What is the difference between a Political Scientist and a Sociologist?

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Political science and sociology are very closely related. There are, however, significant differences between the two disciplines.

Political Science

Is a science of state and government
Studies only politically organized societies
Has a narrow field
Studies man as a political animal
Only concentrates on human relationships which are political in character
Has an approach that is political
Has its own methods of study: the historical method; the philosophical method; comparative and statistical methods
Comparatively, is an older science
Has centuries of history in its own right, from the days of Plato and Cicero

Political science focuses on political theory and government administration. Political scientists try to understand how policies and laws affect government, business, and citizens. They look back at history and also keep track of current affairs so as to predict trends. Political science includes the study of institutions of government, formal laws, political processes, and political issues, and also examines public opinion, political parties, and economics.


Is a science of society
Studies all kinds of societies, both organized and unorganized
Has a wider scope
Studies man as fundamentally a social animal
Is a general social science, which studies all kinds of forms and social relations in a general way
Has an approach that is sociological
It follows its own methods, in addition to the scientific method, in its investigation
Is a relatively young science, less than two centuries old

Sociology is the study of all aspects of society. Sociologists are focused on the interrelationship between social institutions, including government. Because group behaviour is of much importance to sociologists, their studies encompass societies’ political systems and the distribution of formal and informal power and authority within them. They seek to understand how different systems – democracy, communism, dictatorship – affect how people live their lives and how they interact with one another.

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