Social science is the study of human behavior, society, and how it works. Social scientists examine institutions like the government, the economy, and family; they also study how individuals and groups interact with one another throughout time and what drives human behavior. Social science differs from natural science in that it examines the human constructed world rather than the physical world. Social scientists use similar methods as the physical sciences (such as the scientific method to propose hypothesis and theories and quantitative data analysis) to study society. A social science degree can lead to many types of jobs in business, science, and law.
There are many fields in the study of Social Science. Below you will find many common fields as well as a few that you may find surprising.
Sociology is a social science focused on society and social institutions. In many ways, sociology was the first social science, since the discipline originally applied the scientific method to human society. Sociologists study human societies to answer questions about social change, disorder, and hierarchy.
Psychology deals with the human mind and behavior, bringing together social science and natural science. Psychologists study human development, social behaviors, and emotions as well as how social influence, social perception and social interaction influence individual and group behavior.
Political Science is a subject that involves the study of political institutions, government systems, and political behavior. Political scientists use qualitative and quantitative research to understand political trends and decision-making. Political science covers the rise of political institutions, the law-making process, and the interactions between political powers. Some political scientists specialize in political theory, whereas others study international relations, comparative politics, or American politics.
Civics is the study of rights and duties of citizens within a sovereign nation. Civics often involves the study of citizen’s interaction with government and the role of government in citizens lives. Civic Education as a dimension of Social Studies Education is about the grooming of good citizens.
Anthropology is the broad study of humans and human cultures throughout the world and throughout history and prehistory. It’s part natural science, part social science, and part humanistic study. The field of Anthropology is conventionally divided into four sub-fields: archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology.
Geography examines people and their environment. Geography serves as a bridge between the physical and cultural worlds based on the physical features of the earth and how human activity affects and is affected by those physical features.
History is the study of past events. It is generally focused on humanity and explores how different human occurrences throughout time are connected, when and why they happened. In addition to becoming good readers, writers, and communicators, historians become experts at distinguishing patterns in information. What they really study is change: why change occurs at particular times in particular places, why other things stay the same, and how individuals and groups deal with change.
Economics is a social science focused on the economy and economic activities. It is comprised of the study of economic systems and how individuals and groups produce and exchange goods. Economists examine topics like the role of the government in shaping the economy, individual economic behaviors, and the distribution of goods and services.
Finance-Since finance generally looks at how people and businesses make and use money, it can be considered a social science. Work in social studies of finance emphasizes the social and cultural dimensions of financial activities, but focuses also on technical and economic dimensions such as pricing and trading.
Accounting can be considered a social science when it is looked at in the context of government taxation, or how money and the accounting of goods and services affect a society.