Social Sciences
Social Sciences

The Many Branches of Social Sciences

Social science comprises of various academic disciplines that are related to society and how relationships are conducted among individuals therein. It has many branches each of which is also known as social science. The term is in addition used to denote Sociology which is a study of the “science of society” that originated in the 19th century.

Here is a rundown in alphabetical order of the major branches of social sciences even though the distinguishing lines between them are often blurred, arbitrary and ambiguous.

Anthropology

Known as the “science of man” this discipline covers the various aspects of humanities, social sciences and human biology. This branch of social sciences relies a lot on nuanced descriptions rather than on general and rigid laws as in physics and chemistry. Anthropology provides a holistic look at human beings from the point of view of biological, historic, linguistic and cultural aspects of any issue.

Economics

Economics seeks to explain, analyse and describe the production, distribution and consumption of wealth. The definition of economics is best given by Lionel Robbins in 1932. He says that economics is “the science which studies human behavior as a relation between scarce means having alternative uses”. Within this definition too, there are two major aspects – microeconomics and macroeconomics. In the former case, the unit of analysis is an individual unit such as a firm or a household. In the latter case, it is a study of the economy as a whole.

Geography

As a discipline, Geography can be broadly categorized in two. The first is human geography which stresses on how space is created and managed by humans in general and how they have an influence on the space occupied by them. It also studies the natural environment and interaction of soil, oceans, water, climate and vegetation and life. The second aspect is physical geography which examines all phenomena related to the measurement of the earth. Some of the other less known categories of geography include social geography and regional geography.

History

History is research and continuous systematic narrative into past human events based on theories and historiography paradigms. History can be said to have its roots both in social science and humanities. Any historical method that analyses events of the past is made up of techniques and guidelines provided by primary sources and other evidences got from research.

There are many other branches of social studies including Gender Studies, Education, Communication, Law, Linguistics, Political Science and Psychology. All these along with the ones given above in some detail comprise the broad canvas that is known as Social Sciences.