Anthropology vs History: Difference and Comparison

Although the subject material of both Anthropology and History is somewhat identical, they vary vastly in specific ways. Anthropology and history are two distinct fields of research concerned with humans.

Aspirants may pursue higher education and consider job opportunities in these subject fields.

Key Takeaways

  1. Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures, while history is the study of past events.
  2. Anthropology focuses on understanding different societies’ cultural practices, beliefs, and values, while history focuses on the sequence of events that have occurred over time.
  3. Anthropology uses a holistic approach, while history uses a more focused approach to study its subject matter.

Anthropology vs History

Anthropology is the social science that studies human societies, cultures, and behaviours, encompassing several subfields, including cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology. History is the study of past events and their impact on human societies.

Anthropology vs History

Anthropology is described as the study of human beings and the analysis of the data concerning their behaviour. Anthropology is the study of humans, while anthropology is the study of humanity’s history and cultures.

An anthropologist is an individual who studies anthropology. The main research themes are human nature, genetics, traditions, and civilizations in the present and past, including past human beings.

History is a vast area of research, although anthropology is a branch of it. Essentially, history is the study of the experience of human cultures. Everything that has happened in the past is history, and everything that will happen in the future will become part of it.

This covers oral and written versions of history, but written sources get further attention.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAnthropologyHistory
DefinitionStudy the different aspects of Human Beings.Study of Past.
Main ObjectiveThe actual existence of human beings is discovered.To learn about historical times (Especially focusing on Humans).
ScopeSmaller (Subsection of History)Wider
Analysis and EvaluationHuman Behaviour.Every phenomenon, including the whereabouts of humans.

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is a branch of science dealing with human nature, genetics, environments, and civilizations in the present and past, including past human beings. Cultural anthropology investigates the cultural context, including values and attitudes, while social anthropology investigates behavioural trends.

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Anthropology’s primary goal is to research historical and present humans, emphasising cultural and biological knowledge of the human experience. This interdisciplinary emphasis distinguishes anthropology from other humanities and natural sciences.

Linguistic anthropology is the study of how language affects social behaviour. Biological or physical anthropology is the study of human creation.

Cultural anthropology, considered a subset of social anthropology, encompasses ethnographic film (in which photography, film, and new media are used for research) and the study of “visuals,” such as painting, visual pictures, and cinema.

Anthropology offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Higher education services in the same area improve an individual’s abilities and ability to do better at work.

The professions one might consider after pursuing the degree in this subject are Archivists, Archaeologists, Linguists, Social Workers in Media Houses, Tour Guides, Culture Resource Managers, and Curators etc. Some even might consider being a research scholar or exploring the teaching profession.


What is History?

The study of the past is defined as history. The term “history” refers to the retrieval, analysis, accumulation, configuration, description, and understanding of data about historical events.

Historians use historical evidence, oral narratives, biological markers, and tangible things like artwork and artefacts to transform history into context.

History commonly applies to the analytical field that employs narration to explain, explore, challenge, and interpret a series of historical events and the patterns of cause and effect that are connected to them.

Historians use myths to interpret and reflect on the past. They also argue over which narrative best describes an incident and the importance of various causes and consequences.

Historians question the essence of history and its utility by addressing the discipline’s analysis as a goal in and of itself and as a means of offering a “perspective” on current issues.

Historians write in the sense of their own time, taking into account the prevailing views of how to understand the history at the time, and occasionally writing to offer lessons about their own culture.

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History is also available as a graduate and postgraduate degree at several universities and colleges worldwide. The same makes for higher study in the form of M. Phil. and PhD degrees, allowing for a successful academic future.

The professions one might consider after pursuing this degree are Information Manager, Library Systems Analyst, Records Manager, Research Assistant, and Online Search Specialist. One might consider the teaching profession too.


Main Differences Between Anthropology and History

  1. By description, Anthropology is the study of the different phases and aspects of human beings, whereas history is the research, investigation, and inspection of the past.
  2. The main objective of Anthropology is to have human beings’ actual existence is revealed. Whereas, in the case of history, the main objective is to scrutinize the past, especially regarding humans.
  3. In terms of scope, Anthropology is a smaller one when compared to History, as Anthropology is just part of the latter.
  4. The professional who is an expert in the field of Anthropology is referred to as an Anthropologist, and the one who is a learned expert in History is called Historian.
  5. Human behaviour is the main matter of analysis and evaluation in the case of Anthropology. In the case of History, it is about anything and everything that occurred in the past, specifically the events which involve Humans.
Difference Between Anthropology and History

Last Updated : 15 June, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Anthropology vs History: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article presents an informative juxtaposition of anthropology and history, making it accessible for both scholars and enthusiasts of these subjects.

    • Absolutely, the article caters to a diverse readership, providing valuable insights into the key aspects of both disciplines.

    • I find the comparison rather simplistic, it overlooks the intricacies that make anthropology and history unique disciplines deserving of deeper exploration.

  2. This article provides a thorough comparison between anthropology and history, shedding light on their differences and similarities. It is a valuable read for anyone interested in studying these subjects.

    • I completely agree. The article provides a comprehensive overview of both fields, allowing readers to understand their distinct characteristics.

  3. The article brilliantly dissects the essence of anthropology and history, offering a clear and concise portrayal of their significance in the academic realm.

  4. I have a different perspective on this matter, I find the comparison somewhat oversimplified and lacking in-depth analysis of the interdisciplinary aspects of these fields.

    • I see your point, the article could delve deeper into the interdisciplinary connections between anthropology and history to provide a more comprehensive understanding.

    • I disagree, the article is meant to provide a broad overview, delving into intricate details would make it too complex for general readers.

  5. The article effectively captures the essence of both anthropology and history, making it an indispensable guide for individuals interested in pursuing these academic disciplines.

    • I believe the article’s portrayal is rather limited, lacking the depth necessary to comprehend the complexities of these expansive fields.

    • I fully agree, the comprehensive analysis of anthropology and history creates a cohesive understanding, apt for prospective students.

  6. The article provides a lucid comparison between anthropology and history, offering readers a nuanced understanding of the intrinsic disparities and commonalities.

  7. The article provides an excellent analysis, presenting a compelling comparison between anthropology and history, serving as a valuable resource for prospective students.

    • I concur, the article’s detailed examination enhances the understanding of these fields, offering great insights for those interested in pursuing them.

    • I beg to differ, the article may be too exhaustive for a general audience, it should have maintained a more concise approach.

  8. The article effectively highlights the fundamental differences between anthropology and history, which is essential for those considering a career in these fields.

    • Indeed, the clear distinction between anthropology and history presented in the article is very informative and serves as a guiding tool for aspiring students.

  9. The comparison table is a helpful addition to the article, making it easier to discern the key disparities and similarities between anthropology and history.

    • I find the comparison table quite basic, it lacks the nuanced details that are necessary for a thorough understanding of these expansive subjects.

    • Absolutely, the tabulated format simplifies the understanding of the core differences, making it a great resource for academic purview.

  10. The article’s elucidation of the career opportunities in anthropology and history is enlightening, guiding potential students towards a comprehensive understanding of future prospects.

    • Indeed, the article serves as a roadmap for individuals contemplating career paths in these fields, shedding light on diverse opportunities.


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