Ethnography vs Ethnology
Ethnography and ethnology show differences between them when it comes to their subject matter. Both, ethnography and ethnology, are natural sciences. They are the two minor branches of anthropology or the study of the history of man. Ethnography deals with the procedures carried out in any society. It deals with the study of procedures such as marriages, weddings, cremation procedures, burial procedures, and the like. Ethnography also deals with circumcision ceremonies. In short, it can be said that ethnography deals in detail with descriptions of the procedures mentioned above. Ethnology, on the other hand, gives a detailed description of the demographics of the society. It compares different ethnographies to understand a society. Let us look at the two terms in more detail to understand the difference between them.
What is Ethnography?
It can be said that ethnography deals with the rational description of human clans and nations. It throws enormous light on the various human tribes too. It makes a study of the evolution of man or the history of man right from the formative years.
The expert in the subject or branch of ethnography is called by the name of ethnographer. An ethnographer studies in detail the various tribes and the various customs that prevail among them. It is said that they concentrate more on the savage part of the study. An ethnographer is more interested in unearthing what is common in terms of the principles of the various societies or tribes of the world.
An important fact about ethnography is that ethnographic study cannot be based on assumptions. They are based on valid proofs.
What is Ethnology?
Ethnology, on the other hand, gives a detailed description of the demographics of the society. It compares different ethnographies to understand a society. On the other hand, the expert in the subject or branch of ethnology is called by the name of ethnologist.
An ethnologist takes a review of the superstitions, beliefs, myths, and institutions that are common or differ from the other parts of the world. An ethnologist involves himself in a comparative study of the human tribes whereas, an ethnographer does not go deep into the comparative study of the human tribes.
On the other hand, an ethnologist tries his best to conduct a theory of what goes into any given society. This is another fundamental difference between ethnology and ethnography.
There are two main divisions of ethnology, and they are historic ethnology and prehistoric ethnology. Historic ethnology conducts research into the origin of the barbarian tribes. It gives a detailed account of their practices and customs too. On the other hand, the prehistoric ethnology gives an insight of the early conditions of man particularly where there are no documents to prove them.
It only shows that certain areas of the study of ethnology are based on assumptions. Ethnology too conducts research into the methods of warfare. It gives a detailed account of the various weapons used from the time of the evolution of man. The service of ethnologists is needed during researches on human teeth, human bones and the like.
What is the difference between Ethnography and Ethnology?
• Subject Focus:
• Ethnography deals with the procedures carried out in any society such as weddings, burials, etc.
• Ethnology gives a detailed description of the demographics of the society. It compares different ethnographies to understand a society.
• Part of:
• Both ethnography and ethnology are parts of anthropology and they are natural sciences.
• The expert in ethnography is known as the ethnographer.
• The expert in ethnology is known as the ethnologist.
• The Focus of Experts:
• An ethnologist involves himself in a comparative study of the human tribes, whereas, an ethnographer does not go deep into the comparative study of the human tribes.
• Proof vs Assumptions:
• Ethnography is based on proof. You cannot follow ethnography based on assumptions.
• Ethnology is sometimes based on assumptions.
• Ethnography is more specific to a particular group of people.
• Ethnology is more general to all people.
These are the differences between the two branches of anthropology, namely, ethnography and ethnology. As you can see they focus on different aspects on the human nature and history but, at the end, they are both dedicated to finding more about human history.
- Izmir Ethnography Museum by User:Quintucket (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka by Yanajin33 (CC BY-SA 4.0)