaws of our society.
  • chocomanchocoman Posts: 2,293Registered User Senior Member
    I chose between the two last year, too, and I chose Anthropology. I was lucky enough to attend an institution (UPenn) that is reknown in both fields. Actually I chose between Anthropology, Sociology and Religious Studies, but our Religion department isn't so large despite it being my favorite of the three subjects. Should I ever go to humanities gradschool, I'll probably do Anthropology of Religion. So I'm biased, but, here's some food for thought.

    - I don't think I can explain the difference between the two subjects. I like to say that Anthropology is how societies form over long periods of time, and Sociology is on a shorter scale, but that's not necessarily true anymore, as many Anthropologists have turned their eye to things like video game communities and stuff like that. I also feel like if one wanted to go to grad school in Anthropology after majoring in Sociology, or vice versa, it probably wouldn't be a problem to get admitted to a good program.

    - Moreover, the academic literature in the fields has so much cross-over its ridiculous, i.e. you will read Durkheim and Weber no matter what you study. Those two, plus the famous Pierre Bourdieu and Claude Levi-Strauss I've seen refered to as both Anthropologists and Sociologists. It does seem that Freud has more impact on Sociology than Anthropology, which is a knock on Sociology.

    - Anthropology covers so much more ground than Sociology. Archaeology is the best way we can learn about ancient societies, physical anthropology can tell us how we became human evolutionarily, and cultural anthropology can tell us how our societies remain intact, among other things.

    - Now some more fun stuff: I feel like Anthropology has more of a solid academic community than Sociology.

    I've never seem a movie about a Sociologist, but there's many about Anthropologists (Anaconda, Krippendorf's Tribe, Lindsey Lohan's parents in Mean Girls, Starman, etc)

    At my school, Anthropology majors seem to be more intelligent and seem to end up more successful.
  • mkm56mkm56 Posts: 3,062Registered User Senior Member
    My daughter in law graduated from Chapel Hill with a degree in Anthropology. This was after changing out of the business school there. She loved it. She focused most on (I guess it's called) medical Anthropology. Did lots of labs, studies at the Smithsonian in DC, very hands on. One of her classmates is now in forensic anthropology at the grad. level.
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