Research Assignment Module 7
Saint Leo University
December 08, 2012
The three social sciences below are defined as according to the Merriam-Webster on line dictionary. www.merriam-webster.com
Anthropology 1: the science of human beings; especially : the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture 2: theology dealing with the origin, nature, and destiny of human beings. Psychology 1: the science of mind and behavior 2 a: the mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group b: the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity. Sociology 1: the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships; specifically: the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings 2: the scientific analysis of a social institution as a functioning whole and as it relates to the rest of society. The social sciences listed above are fields of study that were formed to educate us on areas such as the behavior of organized groups of human beings, the study of the mind of individuals or groups of human beings, and the study of human beings past and present, from social scientists such as; Durkheim who is known as the “father of sociology” to Merton who is one of America’s most influential social scientists famous for his theories on deviance. The above social sciences are closely tied to one another and are a gateway to human understanding, whether we are a psychologist determining cracks in a marriage or the mind of a criminal, or if we are an anthropologist studying the mysterious demise of an ancient civilization such as the agricultural civilization, Catalhöyük, that was located in what we know today as south- central Turkey. Take deviance for example, where I come from when we are in school and at a “work” age, this is typically around 11 or 12 years old, we are let out of school early when haying season comes around to help our fathers mow, rake, and bail the hay, just as we are allowed to come into school late the first week of deer season. This is acceptable in the part of America that I come from and has been as long as I can remember however; this behavior could and probably would be labeled as “deviant” in other parts or America. The purpose of the above story is to show that what is acceptable behavior in one area may be viewed as deviant in another and how the different social science may study it. The anthropologist may study the cultures how and why it performs that way (when it began and why), the psychologist may study the effects of the individual that lives this way, and the sociologist may study the differences in how we “operate” compared to the rest of society. A good example of a cross cultural comparison would be polygamy. In the United States of America polygamy is against the law, yet it is still practiced in our country (The World Book Encyclopedia 2001). It is estimated that between 30 to 50 thousand fundamentalist Mormons live in polygynist families and communities in the Western United States. (Duncan, E. J. (2008). Positive Effects of Legalizing Polygamy: Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, The. Duke J. Gender L. & Pol'y, 15, 315). The way people get away with this is they have one legal, on paper wife, and then they have what is called sister wives.
The practice of polygamy in the United States can have a more damaging affect on children because the practice is illegal. There is more anxiety of your family being broken up because of the illegal nature, there is constant moving to avoid authorities, and ridicule at school because of having one father with multiple wives. We have seen these cases first hand from the reality show Sister Wives, that has shown detailed and in depth footage into the lives of a