Political Science vs Sociology (With Table)

Political Science vs Sociology is oft confused topic. Let’s unravel this confusion in a detailed manner.

STEM subjects are usually the ones that get the most respect out there. However, the social sciences provide a different perspective of things that we happen to take for granted like our history, social interactions, and behaviors.

They help us dive deeper and analyze the foundations of a society or community. Social science can make for a fascinating study if one realizes how complex and layered are the systems we put into place to keep our society functioning, how a tradition started by one family can become a tradition for thousands down the line after generations, or how the behavioral patterns of one can influence a group.

Social science takes a deep dive into every aspect of human beings and society and there are different disciplines for different major concerns, like Anthropology, Political science, psychology, sociology.

They are all different disciplines but they overlap too because they are interrelated. Therefore, often there is confusion regarding each discipline and their concern.

The main difference between sociology and political science lies within their concern. Sociology studies human beings as they relate to and participate in a society, it studies every aspect of human beings’ social interactions and behaviors.

Political science is the study of politics and the systems of governance in place. It also analyzes political activities and behaviors and law and law-making policies.

Comparison Table: Political Science vs Sociology

CriteriaPolitical Science Sociology
DefinitionPolitical science deals with politics and everything related to it, political institutions, humans as political beings, elections, history of politics, future political trends, basically everything having to do with politics.Sociology studies man as a social animal and by extension society itself. Its studies social institutions, education, politics, marriage, communities. It studies how people of different ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, and age interact with society at large.
ScopeThe scope of political science is narrower in comparison to sociology. Political science studies only one aspect of society which is politics and everything related to it.Sociology covers a broad spectrum. It is a generalized subject of social science. It concerns the study of every aspect of human society.
Topics of interestPolitical science studies international relations and domestic politics, political history, civil rights, lawmaking policies, elections, and parliamentary sessions.Sociology studies culture, tradition, educational institutions, communities, social mobility, secularism, religion, crime, social movements, and activism.
Coinage of the termPolitical science is quite an old discipline, it has been there since the age of Plato but it was Aristotle who coined the term “political science”.The term “sociology” was first coined by french philosopher Isidore Auguste Comte.
Political Science vs Sociology Table
Political Science vs Sociology
Political Science vs Sociology

About Political Science

Politics is an integral part of the society that human life functions within. It is complex and varied and integral to how the shapes up to be, so much so that it has a whole discipline dedicated to it which is political science.

Political science studies every nitty-gritty aspect of politics from Political agendas to parliamentary sessions to new policies adopted in the parliament. It is a discipline that studies the state and its institutions and organs.

Contemporary political science has three subdivisions: comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.

The scope of political science in itself is huge. But it also takes into consideration societal, cultural, and psychological factors that influence politics, governance, and election outcomes. As such, it draws upon the fields of economics, sociology, law, psychology, anthropology.

The sub-disciplines of political science give a closer look at the scope and concern of political science. Domestic Politics is the most common field of study and it involves research into state and national governments and trends regarding elections at various levels within a country.

Comparative politics concerns the comparative study of politics and government in different countries. International relation deals with diplomatic relations between countries and foreign policies.

There is also public law that deals with civil rights and legal systems. There are other sub-disciplines too like public administration, public policy, and political theory. These along with some other interrelated affairs are the entire scope of political science.

About Sociology

Sociology studies every aspect of society and it usually comes to inference by studying the dynamics between all its respective concerns. The area of interest for sociology include social institutions, communities, age, gender, ethnicity, and race.

Sociology concerns itself with studying them individually and the interaction and interrelation between them. Social change and the causes of it like social activism, social movement, and social disorder like crime and revolution also come under the preview of sociology.

Further sociology focuses on social stratification, social mobility, secularism, religion. Gradually it has expanded its focus in economics, the military, institutions of power, education, and the internet.

Internet, social media, and the social intercourse and interaction going on there are new additions to the discipline of sociology.

Being a generalizing social science, sociology draws from other disciplines under social science as well, such as social anthropology, psychology, political science. The interrelation between these subjects lends a holistic view to sociology.

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Difference Between Political Science and Sociology

1) Definition

Both political science and sociology are disciplines under social sciences. Political science deals with politics and everything related to it, political institutions, humans as political beings, elections, history of politics, future political trends, basically everything having to do with politics.

Sociology studies man as a social animal and by extension society itself. Its studies social institutions, education, politics, marriage, communities. It studies how people of different ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, and age interact with society at large.

2) Scope

The scope of political science is narrower in comparison to sociology. Political science studies only one aspect of society which is politics and everything related to it.

Sociology covers a broad spectrum. It is a generalized subject of social science. It concerns the study of every aspect of human society.

3) Topics of interest

political science studies international relations and domestic politics, political history, civil rights, lawmaking policies, elections, and parliamentary sessions.

Sociology studies culture, tradition, educational institutions, communities, social mobility, secularism, religion, crime, social movements, and activism.

4) Coinage of the term

Political science is quite an old discipline, it has been there since the age of Plato but it was Aristotle who coined the term “political science”.

The term “sociology” was first coined by french philosopher Isidore Auguste Comte.

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