Difference Between Ethnology and Anthropology | Ethnology vs Anthropology

Ethnology vs Anthropology

Ethnology and Anthropology are two disciplines between which some difference can be observed. First, let us define the two words. Anthropology is a field of study that focuses on human origins, societies and culture. On the other hand, ethnology is the study of the characteristics of different peoples. The key difference between anthropology and ethnology is that while anthropology can be viewed as an overarching field of study, ethnology is only a subfield of it. Through this article let us examine the difference between anthropology and ethnology.

What is Anthropology?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “Anthropology is the study of human origins, societies and cultures.” In anthropology, the attention is paid not only to the social aspects of human life, but also to the biological aspects as well. The anthropologist studies the genetic makeup of the human being, culture, religion, politics, language, and also the adaptation to different environmental settings. They also study the ceremonies, rituals and practices of people. When speaking of anthropology, there are various branches of it. They are,

  1. Biological anthropology
  2. Social and cultural anthropology
  3. Linguistic anthropology and
  4. Archaeology

As a discipline, anthropology can be considered as a fusion of social science and natural science. This is because the influence of both sciences can be viewed in anthropology. Specifically, when speaking of the genetic makeup of individuals, the approach is one of the natural sciences. However, when studying about family, kinship, culture, and politics, the approach is one of the social sciences. In anthropology, a large variety of methods can be used for data collection. However, specifically when concentrating on cultural anthropology, most anthropologists use participant observation. In this method, the anthropologist also lives within the chosen community or ethnic group as a member of the community. For example, the research conducted by Margaret Mead in the Samoa Islands can be considered as a classic example.

Difference Between Ethnology and Anthropology | Ethnology vs Anthropology

What is Ethnology?

Ethnology is the study of the characteristics of different people. This can be considered as a subfield of anthropology. In ethnology, the individual pays attention to the specific characteristics of a group of people such as an ethnic group in terms of social, cultural elements. These characteristics are then studied in depth. The ethnologist attempts to study various unique features of the group such as origins, social structure, political structure, economy, religion, language and even on members. From the list of elements, it is clear that the study of ethnology is mostly focused on culture and the changes that have come about in different groups of people.

Difference Between Ethnology and Anthropology | Ethnology vs Anthropology

What is the Difference Between Ethnology and Anthropology?

Definitions of Ethnology and Anthropology:

Anthropology: Anthropology is the study of human origins, societies, and cultures.

Ethnology: Ethnology is the study of the characteristics of different people.

Characteristics of Ethnology and Anthropology:

Field of Study:

Anthropology: Anthropology is an overarching discipline.

Ethnology: Ethnology is a subfield of Cultural Anthropology.


Anthropology:  In Anthropology, the focus is on both natural and socio-cultural elements concerning the human being.

Ethnology: In Ethnology, the focus is primarily on culture.


Image Courtesy:

1. Museum-anthropology-vancouver-2006-05-22 By Michel Teiten  (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

2. National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka – Crown for ceremony – Karnataka in India By Yanajin33 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Sultan vs King   Monarch is the head of the government in countries having monarchy. The title of a monarch is usually king or queen. A king inherits the kingdom from his royal parents and rules until his death or till he gives up or abdicate in favor of another individual, usually his son or daughter. Sultan is a title that is used by the rulers in the Muslim and Arab world. Despite the two titles being very similar in nature, there are differences between a king and a sultan that will be talked about in this article. King King is one of the titles that monarchs use. Male heads of monarchies usually reserve the title of king for themselves. Queen is the female counterpart of a king. Queen Elizabeth of UK happens to be the monarch of the country at present with her son Charles being the heir apparent....... READ

The key difference between trip and travel is that trip is a noun that indicates a relatively short journey whereas travel is a verb referring to the movement of people between distant geographical locations. In a general sense, both these words, trip and travel, have similar meanings. However, we cannot use these interchangeably as they belong to different grammatical categories. In addition, a trip directly refers to an excursion or journey whereas travel refers to making a journey. CONTENTS 1. Overview and Key Difference 2. What is a Trip 3. What is Travel 4. Side by Side Comparison – Trip vs Travel in Tabular Form 5. Summary What is a Trip? A trip is a journey or excursion you go on for pleasure. In other words, it a journey in which you go somewhere, usually for a short time, and come back again. We mainly go on trips for pleasure........READ

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.