Key Areas of Social Science

What is social science?

Social science is an academic discipline which studies the society. It is also concerned with relationships among people within the society and how the world is influenced by people’s behavior. It studies people who live together; their customs, traditions. The word ‘social science’ was given by William Thompson in the year 1824.

Key areas of social science / branches:

Anthropology – Anthropology is the science of human or the study of human. Anthropology draws knowledge from social sciences to understand the complexity of cultures. It examines how people live in a particular geographical area and how the area is governed or organized. It studies the similarity and differences among and within the societies including nationality, gender, class, race etc. social anthropology is concerned with agriculture, environment, ecology etc. anthropology is based on 4 pillars linguistic anthropology, socio cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and archeology.

Communication studies – It deals with the process of human communication. It focuses on how messages are used to generate meaning in various cultures, contexts and media. It has many different names including communication science, speech communication, media studies, mass communication etc.

Economics – Economics is basically the study of wealth, production, distribution and consumption. Economics is also concerned with how people interact with market to accomplish certain goals. Studying economics can describe various aspects of a country’s economy. Economics has two branches microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics studies the smaller units of an economy like actions of individuals, dynamics between buyers and sellers, firms, industries etc. macroeconomics focuses on the larger units of an economy like economic aspects of the whole country or international markets etc.

Geography – Geography is the study of places, earth, atmosphere, geographical areas, inhabitants etc. it is broadly split into two human geography and physical geography. The former is the study of human networks on earth’s surface which includes health, transportation, cultural geography etc. the latter is the study of earth’s climate , atmosphere, seasons, landforms, soils, oceans, vegetation etc. social geography, geometrics, regional geography, political geography, urban geography, population geography, cultural geography, hydrology, oceanology, landscape ecology, glaciology, biogeography, climatology etc are the other divisions of geography.

History – History is basically the study of past events. It is an attempt to understand the lives of people in the past. Historians study the writings and artifacts that have survived to know the real picture of life in past. The basic sources of historical evidences include buildings, roads, artworks, written evidences, tools etc. history is a complex and sometimes controversial subject. The methods used in the study include corroboration, prosopography, historical revisionism etc.

Law – Law are rules and standards that administer all aspects of society and are based on norms that are accepted by the community. Law regulates the government of a state, conduct of individual and relationship between individuals and government. There are different types of law which include criminal law, civil law, family law, constitutional law, international law, religious law etc.

Political science – Political science basically deals with the systems of government and theory and practice of government. Political also analysis the political systems. We also gather the study of rights, law, democracy and authority etc. political science includes subfields like political theory, political philosophy, political economy, national systems, direct democracy, foreign policy, public administration, international laws, policies etc. classical political philosophy, structuralism, behaviorism, realism, pluralism are some of the philosophies used in political science.

Psychology – Psychology in the study of behavior and mental processes. Behavior includes our overt actions and reactions such as facial expressions, talking, movement etc. mental processes refer to all covert activities of our mind like thinking, feeling, remembering etc. It studies the human mind and its functions. It looks at the factors that affect ones behavior. Psychology includes many subfields like clinical psychology, social psychology, sports, development psychology, clinical-nuero psychology, abnormal psychology, cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, educational psychology etc.

Sociology – Sociology is the study of society, human relations and institutions. Subject matter ranges from family to state and crime to religion. It also studies the different races, social classes, culture, beliefs etc. sociology investigates consequences of racial differences, gender identity, conflicts, religious faiths etc. and also examines law, prejudice, discrimination, urban and rural communities, poverty etc. sociology also studies economic development, population growth , war, migration etc. methods used in the study include research, case studies, surveys, interviewing, observation etc. clinical sociology, art sociology, business sociology, urban sociology, rural sociology, political sociology etc. are the various subfields of sociology.

Civics – Civics is the study of citizens, their rights, duties, privileges and obligations. It also deals with the study of government, civil code and civil law and civic affairs.

Environmental studies – It is the study of human interactions with the environment. It studies the relationship between natural environment and artificial / built environment. It helps people address the environmental problems by learning its causes, effects and possible solutions.

Archeology – Archeology is the study of the past using material remains of our ancestors and the possessions they left behind. Archeologists discover sites and uncover evidences by evacuation. The materials are conserved and studied carefully in order to know how people lived and died in the past. Archeologists usually draw or photograph the artifacts to make a visual record. Then they carefully measure the size, shape, color and ages of the artifacts. This helps them relate different objects and sites.

Other areas/branches of study:

Media studies – media studies deals with the history and effects of mass media.
Demography – it is the study of human population.
Education – it basically deals with how people attain knowledge. It includes teaching and learning specific skills.
Linguistics – it is the study of language and has specialized branches like sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, ethno linguistics, computational linguistics etc.
Criminology – it is the study of criminal behavior on social and individual levels.
Social work – it refers to being of service to the unfortunate, needy and afflicted.

Behavioral science, cultural studies, developmental studies, gender studies, information science, journalism, legal management, international relations etc. are also some of the other areas of social science.

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