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Ethnology is described as comparative studies of different peoples, sometimes contrasted with ethnography, as studying only one people at a time.

The term is from the Greek "ethnos" meaning "people, nation, class, caste, tribe; a number of people accustomed to live together".[1]

Classified as a branch of anthropology (but ethnic differences are studied by many other fields), after the rise of Boasian anthropology and race denialism, the terms "cultural anthropology" or "social anthropology" are often preferred to ethnology, presumably so as to avoid any impression that races are being studied.