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Difference Between Economics and Sociology

Economics and Sociology are two branches of social science that study human development overall.

Economics is the social science that deals with factors of production, consumption of goods and services and resource management.

Sociology is the study of human behaviour, development and how different human societies function under different organizational structures.

This article will further elaborate upon the differences between the two within the context of the IAS Exam.

Difference Between Sociology and Economics - UPSC 2021 Exam

*Sociology and Economics (Indian Economy) are both optional subjects in the UPSC Mains Examination

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Economics vs Sociology – Comparative Analysis

The difference between Economics and Sociology is given in the table below:                              

Differences between Economics and Sociology



Economics focuses on how economic factors behave in a given scenario and how economies operate Traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, religion, law etc.
Economics is further divided into Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics analyzes elements such as individual buyer and businesses while macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a whole where factors of productions such as land, labour and capital are studied in detail Sociology can also be defined as the general science of society as it uses various methods of critical analysis and empirical investigation that develops a system of knowledge about social change and behaviour
Other broad definitions within economics include positive economics and normative economics. Positive economics describes “what is” while normative economics focus on “what should be” Sociology has slowly expanded its focus on other subjects such as health, medicines, military, social stigma, the system of control and role of social activity in human development
Economic analyses can find its applications in finance, government, businesses. It is even at times applied to subjects such as crime, family law and war. Research done through sociology has influence throughout various aspects of life and finds its application among politicians, policymakers, educators and legislators
Adam Smith (15th June 1723 – 17th July 1790) is regarded as “the father of modern economics) Modern-day Sociology can find its origins through the works of Auguste Comte ( January 19th, 1798 – September 5 1857) 

Aspirants can find study materials for UPSC Economics and Sociology optional subjects through the links given below:

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page

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Frequently Asked Questions about Economics and Sociology


How are economics and sociology related?

Economic sociology analyzes economic phenomena such as markets, corporations, property rights, and work using the tools of sociology. It shares economic theory’s attention to the role of interests and rationality, but also emphasizes the importance of social relations and social institutions.

What is the main focus of economic sociology?

When economic sociologists do focus on individuals, it is generally to examine the ways in which their interests, beliefs, and motivations to act are mutually constituted through the interactions between them.

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Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more articles and exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:

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