Anthropologists learn about the culture of another society through fieldwork and first hand observation in that society. This kind of research is called ethnography
Since culture primarily relates to the way people interact with each other, it is not possible to adequately observe it in a laboratory setting. Imagine how much more would be learned about the actual patterns of interaction of a typical American family by living in their home rather than asking one of the family members in a college or university office.
. This is called ethnology. An example of an ethnological study would be a comparison of what cultures are like in societies that have economies based on hunting and gathering rather than agriculture. The data for this sort of ethnology would come from the existing ethnographies about these peoples. In other words, an ethnology is essentially a synthesis of the work of many ethnographers.