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Mariel Pineda

Simpson
Writing 2
December 3, 2015
The Bridge between Sociology and Anthropology
Sociology, among many other subjects like anthropology, help us to get a better
understanding about people, our cultures, why we have certain morals, etc. But like every field
of study, each area of study has a specific emphasis and is designed to focus on a certain topic.
Sociology focuses on social behavior as opposed to anthropology, which revolves around the
study of humans and how societies around the world function. Sociology and anthropology use
similar methods, such as fieldwork, interviews and scholarly sources, when conducting research.
However, even though they use similar techniques, sociology and anthropology use research
methods in order to capture how society or humans respectively function in the modern day.
Meriam Webster dictionary defines Sociology as, the study of society, social
institutions, and social relationships. What this means is that we give definitions to different
groups of people based off how we perceive them; we capture and study human behavior in
society. Meriam Webster dictionary also defines anthropology as, the study of human races,
origins, societies, and cultures (Meriam-Webster 2015). Anthropology focuses on humans,
social interactions and the differences between cultures and practices. In order to study societies,
we must begin by studying people first.
Sociologist often times study human pattern. In his book Punished, Dr. Rios conducted a
research project on Black and Hispanic teenagers living in the rural areas of Oakland, California.
In Chapter 3, The Labeling Hype, Rios takes a deeper look into why teenagers living in rural
areas tend to head in the wrong path. With the use of primary sources, Rios utilizes ideas of other

historians to add credibility to his argument and give his own account to what he is trying to
uncover in his field study. In Chapter 3, Rios uses an argument made by Robin Kelley that poor
schooling often times leads to deviance, especially for children who live in underserved
communities. To support Kelleys argument, Rios uses a personal experience since he grew up in
the rural side of Oakland, just like most of the teenagers in his study. Rios mentions that he
joined a gang, seeking for protection that the authorities had failed to provide (Rios 2011, ix).
Not only does he use his personal experience, he also includes direct quotes from some of the
teenagers he has interviewed such as Tyrell who mentions that he made the decision to sell drugs
in order to support himself (Rios 2011, 50). Sociology is the study of society and Punished gives
us an insight to what it is like to be constantly be looked down upon by others because of the
area one lives in. From the places these teenagers live in, we label them and give them a negative
image without actually stepping into their shoes and sympathizing for them.
On the other hand, Jane Hill, in her article Language, Race, and White Public Space
refers to other authors to add credibility to her argument that languages other than English are
stigmatized around the world. Many of her direct quotes are by authors whose area of study is
language or have written books about the way language has been used in the modern day. Hill
uses author, Urciulli, to emphasize that Spanish-speaking people often get complaints when they
speak Spanish in a public space (Hill 1998, 681). Unlike Rios, who introduces his idea and uses
quotes of other authors to support his argument, Hill does not elaborate on the ideas from her
primary sources, she mostly includes them to reinforce her point. However, Rios and Hill present
their own clear idea and use primary sources to reinforce their claim. By referring to other
scholars, Hill and Rios add credibility their argument because they are able to support their
argument with ideas of other authors. Hills article represents the way language is viewed around

the world as well as what language is acceptable and what language is not. Her article ties back
to it being an anthropological paper because it studies language within society and the way
people view other forms of language. Different societies and cultures have a different perspective
to what is normalized and what is not and anthropology is one field that attempts to uncover this
dilemma.
Out of many research methods that can be used to conduct a research project used in both
sociology and anthropology, Rios and Hill use an interviewing process and primary scholarly
sources. In Punished, Rios, interviews forty subjects who are all Black and Hispanic delinquents
in the area of Oakland. Through interviews, Rios gives a clear insight to what it is like to live in
the street, be gang affiliated, and be constantly abused by the police. Through interviews,
personal accounts, and observations we begin to notice the various ways in which sociological
research can be conducted. When interviewing his subjects, Rios uses a mixture of formal and
informal language. When interviewing one subject, Tyrell, Rios asks him what his father thought
of him selling drugs. In response, Tyrell says, He got hella mad and beat me down (Rios 2011,
51). From this Q&A, we see a clear representation of what formal and informal language look
like. The use of informal language in this case illuminate this idea that some students tend to
speak more informally when they come from underserved communities and lack proper
schooling.
With the use of rhetorical questions, Hill directly addresses her audience, which in this
case may be students or other authors who specialize in language. By quoting other authors, Hill
reinforces many of her arguments with primary sources to add to her credibility. She also
addresses an issue on how to make literature equally in all languages and after she presents her
argument, she asks, How can we make classroom and textbook units on the equality of all

languages? (Hill 1998, 183). With the use of rhetorical questions, Hill questions the reader in
order to make he or she develop his or her own ideas. Since this is an academic article, Hill uses
formal language throughout the entire piece as opposed to Rios, who changes from formal to
informal language. Similar ideas are present in Rios book as well. Through the use of imagery
and anecdotes, we get a clear picture of a place in which part of his study is taking place. The use
of vivid imagery as he describes the Villes as, notorious for its drug trafficking and violence
(Rios 2011, 47) we get feelings of sympathy for these kids that have to grow up in these or
similar neighborhoods. Since Punished revolves around racism, anyone interested in learning
more about how minorities are treated are the targeted audience. Whether it is through imagery
or rhetorical questions, both authors target a different set of eyes and ears.
From these two separate disciplines, we get a clear representation of how sociology and
anthropology may be similar and how they are different. With multiple uses of other scholarly
sources, we can see how writing a book or an article in some ways can be similar because they
will rely on using others ideas to formulate their own thoughts. Sociology still focuses on
studying society while Anthropology focuses on studying humans. Although sociology and
anthropology have a different area of study, we must learn how to study people before we can
study society. Since both disciplines are different from one another, both sociology and
anthropology can be manipulated to intertwine with each other.

References
Rios, V.M. (2011). Punished: Policing the Lies of Black and Latino Boys. New York: New York
University Press
Hill, J.H. (1998). Language, Race, and White Public Space. American Anthropologist, 100,
680.
Sociology, Anthropology. In Meriam-Webster.com. Retrieved from http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/sociology
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anthropology