What They Do


Anthropologists study the origin and the physical, social and cultural development and behavior of humans. They may study the way of life, remains, language or physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. Some compare the customs, values and social patterns of different cultures. Anthropologists generally concentrate in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics or biological-physical anthropology.

Sociocultural anthropologists study the customs, cultures and social lives of groups in settings from nonindustrialized societies to modern urban centers.

Archaeologists engage in the systematic recovery and examination of material evidence, such as tools and pottery remaining from past human cultures, in order to determine the history, customs and living habits of earlier civilizations.

Linguistic anthropologists study the role of language in various cultures.

Bio-physical anthropologists study the evolution of the human body, look for the earliest evidences of human life and analyze how culture and biology influence one another. Most anthropologists specialize in one particular region of the world.


Sociologists study human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. They also study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members.

They are concerned with the characteristics of social groups, organizations, and institutions; the ways individuals are affected by each other and by the groups to which they belong; and the effect of social traits such as sex, age or race on a person's daily life. The results of sociological research aid educators, lawmakers, administrators, and others interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy.

Expanding opportunities exist for practicing sociologists, who apply sociological knowledge, theory and methods to effect interventions at the individual, group or community levels.

Practicing sociologists, including clinical sociologists, work in business, government, social service and education, performing evaluations, counseling, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and economic and community development.

Most sociologists work in one or more specialties, such as social organization, stratification, and mobility; racial and ethnic relations; education; family; social psychology; urban, rural, political, and comparative sociology; sex roles and relations; demography; gerontology; criminology; and sociological practice.