Types of Social Sciences

Published on: Dec 31 2010 by Shenron

Social science is a field related to academic scholarship that deals with the aspects of human society, or in other words we can say that social science is a scientific field that examines human society in particular. Social science mainly focuses on the individual’s interaction and relationship prevailing in the society. A distinction has been made between different fields of scientific studies, particularly between the ‘Natural Sciences’ and ‘Social Sciences’. Natural science is deals with the experimental and applied sciences, while social science treats science in its broader classical sense. Social science is an umbrella term used to refer to the polarity of terms such as Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. These are generally accepted fields under social sciences. There are certain other fields that are also fall under social sciences such as Linguistics, Law, Education, Archaeology, Criminology, and Geography. These all fields involve the study and investigation of man’s interaction with his fellowmen and with his society.

Types of Social Sciences

Social Science is a broader term which covers a large number of fields which are discussed below:

Anthropology

It is a branch of social science that deals with several other aspects of social science such as anthropological linguistics, ethnography, physical or biological anthropology and archeology. Primarily, anthropology is based on four fundamental branches or pillars of anthropology. These four fundamental branches include: archaeology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology and socio-cultural anthropology. Physical or biological anthropology deals with the physical aspects of human beings. It focuses on the human evolution and adaptability, primatology, population genetics and also covers subjects like nutritional and osteology anthropology, forensic anthropology, paleoanthropology and anthropometrics. Linguistic anthropology is a branch of anthropology that investigates the understanding of the process involved in human communication. Archaeology is the study that investigates human cultures and civilizations by recovery, analysis, documentation and interpretation of ancient material, and also environmental data. Socio-cultural anthropology investigates the social and cultural organization of people and also deals with the subjects like anthropology of religion, ethnic studies, cultural studies, anthropology of media and cyberspace and psychological anthropology.

Economics

Economics is another branch of social sciences which deals with the study of distribution, production and consumption of wealth. Economics is further subdivided into to categories, i.e. Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics is a branch of economics that investigates how individuals, firms, and other enterprises take decisions to utilize their limited resources to cope with the issues like inflation, unemployment, taxation and growth of national income whereas the macroeconomics is concerned with the understanding and studying economy as a whole. Unlike microeconomics, macroeconomics deals with the factors affecting the long term technological developments, labor force, and capital accumulation.

History

History is a branch of social sciences that deals with the historical study of human race in terms of scientific discoveries, and important events that has happened and documented in the course of history. History is a vast field that includes several sub-fields like history of primitive people, diplomatic history, social history and gender history. There are certain other particular areas which solely focus on the historical studies of the events and developments of human race and societies at certain time periods under the regional and geographical backgrounds. Historical studies normally involve historical revisionism, contemporaneous corroboration and prospography. Nowadays, the movies feature any historical event is considered as the documented record of history, also documented logs and other observatory material showing the social changes in the course of history are also taken as an important tool in historical studies.

Communication

Communication is also considered as a field of social sciences. Communication is always remained a vital part of everyday lives. It would not be wrong to say that communication played a vital role in the evolution of human civilizations. Communication is in itself is a very vast field and there is a lot to study under the heading of communication other than the exploration of new ideas and avenues.

Education

Education is another branch of social sciences and is very important. Education always plays a vital role in passing wisdom from one generation to another. It is through education that the human civilization developed from archaic ages to age of computer and technology. No one can deny the importance of education as it forms the basis of the developing human civilizations. Education is not a subject to enhance your teaching or learning skills, but it also provides you an opportunity to master the art of distributing knowledge, creating responsible citizens and balanced judgment. Education is not just limited to the art of pedagogy, it also involve certain other sciences such as anthropology, philosophy, computer sciences, sociology, linguistics, neuroscience and psychology.

Psychology

Psychology is a branch of social sciences that focuses on the human mind. Psychology doesn’t only play a vital role in the field of social sciences, but it also plays an important role in many other branches of sciences. Psychology manly deals with the human mind, i.e. what they think, how they perceive different situations and so on. Psychology also has some subfields like Children Psychology and Forensic Psychology.

Political Science

Political science is an important branch of social sciences. Under political science one learns about the theories and practices involve in politics. Political science is a vast subject that covers variety of areas like comparative politics, political theory, international relations, national politics, public policies, and public administration. These all contributes the comprehensive analysis of political systems and patterns involve in political behavior. The study of political science involves certain distinct philosophies such as realism, classical political philosophy, behaviorism, institutionalism, structuralism, pluralism and interpretivism.

Geography

Geography is another important discipline of social sciences. It is studies under two subfields: human geography and physical geography. These are two major subfields of geography, besides these we have another subfield known as environmental geography. Environmental geography deals with the study of interaction between human beings and environment. Human geography describes that how universe came into being, viewed and managed by human beings whereas physical geography deals with the natural environment, i.e. climate, landforms, vegetation, water, life and soil. Both human geography and physical geography are wide fields. Human geography in its broader sense investigates the causes and consequences of spatial distribution of human activity on the earth. There are some subfields that we study under human geography and include: tourism geography, cultural geography, political geography, developmental geography, urban geography, economic geography, population geography, historical geography and health geography. Physical geography as we said deals with the processes and patterns involve in natural environment. Physical geography covers a large range of subfields which include: geomatics and environmental geography, geomorphology, quaternary science, landscape ecology, hydrology, glaciology, biogeography, pedology, palaeogeography, coastal geography, oceanography and climatology.

Law

Law falls under the branch of social sciences. Law deals with the study of law structure and other legal policies. Law basically focuses on the legal subjects, legal theories, and legal institutions. It is important to have a look on legal subjects that you need to study under law. The legal subjects include: criminal law, equity and trust, constitution and administrative law, international law, tort law, contract law and property law. Legal systems involve the study of religious law, civil law, common law, equity and certain other jurisdictions. Legal theories deal with the study of economic analysis, history of law, sociology of law, and philosophy of law. Besides all these, legal studies also involve the study of ethics of legal profession, judicial law, executive law, military law and legislative law.

Linguistics

The study of cognitive and social aspects of human languages is known as linguistics. It is a branch of social sciences which is subdivided into four major areas, that is syntax, semantics, phonetics and phonology. Syntax deals with the sentence structure. Semantics deals with the meaning of words. Phonetics deals with the speech sounds. Phonology deals with the abstract sound system of any particular language. With the time, certain new areas has been included in the linguistics such as evolutionary linguistics that deals with the origin and evolution of languages and psycholinguistics that deals with the psychological factors involved in human languages.

Social Work

Social work is also considered as a branch of social sciences. Social work involves the studying and improving the lives of the mankind and societies. Social work involves the micro and macro systems that help resolve the social problems.

Sociology

Sociology is a vital branch of social sciences which deals with the study of human social behavior and societies. Generally, sociology involves the in-depth analysis of social interactions, social rules and processes. Social lives of people, groups and societies often come under the study of sociology. Sociology makes use of different methods for research and data collection. Some of them include: model building, case studies, social network analysis, surveys, historical research, participant observation and interviewing. Clinical sociology, urban sociology, art sociology, rural sociology, business sociology, political sociology, childhood sociology, and economic sociology are some of the subfields of sociology.

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