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Similarities and differences with related careers

  • History shares the object of study with Social Anthropology and Archaeology. These three disciplines study cultures, and understand culture as anything created or modified by humans. The difference is that Social Anthropology studies present cultures, whereas History and Archaeology study past cultures. Meanwhile, History deals with past cultures that basically left us written sources, while archaeology deals with past cultures that left us a material legacy in sources such as buildings, objects, etc. However, historians also use material sources and archaeologists also use written sources.

  • From the humanistic point of view, History also bears some affinity with literature: both construct stories, but the difference is that in History, the stories aspire to be real, while literature works with fictional characters. However, it should be noted that there are also historical novels and theatre. In turn, novels and plays can serve as sources for understanding historical periods. It is also necessary to mention that some currents of history use formal models derived from the social sciences, instead of focussing on narrative.

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