Area StudiesWeb Directory

Area Studies focus on the history, politics, economics, demographics, and geography of a given country or region (such as the Andes, South Pacific, or Central Asia). Area Studies also create profiles that can be used to predict or explain current events. Traditionally, they were data driven and often highly quantitative in nature. Relatively recently, many scholars in the field have embraced a more interpretive perspective and focus on more qualitative areas, including religion, literature, music, philosophy, and even art history. Area Studies have key differences with related Social Sciences. Ethnic Studies are written from the perspective of the group being studied. Area Studies, on the other hand, are generally written from an outsiders perspective. Unlike Anthropology, the 'culture concept', is not a central organizing theme for the discipline. Area Studies are distinct from Sociology in that they do not primarily focus on social relationships and institutions.

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