Wow, a lot of posts happened, and I can't do quotes right now. This was meant to pop up about a million pages back. x)
Certainly, but first I must point out that both Royd and yourself are using terms such as "sociology" to mean "an area of study devoted to solving the ills of society". This is incorrect. There are certainly branches that fall within diverse groups of study that state such intentions, but they should be identified as such. Ie. if I took a class on psychoanalytic anthropology, I could expect a much different and subjective approach than I'd be likely to find if I took a course in archeological anthropology. This is why I made a distinction in my initial post.
Especially when dealing with very objective areas in anthropology, societal ills aren't going to be addressed, as that is a subjective issue. Ie. In some branches, there may be a study of how people who would be diagnosed as having disorders in Western society function within their native culture. There may be no voice on how that one dude with schizophrenia needs to be treated with Western methods and medication, as the focus is not on whether or not he is a societal problem. Instead, the focus may purely be on he he is viewed within the culture, and what role he serves. He may be a pariah, he may be a prophet. Same thing with cannibalism...definitely considered a societal no-no in our culture, but is not in other cultures. Some branches of anthropology have no interest in saying, "well, this here is good, but this is bad".
If someone's definition of a problem is that not enough people are buying their product, some branches of anthopology can help solve that one, which is why there are areas of marketing and advertising that use anthropology and sociology and people within these fields. Similarly, if your problem is that peer-reviewed science says that your oil company spilled x amount of oil with the following effects, and that you fear the findings will be viewed negatively by the general public, you can hire people within that same broad area of study to do things like publish studies that say what you want them to say. For corporate culture, the same area of study that was viewed negatively just became a good thing. If your issue is that you are using a farm technique that is not compatible with the area you are in, anthropology can and has offered methods that worked historically, which some do choose to adopt and some find useful. Many areas of science and study are behind such actions as lessening social stigma and increasing understanding of things such as disease and disorders. Is that an ill, or did it remove an ill? Culturally, the answer is that it is an improvement. Individually or among subcultures, the answer may vary.