What is the relationship between Sociology and Political Science?

Sociology and political science are so closely and deeply related to each other that one becomes meaningless without the other. According to Morris Ginsberg ''Historically, Sociology has its main roots in politics and philosophy of history". The state, which is the center of political science in its early stage, was more of a social than political institution.

Sociology is the fundamental social science, which studies man's social life as a whole and attempts to discover the facts and the laws of life as a whole. Political science, on the other hand, is concerned with the political life of a man, which is one part of his total life. Sociology is the science of society where as the political science is mainly concerned with the state and government. These two social sciences are very common in certain spheres. Political science is a branch of sociology, which deals with the principles of organization and government of human society. The subject matter of political science thus comes within the field of sociology.

Sociology depends very much on political science in every respect. The state and governments make laws for the welfare of the society; the government removes social evils such as poverty, unemployment, dowry and so on from the society. The undesirable customs are uprooted from the society by the government. The government gives financial assistance to people at the time of natural calamities such as floods, famine, cyclone and drought. Social institutions and social organizations are regulated by the state and government. Sociology studies various aspects of political activities through the help of political science. The government can bring about changes in the society with the help of laws.

In the same way, political science depends upon sociology and sociology provides material to political science that is the political life of the people. Therefore, some sociologists regard political science as a special branch of sociology, it can be said that without sociological background the study of political science is quite impossible. Political science deals with the social group organized under the sovereignty of the state. The forms of government, the nature of governmental organs, the laws and sphere of the state activity are chiefly determined by the social processes. The laws which are formed by the government are based on the social customs, traditions, mores, norms, etc. of the society. Most of the changes which have been taken place in the political theory, during the past times have been possible due to sociology. For understanding of political problems, some knowledge about sociology is very essential because all political problems are mainly corrected with a social aspect. In this connection F.H. Gidding says "To teach the theory of the state to men who have not learn the first principle of sociology is like teaching astronomy or thermodynamics to men who have not learnt Newton's laws of Motion".

Thus, both sociology and political science depends upon each other. Both are inter-related and inter-dependent. Truly, it can be said that society is the mirror of politics of the country. According to G.E.G. Catlin, sociology and political science are the two faces of the same figure. In the opinion of EG. Wilson "It must be admitted of course, that it is often difficult to determine, whether a particular writer should be considered as sociologists or political theorist or philosopher.

Differences between Sociology and Political Science:

In-spite of the above relationship, both sociology and political science are however different from each other in certain respects,

1. Sociology is the science of political science; on the other hand, it is the science of state and government. Sociology studies society as a whole and man as a social being where as political science deals with a particular aspect of society, which is regarded as a politically organized unit. Therefore, political science is a more specialized science than sociology.

2. Sociology has wider scope than that of political science. Sociology deals with social, political, economic, cultural and other aspects of society and studies will be the social institutions such as family, marriage, religion, kinship, caste and so on. But political science deals with political aspect and studies a specific political institution like state and government only. Thus, sociology is regarded as a general science while political science is viewed as a specialized social science.

3. Sociology studies forms of associations and institutions where as political science deals with the state and government which are known as specific forms of association. That is why professor Garner remarks "Political science is concerned with only human form association such as state, sociology deals with all forms of association."

4. Sociology studies all kinds of social relationship in a general way. But political science studies only the political aspect of social relationship in a particular way.

5. Sociology studies both organized and disorganized societies. But political science studies only the politically organized societies.

6. Sociology deals with both formal as well as informal relations of the society, which are based on customs, traditions, folkways, mores, norms etc. But political science deals only with formal relations based on laws and order of the state.

7. Sociology is the study of all means of social control. Political science, on the other hand, is the study of only government-recognized means of control.