19 September 2008

Anthropology vs. Archaeology vs. Linguistics vs. Art History vs. Musicology

Tonight, a face-off of five academic disciplines which are somewhat related:

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of archaeology | archeo... in all years
anthropology 1.19
archaeology | archeo... 1.00
linguistics 0.64
"art history" 0.43
musicology 0.12

All disciplines displayed lows in the summer and at Christmas while peaking in Fall when university is back in session. Also, they all decreased steadily in Google-popularity. Anthropology beat out arch(a)eology for first place, musicology was dead last but had a surprisingly big peak in early 2004. It turned out that this was related to Prince's Musicology album however... Pretty good album I must agree. I'm not sure what that other peak in the news graph in late 2004 represents. But wait, let's see if we got different results when we zoomed in on specific English-speaking countries. First the US as a benchmark:

Scale is based on the average traffic of archaeology | archeo... from United States in all years
anthropology 1.56
archaeology | archeo... 1.00
linguistics 0.52
"art history" 0.58
musicology 0.10

Anthropology was more ahead in the US than in the world as a whole while linguistics and art history were about even now. Next, the United Kingdom:

Scale is based on the average traffic of archaeology | archeo... from United Kingdom in all years
anthropology 0.43
archaeology | archeo... 1.00
linguistics 0.27
"art history" 0.16
musicology 0.01

In the UK, archaeology was twice as popular as anthropology but declined much faster. In the UK, archaeology is not subsumed under a broader anthropology discipline, unlike in the US. Musicology only registered in Google-popularity for the Prince album in 2004 and then nothing... How about Australia?

Scale is based on the average traffic of archaeology | archeo... from Australia in all years
anthropology 0.42
archaeology | archeo... 1.00
linguistics 0.14
"art history" 0
musicology 0

Here too archaeology was more popular than anthropology. Art history barely registered and musicology not at all: I guess they don't like Prince as much down under? ;-) Lastly, let's check on Canada:

Scale is based on the average traffic of archaeology | archeo... from Canada in all years
anthropology 1.52
archaeology | archeo... 1.00
linguistics 0.46
"art history" 0.38
musicology 0

Well, Canada may still have the Queen as head of state but in in this academic face-off they followed the US and not the British Commonwealth... Creeping Americanization, I guess ;-) Anthropology was again king.

By the way, just like with some of the other face-offs, I am constrained to search terms that don't have too many different meanings lest they distort the graphs. For example, "philosophy" is too often used in a non-academic context. I left "musicology" in this face-off in a way to demonstrate the statistical noise produced by such an ambiguous term.

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