African American Heritage & Ethnography African Nation Founders: Africans in Southern Colonies

How is it different from other Social Science Research?

Research methodologies are what separate anthropological research from other sciences. Cultural anthropology, as a social science, has ethnographic research as its foundation. Other social sciences employ methods that include, but are not limited to, hypothesis-testing, surveys, questionnaires, library research and the collection of statistical data that yield results that can be quantified. While it is true that cultural anthropologists also use these methods at times, their focus is on methods that will produce qualitative (non-numerical) results such as participant observation, linguistic analysis, archival research, the use of life and oral histories, and focus groups. Each of these methods and still others are a part of the ethnographer’s tool kit. In sum, it is the methodology which cultural anthropologists use that differentiates their research from other social science research.