His matter of fact, ethnology is a science of culture history. It means that an ethnologist seeks to specify cultural and mental laws to ex -plain the processes of culture history. The similarity or close relationship between ethnology and social anthropology is simple.
Both study society, that is, man and culture. Ethnology is concerned with taken common cultural elements of all the groups, notwithstanding pllaccortime. Despite this affinity, there are some differences between the two disciplines:
Ethnology is narrative. It describes the cultural traits of a particular group with great elaboration. For instance, the cultural specificity of a Gond and for that matter any tribal group of the country, constitutes the theme of ethnology.
Basically, ethnographic accounts are narrative. Risely studied peoples of India; and also their racial composition and their fairs and festivals. But nowhere has he analytically brought out concepts of the kind of dominant caste, caste ranking and the like. Ethnologists are narration-oriented. They describe and their work is done.
Social anthropology is either descriptive or narrative and analytical. Where ethnology limits itself to culture, social anthropology discusses patterns of interrelations. We have a large number of social anthropological studies, such as Andre Beteille’s, Caste, Class and Power (1965), which brings out analytical constructs which bear value to tasks of development.
Ethnology works as ethnography and codifies the classificatory characteristics of a cultural group. Comparison has no place in ethnographic accounts. Social anthropology is inherently comparative. It studies the primitive society and compares it with other societies-past and current.
Ethnology has a historical bias. It codifies customs, traditions, folkways and food habits on a historical basis. It cannot move without historical context. Social anthropology draws heavily from empirical fieldwork.
There is a controversy between social anthropology and ethnology. It is said that ethnology depends on history and social anthropology denies history.