Sociology and Economics
Sociology is mother of all social sciences. Hence it has close relationship with all social sciences and so also with Economics. The relationship of sociology with economics is very close, intimate and personal. There exists close relationship between these two because economic relationships bear a close relation to social activities and relationships. Likewise, social relationships are also affected by economic relationships. Economic activities to a great extent are social activities. Hence both are mutually related.
Sociology is a science of society. It is concerned with the association of human beings. Sociology is the study of human interactions and inter-relations their conditions and consequences. But Economics deals with economic activities of man. It is a science of wealth and choice. According to Prof. Robbins Economics is a social “science which studies human behavior in relation to his unlimited ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.” It is concerned with the activities of man such as production, consumption, distribution and exchange. It also studies the structure and functions of different economic organizations like banks, markets etc. It is concerned with the material needs of man as well as his material welfare.
However, there exists a great deal of inter-relationship between these two sciences. Both are interdependent and inter-related with each other. Because of this inter-relationship Thomas opines that, “Economics is, in fact, but one branch of Sociology.” Similarly, Silverman opines Economics is regarded as offshoot of sociology which studies the general principles of all social relations. Their inter-relationships are as follows.
Economics takes the help of Sociology. For its own comprehension economics takes the help of sociology and depends on it. Economics is a part of Sociology hence without the help from sociology economics can’t understand itself completely. Economics is concerned with material welfare of man which is common welfare.
Economic welfare is a part of social welfare. For the solution of different economic problems such as inflation, poverty, unemployment etc. economists take the help of sociology and takes into account the social events of that particular time. At the same time society controls the economic activities of man. Economics is greatly benefited by the research conducted by Sociologists like Max-weber, Pareto etc. Some economists also consider economic change as an aspect of social change. Economic draws its generalization basing on the data provided by Sociology. Thus, economics cannot go far or develop without the help of Sociology.
Similarly, Sociology also takes the help from economics. Economics greatly enriches sociological knowledge. An economic factor greatly influences each and every aspects of social life. Economics is a part of sociology hence without the help of economics we can’t understand sociology properly.
Knowledge and research in the field of economics greatly contributes to sociology. Each and every social problem has an economic cause. For the solution of social problems like dowry, suicide etc. Sociologists take the help from economics.
Thus, both sociology and economics are very closely related with each other. There are some problems which are being studied by both sociologists and economists. Economic changes results in social changes and vice versa. However, inspite of the above closeness, inter-relationship and inter-dependence both the sciences have certain differences which are described below.
- Sociology is a science of society and social relationships whereas economics is a science of wealth and choice.
- Sociology is a much younger science which has very recent origin whereas economics is comparatively an older science.
- Sociology is an abstract science whereas economics is concrete in nature.
- Sociology is a general social science whereas economics is a special social science.
- The scope of sociology is very wide whereas the scope of economics is very limited.
- Sociology is concerned with the social activities of man whereas economics is concerned with the economic activities of man.
- Society is studied as a unit of study in Sociology whereas man is taken as a unit of study in economics.
- Both Sociology and economics differ from each other in respect of the methods and techniques they use for their study.