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Encyclopedia
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term
Umbrella term
An umbrella term is a word that provides a superset or grouping of concepts that all fall under a single common category. Umbrella term is also called a hypernym. For example, cryptology is an umbrella term that encompasses cryptography and cryptanalysis, among other fields...

 to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences. These include (among others): anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, criminology
Criminology
Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society...

, economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

, political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

.

The term may be used, however, in the specific context of referring to the original science of society established in 19th century sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

. Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

, Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 are typically cited as the principal architects of modern social science by this definition. Positivist
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

 social scientists use methods resembling those of the natural sciences as tools for understanding society, and so define science in its stricter modern sense. Interpretivist
Antipositivism
Antipositivism is the view in social science that the social realm may not be subject to the same methods of investigation as the natural world; that academics must reject empiricism and the scientific method in the conduct of research...

 social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories, and thus treat science in its broader sense. In modern academic practice, researchers are often eclectic
Eclecticism
Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.It can sometimes seem inelegant or...

, using multiple methodologies
Social research
Social research refers to research conducted by social scientists. Social research methods may be divided into two broad categories:* Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases to create valid and reliable...

 (for instance, by combining the quantitative
Quantitative research
In the social sciences, quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to...

 and qualitative
Qualitative research
Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such...

 techniques). The term social research
Social research
Social research refers to research conducted by social scientists. Social research methods may be divided into two broad categories:* Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases to create valid and reliable...

 has also acquired a degree of autonomy as practitioners from various disciplines share in its aims and methods.

Social science history


The history of the social sciences
History of the social sciences
The history of the social sciences has origin in the common stock of Western philosophy and shares various precursors, but began most intentionally in the early 19th century with the positivist philosophy of science...

 begins in the roots of ancient philosophy. In Ancient history
Ancient history
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history to the Early Middle Ages. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, with Cuneiform script, the oldest discovered form of coherent writing, from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC...

, there was no difference between mathematics and the study of history, poetry or politics. This unity of science as descriptive remains and deductive reasoning from axioms created a scientific framework.

The Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 saw a revolution within natural philosophy
Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature , is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science...

, changing the basic framework by which individuals understood what was scientific. In some quarters, the accelerating trend of mathematical studies presumed a reality independent of the observer and worked by its own rules. Social sciences came forth from the moral philosophy of the time and was influenced by the Age of Revolution
Age of Revolution
The Age of Revolution is a term used to denote the period from approximately 1775 to 1848 in which a number of significant revolutionary movements occurred on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in Europe and the Americas. The period is noted for the change in government from absolutist monarchies to...

s, such as the Industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 and the French revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. The social sciences developed from the science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

s (experimental and applied
Applied science
Applied science is the application of scientific knowledge transferred into a physical environment. Examples include testing a theoretical model through the use of formal science or solving a practical problem through the use of natural science....

), or the systematic knowledge-bases or prescriptive practices, relating to the social improvement of a .

The beginnings of the social sciences in the 18th century are reflected in various grand encyclopedia
Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge....

 of Diderot, with articles from Rousseau and other pioneers. The growth of the social sciences is also reflected in other specialized encyclopedias. The modern period saw "social science" first used as a distinct conceptual field. Social science was influenced by positivism
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

, focusing on knowledge based on actual positive sense experience and avoiding the negative; metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 speculation was avoided. Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte
Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte , better known as Auguste Comte , was a French philosopher, a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism...

 used the term "science social" to describe the field, taken from the ideas of Charles Fourier
Charles Fourier
François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher. An influential thinker, some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become main currents in modern society...

; Comte also referred to the field as social physics.

Following this period, there were five paths of development that sprang forth in the Social Sciences, influenced by Comte or other fields. One route that was taken was the rise of social research
Social research
Social research refers to research conducted by social scientists. Social research methods may be divided into two broad categories:* Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases to create valid and reliable...

. Large statistical survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

s were undertaken in various parts of the United States and Europe. Another route undertaken was initiated by Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

, studying "social facts", and Vilfredo Pareto
Vilfredo Pareto
Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto , born Wilfried Fritz Pareto, was an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist and philosopher. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices....

, opening metatheoretical ideas and individual theories. A third means developed, arising from the methodological dichotomy present, in which the social phenomena was identified with and understood; this was championed by figures such as Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

. The fourth route taken, based in economics, was developed and furthered economic knowledge as a hard science. The last path was the correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 of knowledge and social values; the antipositivism
Antipositivism
Antipositivism is the view in social science that the social realm may not be subject to the same methods of investigation as the natural world; that academics must reject empiricism and the scientific method in the conduct of research...

 and verstehen
Verstehen
Verstehen is an ordinary German word with exactly the same meaning as the English word "understand". However, since the late 19th century in the context of German philosophy and social sciences, it has also been used in the special sense of "interpretive or participatory examination" of social...

 sociology of Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 firmly demanded on this distinction. In this route, theory (description) and prescription were non-overlapping formal discussions of a subject.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Enlightenment philosophy was challenged in various quarters. After the use of classical theories since the end of the scientific revolution, various fields substituted mathematics studies for experimental studies and examining equations to build a theoretical structure. The development of social science subfields became very quantitative in methodology. Conversely, the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of scientific inquiry into human behavior and social and environmental factors affecting it made many of the natural sciences interested in some aspects of social science methodology. Examples of boundary blurring include emerging disciplines like social research of medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, sociobiology
Sociobiology
Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,...

, neuropsychology
Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain related to specific psychological processes and behaviors. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. It has also been applied to efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells in...

, bioeconomics
Bioeconomics
Bioeconomics is closely related to the early development of theories in fisheries economics, initially in the mid 1950s by Canadian economists Scott Gordon and Anthony Scott...

 and the history
History of science
The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

 and sociology of science. Increasingly, quantitative research
Quantitative research
In the social sciences, quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to...

 and qualitative methods are being integrated in the study of human action and its implications and consequences. In the first half of the 20th century, statistics became a free-standing discipline of applied mathematics. Statistical methods were used confidently.

In the contemporary period, Karl Popper
Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS FBA was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics...

 and Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist who served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973....

 influenced the furtherance of the social sciences. Researchers continues to search for a unified consensus on what methodology might have the power and refinement to connect a proposed "grand theory" with the various midrange theories which, with considerable success, continue to provide usable frameworks for massive, growing data banks; for more, see consilience
Consilience
Consilience, or the unity of knowledge , has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos, inherently comprehensible by logical process, a vision at odds with mystical views in many cultures that surrounded the Hellenes...

. At present though, the various realms of social science progress in a myriad of ways, increasing the overall knowledge of society. The social sciences will for the foreseeable future be composed of different zones in the research of, and sometime distinct in approach toward, the field.

The term "social science" may refer either to the specific sciences of society established by thinkers such as Comte, Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, or more generally to all disciplines outside of noble science and arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

. By the late 19th century, the academic social sciences were constituted of five fields: jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

 and amendment of the law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, health
Health
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain...

, economy
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 and trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

, and art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

.

At the turn of the 21st century
21st century
The 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era or the Common Era in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. The century began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. The years from 2001 to 2010 are historical; the years from 2011 to 2100 are subject to futurology and...

, the expanding domain of economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism.

Branches of social science



Social Science areas

The following are problem areas and discipline branches within the social sciences.
  • Anthropology
    Anthropology
    Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

  • Business studies
    Business studies
    Business studies is an academic subject taught at higher level in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, as well as at university level in many countries...

  • Communication studies
    Communication studies
    Communication Studies is an academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Hence, communication studies encompasses a wide range of topics and contexts ranging from face-to-face conversation to speeches to mass...

  • Criminology
    Criminology
    Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society...

  • Demography
    Demography
    Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

  • Development studies
    Development studies
    Development studies is a multidisciplinary branch of social science which addresses issues of concern to developing countries. It has historically placed a particular focus on issues related to social and economic development, and its relevance may therefore extend to communities and regions...

  • Economics
    Economics
    Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

  • Education
    Education
    Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

  • Geography
    Geography
    Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

  • History
    History
    History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

  • Industrial relations
  • Law
    Law
    Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

  • Linguistics
    Linguistics
    Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

  • Media studies
    Media studies
    Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. Media studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass...

  • Methodology
    Methodology
    Methodology is generally a guideline for solving a problem, with specificcomponents such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools . It can be defined also as follows:...

  • Philosophy
    Philosophy
    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

  • Political science
    Political science
    Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

  • Psychology
    Psychology
    Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

  • Public administration
    Public administration
    Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

  • Sociology
    Sociology
    Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

  • Legal Management
    Legal management
    The Legal Management is a social sciences discipline that is designed for students interested in the study of State and its elements, Law, Law Practice, Legal Research and Jurisprudence, legal Philosophy, Criminal Justice, Governance, Government structure, Political history and theories, Business...

  • Paralegal studies
  • International studies
    International studies
    International Studies generally refers to the specific University Degrees and courses which are concerned with the study of ‘the major political, economic, social, cultural and sacral issues that dominate the international agenda’...

  • Library Science
    Library science
    Library science is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources; and the...

  • Information Science
    Information science
    -Introduction:Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information...


The Social Science disciplines are branches of knowledge which are taught and researched at the college or university level. Social Science disciplines are defined and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, and the learned Social Science societies and academic departments or faculties to which their practitioners belong. Social Science fields of study usually have several sub-disciplines or branches, and the distinguishing lines between these are often both arbitrary and ambiguous.

Anthropology


Anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 is the holistic "science of man," - a science of the totality of human existence. The discipline deals with the integration of different aspects of the Social Sciences, Humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, and Human Biology
Human biology
Human Biology is an interdisciplinary area of study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as genetics, evolution, physiology, epidemiology, ecology, nutrition, population genetics and sociocultural influences. It is closely related to...

. In the twentieth century, academic disciplines have often been institutionally divided into three broad domains. The natural sciences seek to derive general laws through reproducible and verifiable experiments. The humanities generally study local traditions, through their history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, and art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

s, with an emphasis on understanding particular individuals, events, or eras. The social sciences have generally attempted to develop scientific methods to understand social phenomena in a generalizable way, though usually with methods distinct from those of the natural sciences.

The anthropological social sciences often develop nuanced descriptions rather than the general laws derived in physics or chemistry, or they may explain individual cases through more general principles, as in many fields of psychology. Anthropology (like some fields of history) does not easily fit into one of these categories, and different branches of anthropology draw on one or more of these domains. Within the United States, Anthropology is divided into four sub-fields:Archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, Physical
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

 or Biological Anthropology
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

, Anthropological Linguistics
Anthropological linguistics
Anthropological linguistics is the study of the relations between language and culture and the relations between human biology, cognition and language...

, and Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

. It is an area that is offered at most undergraduate institutions. The word anthropos (άνθρωπος) is from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 for "human being" or "person." Eric Wolf
Eric Wolf
Eric Robert Wolf was an anthropologist, best known for his studies of peasants, Latin America, and his advocacy of Marxian perspectives within anthropology.-Early life:...

 described sociocultural anthropology as "the most scientific of the humanities, and the most humanistic of the sciences."

The goal of anthropology is to provide a holistic
Holism
Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

 account of humans and human nature. This means that, though anthropologists generally specialize in only one sub-field, they always keep in mind the biological, linguistic, historic and cultural aspects of any problem. Since anthropology arose as a science in Western societies that were complex and industrial, a major trend within anthropology has been a methodological drive to study peoples in societies with more simple social organization, sometimes called "primitive" in anthropological literature, but without any connotation of "inferior." Today, anthropologists use terms such as "less complex" societies or refer to specific modes of subsistence or production, such as "pastoralist" or "forager" or "horticulturalist" to refer to humans living in non-industrial, non-Western cultures, such people or folk (ethnos) remaining of great interest within anthropology.

The quest for holism leads most anthropologists to study a people in detail, using biogenetic, archaeological, and linguistic data alongside direct observation of contemporary customs. In the 1990s and 2000s, calls for clarification of what constitutes a culture, of how an observer knows where his or her own culture ends and another begins, and other crucial topics in writing anthropology were heard. It is possible to view all human cultures as part of one large, evolving global culture. These dynamic relationships, between what can be observed on the ground, as opposed to what can be observed by compiling many local observations remain fundamental in any kind of anthropology, whether cultural, biological, linguistic or archaeological.

Economics



Economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 is a social science that seeks to analyze and describe the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth. The word "economics" is from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

  [oikos], "family, household, estate," and νόμος [nomos], "custom, law," and hence means "household management" or "management of the state." An economist
Economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

 is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

 in the subject. The classic brief definition of economics, set out by Lionel Robbins
Lionel Robbins
Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins, FBA was a British economist and head of the economics department at the London School of Economics...

 in 1932, is "the science which studies human behavior as a relation between scarce means having alternative uses." Without scarcity and alternative uses, there is no economic problem
Economic problem
The economic problem, sometimes called the basic, central or fundamental economic problem, is one of the fundamental economic theories in the operation of any economy. It asserts that there is scarcity, or that the finite resources available are insufficient to satisfy all human wants and needs...

. Briefer yet is "the study of how people seek to satisfy needs and wants" and "the study of the financial aspects of human behavior."

Economics has two broad branches: microeconomics
Microeconomics
Microeconomics is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of how the individual modern household and firms make decisions to allocate limited resources. Typically, it applies to markets where goods or services are being bought and sold...

, where the unit of analysis is the individual agent, such as a household
Household
The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family"....

 or firm, and macroeconomics
Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of the whole economy. This includes a national, regional, or global economy...

, where the unit of analysis is an economy as a whole. Another division of the subject distinguishes positive economics, which seeks to predict and explain economic phenomena, from normative economics
Normative economics
Normative economics is that part of economics that expresses value judgments about economic fairness or what the economy ought to be like or what goals of public policy ought to be....

, which orders choices and actions by some criterion; such orderings necessarily involve subjective
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

 value judgments. Since the early part of the 20th century, economics has focused largely on measurable quantities, employing both theoretical models and empirical analysis. Quantitative models, however, can be traced as far back as the physiocratic school
Physiocrats
Physiocracy is an economic theory developed by the Physiocrats, a group of economists who believed that the wealth of nations was derived solely from the value of "land agriculture" or "land development." Their theories originated in France and were most popular during the second half of the 18th...

. Economic reasoning has been increasingly applied in recent decades to other social situations such as politics
Public choice theory
In economics, public choice theory is the use of modern economic tools to study problems that traditionally are in the province of political science...

, law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, psychology
Experimental economics
Experimental economics is the application of experimental methods to study economic questions. Data collected in experiments are used to estimate effect size, test the validity of economic theories, and illuminate market mechanisms. Economic experiments usually use cash to motivate subjects, in...

, history
Economic history
Economic history is the study of economies or economic phenomena in the past. Analysis in economic history is undertaken using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and by applying economic theory to historical situations and institutions...

, religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 and family life, and other social interactions.
This paradigm crucially assumes (1) that resources are scarce
Scarcity
Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having humans who have unlimited wants and needs in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs. Alternatively, scarcity implies that not all of society's goals can be...

 because they are not sufficient to satisfy all wants, and (2) that "economic value" is willingness to pay as revealed for instance by market (arms' length) transactions. Rival heterodox
Heterodox economics
"Heterodox economics" refers to approaches or to schools of economic thought that are considered outside of "mainstream economics". Mainstream economists sometimes assert that it has little or no influence on the vast majority of academic economists in the English speaking world. "Mainstream...

 schools of thought, such as institutional economics
Institutional economics
Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and the role of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. Its original focus lay in Thorstein Veblen's instinct-oriented dichotomy between technology on the one side and the "ceremonial" sphere of society on the...

, green economics, Marxist economics, and economic sociology
Economic sociology
Economic sociology studies both the social effects and the social causes of various economic phenomena. The field can be broadly divided into a classical period and a contemporary one. The classical period was concerned particularly with modernity and its constituent aspects...

, make other grounding assumptions. For example, Marxist economics assumes that economics primarily deals with the exchange of value, and that labor (human effort) is the source of all value.

The expanding domain of economics in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism.

Education




Education encompasses teaching and learning
Learning
Learning is acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines. Progress over time tends to follow learning curves.Human learning...

 specific skill
Skill
A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills...

s, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

, positive judgement
Judgement
Judgment is the evaluation of evidence in the making of a decision. The term has three distinct uses:* Informal - Opinions expressed as facts....

 and well-developed wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

. Education has as one of its fundamental aspects the imparting of culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 from generation to generation (see socialization
Socialization
Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies...

). To educate means 'to draw out', from the Latin educare, or to facilitate the realization of an individual's potential and talents. It is an application of pedagogy
Pedagogy
Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction....

, a body of theoretical and applied research relating to teaching and learning and draws on many disciplines such as psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

, linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, neuroscience
Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics,...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 and anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

.

The education of an individual human begins at birth and continues throughout life. (Some believe that education begins even before birth, as evidenced by some parents' playing music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 or reading to the baby in the womb in the hope it will influence the child's development.) For some, the struggles and triumphs of daily life
Personal life
Personal life is the course of an individual's life, especially when viewed as the sum of personal choices contributing to one's personal identity. It is a common notion in modern existence—although more so in more prosperous parts of the world such as Western Europe and North America...

 provide far more instruction than does formal school
School
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

ing (thus Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

's admonition to "never let school interfere with your education"). Family
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 members may have a profound educational effect — often more profound than they realize — though family teaching may function very informally.

Geography




Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main sub fields: human geography
Human geography
Human geography is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography. Human geography is the study of the world, its people, communities, and cultures. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more...

 and physical geography
Physical geography
Physical geography is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the...

. The former focuses largely on the built environment and how space is created, viewed and managed by humans as well as the influence humans have on the space they occupy. The latter examines the natural environment and how the climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

, vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

 & life, soil
Soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

, water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 and landforms are produced and interact. As a result of the two subfields using different approaches a third field has emerged, which is environmental geography
Environmental geography
Integrated geography is the branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires an understanding of the dynamics of geology, meteorology, hydrology, biogeography, ecology, and geomorphology, as well as the ways in which human...

. Environmental geography combines physical and human geography and looks at the interactions between the environment and humans.

Geographers attempt to understand the earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 in terms of physical and spatial relationships. The first geographers focused on the science of mapmaking and finding ways to precisely project
Map projection
A map projection is any method of representing the surface of a sphere or other three-dimensional body on a plane. Map projections are necessary for creating maps. All map projections distort the surface in some fashion...

 the surface of the earth. In this sense, geography bridges some gaps between the natural sciences and social sciences. Historical geography
Historical geography
Historical geography is the study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and "real" geographies of the past. Historical geography studies a wide variety of issues and topics. A common theme is the study of the geographies of the past and how a place or region changes through time...

 is often taught in a college in a unified Department of Geography.

Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline, closely related to GISc
Geographic Information Science
Geographic information science is the academic theory behind the development, use, and application of geographic information systems...

, that seeks to understand humanity and its natural environment. The fields of Urban Planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

, Regional Science
Regional science
Regional science is a field of the social sciences concerned with analytical approaches to problems that are specifically urban, rural, or regional...

, and Planetology are closely related to geography. Practitioners of geography use many technologies and methods to collect data such as GIS, remote sensing
Remote sensing
Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon, without making physical contact with the object. In modern usage, the term generally refers to the use of aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on Earth by means of propagated signals Remote sensing...

, aerial photography
Aerial photography
Aerial photography is the taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position. The term usually refers to images in which the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure. Cameras may be hand held or mounted, and photographs may be taken by a photographer, triggered remotely or...

, statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

, and global positioning systems (GPS).

The field of geography is generally split into two distinct branches: physical and human. Physical geography
Physical geography
Physical geography is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the...

examines phenomena related to climate
Climatology
Climatology is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences...

, oceans
Oceanography
Oceanography , also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean...

, soils
Pedology (soil study)
Pedology is the study of soils in their natural environment. It is one of two main branches of soil science, the other being edaphology...

, and the measurement of earth
Geodesy
Geodesy , also named geodetics, a branch of earth sciences, is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement and representation of the Earth, including its gravitational field, in a three-dimensional time-varying space. Geodesists also study geodynamical phenomena such as crustal...

. Human geography
Human geography
Human geography is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography. Human geography is the study of the world, its people, communities, and cultures. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more...

focuses on fields as diverse as Cultural geography
Cultural geography
Cultural geography is a sub-field within human geography. Cultural geography is the study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places...

, transportation
Transportation geography
Transportation Geography, also Transport Geography, is the branch of geography that investigates spatial interactions, let them be of people, freight and information. It can consider humans and their use of vehicles or other modes of travelling as well as how markets are serviced by flows of...

, health
Health geography
Health geography is the application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care.- Overview :...

, military operations
Military geography
Military geography is a sub-field of geography that is used by, not only the military, but also academics and politicians to understand the geopolitical sphere through the militaristic lens...

, and cities
Urban geography
Urban geography is the study of areas which have a high concentration of buildings and infrastructure. These are areas where the majority of economic activities are in the secondary sector and tertiary sectors...

. Other branches of geography include Social geography
Social geography
Social geography is the branch of human geography that is most closely related to social theory in general and sociology in particular, dealing with the relation of social phenomena and its spatial components. Though the term itself has a tradition of more than 100 years, there is no consensus on...

, regional geography
Regional geography
Regional geography is the study of world regions. Attention is paid to unique characteristics of a particular region such as natural elements, human elements, and regionalization which covers the techniques of delineating space into regions....

, geomatics
Geomatics
Geomatics is the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information.-Overview and etymology:...

, and environmental geography
Environmental geography
Integrated geography is the branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires an understanding of the dynamics of geology, meteorology, hydrology, biogeography, ecology, and geomorphology, as well as the ways in which human...

.

History


History is the continuous, systematic narrative and research into past human events as interpreted through historiographical paradigms or theories, such as the Turner Thesis about the American frontier.

History has a base in both the social sciences and the humanities. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 the National Endowment for the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the United States established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is located at...

 includes history in its definition of a Humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 (as it does for applied Linguistics). However the National Research Council
United States National Research Council
The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academies, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.The National Academies include:* National Academy of Sciences...

 classifies History as a Social science. The historical method
Historical method
Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised in the...

comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary source
Primary source
Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied....

s and other evidence to research and then to write history
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

. The Social Science History Association, formed in 1976, brings together scholars from numerous disciplines interested in social history
Social history
Social history, often called the new social history, is a branch of History that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies of coping with life. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments...

.

Law




Law in common parlance, means a rule which (unlike a rule of ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

) is capable of enforcement through institutions. The study of law crosses the boundaries between the social sciences and humanities, depending on one's view of research into its objectives and effects. Law is not always enforceable, especially in the international relations context. It has been defined as a "system of rules", as an "interpretive concept" to achieve justice, as an "authority" to mediate people's interests, and even as "the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction". However one likes to think of law, it is a completely central social institution. Legal policy incorporates the practical manifestation of thinking from almost every social sciences and humanity. Laws are politics, because politicians create them. Law is philosophy, because moral and ethical persuasions shape their ideas. Law tells many of history's stories, because statutes, case law and codifications build up over time. And law is economics, because any rule about contract
Contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

, tort
Tort
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general...

, property law
Property law
Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property...

, labour law
Labour law
Labour law is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees...

, company law and many more can have long lasting effects on the distribution of wealth. The noun law derives from the late Old English
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

 lagu, meaning something laid down or fixed and the adjective legal comes from the Latin word lex.

Linguistics




Linguistics investigates the cognitive and social aspects of human language. The field is divided into areas that focus on aspects of the linguistic signal, such as syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

 (the study of the rules that govern the structure of sentences), semantics
Semantics
Semantics is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, such as words, phrases, signs and symbols, and what they stand for, their denotata....

 (the study of meaning), morphology
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

 (the study of the structure of words), phonetics
Phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

 (the study of speech sounds) and phonology
Phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

 (the study of the abstract sound system of a particular language); however, work in areas like evolutionary linguistics
Evolutionary linguistics
Evolutionary linguistics is the scientific study of the origins and development of language. The main challenge in this research is the lack of empirical data: spoken language leaves practically no traces. This led to an abandonment of the field for more than a century...

 (the study of the origins and evolution of language) and psycholinguistics
Psycholinguistics
Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language. Initial forays into psycholinguistics were largely philosophical ventures, due mainly to a lack of cohesive data on how the...

 (the study of psychological factors in human language) cut across these divisions.

The overwhelming majority of modern research in linguistics takes a predominantly synchronic perspective (focusing on language at a particular point in time), and a great deal of it—partly owing to the influence of Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

—aims at formulating theories of the cognitive processing of language. However, language does not exist in a vacuum, or only in the brain, and approaches like contact linguistics, creole
Creole language
A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages; creoles differ from pidgins in that they have been nativized by children as their primary language, making them have features of natural languages that are normally missing from...

 studies, discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis , or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyzing written, spoken, signed language use or any significant semiotic event....

, social interactional linguistics, and sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and the effects of language use on society...

 explore language in its social context. Sociolinguistics often makes use of traditional quantitative analysis and statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 in investigating the frequency of features, while some disciplines, like contact linguistics, focus on qualitative analysis. While certain areas of linguistics can thus be understood as clearly falling within the social sciences, other areas, like acoustic phonetics
Acoustic phonetics
Acoustic phonetics is a subfield of phonetics which deals with acoustic aspects of speech sounds. Acoustic phonetics investigates properties like the mean squared amplitude of a waveform, its duration, its fundamental frequency, or other properties of its frequency spectrum, and the relationship...

 and neurolinguistics
Neurolinguistics
Neurolinguistics is the study of the neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension, production, and acquisition of language. As an interdisciplinary field, neurolinguistics draws methodology and theory from fields such as neuroscience, linguistics, cognitive science,...

, draw on the natural sciences. Linguistics draws only secondarily on the humanities, which played a rather greater role in linguistic inquiry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Ferdinand Saussure is considered the father of modern linguistics.

Political science




Political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 is an academic
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

 and research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 and the description and analysis of political system
Political system
A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems...

s and political behaviour. Fields and subfields of political science include positive political economy, political theory and philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, civics
Civics
Civics is the study of rights and duties of citizenship. In other words, it is the study of government with attention to the role of citizens ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government....

 and comparative politics
Comparative politics
Comparative politics is a subfield of political science, characterized by an empirical approach based on the comparative method. Arend Lijphart argues that comparative politics does not have a substantive focus in itself, but rather a methodological one: it focuses on "the how but does not specify...

, theory of direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

, apolitical governance, participatory direct democracy, national systems, cross-national political analysis, political development, international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

, foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

, international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, politics, public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

, administrative behavior, public law, judicial behavior, and public policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

. Political science also studies power in international relations
Power in international relations
Power in international relations is defined in several different ways. Political scientists, historians, and practitioners of international relations have used the following concepts of political power:...

 and the theory of Great powers and Superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

s.

Political science is methodologically diverse, although recent years have witnessed an upsurge in the use of the scientific method http://www.amazon.com/dp/1403934223. That is the proliferation of formal-deductive model building and quantitative hypothesis testing. Approaches to the discipline include rational choice, classical political philosophy, interpretivism, structuralism
Structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

, and behavioralism
Behavioralism
Behavioralism is an approach in political science which seeks to provide an objective, quantified approach to explaining and predicting political behavior. It is associated with the rise of the behavioral sciences, modeled after the natural sciences...

, realism
Philosophical realism
Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief that our reality, or some aspect of it, is ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc....

, pluralism, and institutionalism
Institutionalism
Institutionalism can refer to:* Old Institutionalism: An approach to the study of politics that focuses on formal institutions of government* New institutionalism: a social theory that focuses on developing a sociological view of institutions, the way they interact and the effects of institutions...

. Political science, as one of the social sciences, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: primary sources such as historical documents, interviews, and official records, as well as secondary sources such as scholarly journal articles are used in building and testing theories. Empirical methods include survey research, statistical analysis/econometrics
Econometrics
Econometrics has been defined as "the application of mathematics and statistical methods to economic data" and described as the branch of economics "that aims to give empirical content to economic relations." More precisely, it is "the quantitative analysis of actual economic phenomena based on...

, case studies, experiment
Experiment
An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results...

s, and model building. Herbert Baxter Adams
Herbert Baxter Adams
Herbert Baxter Adams was an American educator and historian.Adams was born to Nathaniel Dickinson Adams and Harriet Adams in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. On his mother's side, he was a descendant of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in...

 is credited with coining the phrase "political science" while teaching history at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

.

Public administration


One of the main branches of political science, public administration can be broadly described as the development, implementation and study of branches of government policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

. The pursuit of the public good by enhancing civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

 and social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

 is the ultimate goal of the field. Though public administration has historically referred to as government management, it increasingly encompasses non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (NGOs) that also operate with a similar, primary dedication to the betterment of humanity.

Differentiating public administration from business administration, a closely related field, has become a popular method for defining the discipline by contrasting the two. First, the goals of public administration are more closely related to those often cited as goals of the American founders and democratic people in general. That is, public employees work to improve equality, justice, security, efficiency, effectiveness, and, at times, for profit. These values help to both differentiate the field from business administration, primarily concerned with profit, and define the discipline. Second, public administration is a relatively new, multidisciplinary field. Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

's The Study of Administration is frequently cited as the seminal work. Wilson advocated a more professional operation of public officials' daily activities. Further, the future president identified the necessity in the United States of a separation between party politics and good bureaucracy
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

, which has also been a lasting theme.

The multidisciplinary nature of public administration is related to a third defining feature: administrative duties. Public administrators work in public agencies, at all levels of government, and perform a wide range of tasks. Public administrators collect and analyze data (statistics), monitor fiscal operations (budgets, accounts, and cash flow), organize large events and meetings, draft legislation, develop policy, and frequently execute legally mandated, government activities. Regarding this final facet, public administrators find themselves serving as parole officers, secretaries, note takers, paperwork processors, record keepers, notaries of the public, cashiers, and managers. Indeed, the discipline couples well with many vocational fields such as information technology, finance, law, and engineering. When it comes to the delivery and evaluation of public services, a public administrator is undoubtedly involved.

Psychology




Psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 is an academic and applied
Applied science
Applied science is the application of scientific knowledge transferred into a physical environment. Examples include testing a theoretical model through the use of formal science or solving a practical problem through the use of natural science....

 field involving the study of behavior and mental processes. Psychology also refers to the application of such knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individuals' daily lives
Everyday Life
Everyday Life is the first solo album made by Life MC of the British Hip Hop group Phi Life Cypher....

 and the treatment of mental illness
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

.

Psychology differs from anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

, and sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 in seeking to capture explanatory generalizations about the mental function
Mental function
Mental processes, mental functions and cognitive processes are terms often used interchangeably to mean such functions or processes as perception, introspection, memory, creativity, imagination, conception, belief, reasoning, volition, and emotion—in...

 and overt behaviour of individuals, while the other disciplines focus on creating descriptive generalizations about the functioning of social groups or situation-specific human behavior. In practice, however, there is quite a lot of cross-fertilization that takes place among the various fields. Psychology differs from biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 and neuroscience
Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics,...

 in that it is primarily concerned with the interaction of mental processes and behavior, and of the overall processes of a system, and not simply the biological or neural processes themselves, though the subfield of neuropsychology
Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain related to specific psychological processes and behaviors. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. It has also been applied to efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells in...

 combines the study of the actual neural processes with the study of the mental effects they have subjectively produced.
Many people associate Psychology with Clinical Psychology which focuses on assessment and treatment of problems in living and psychopathology. In reality, Psychology has myriad specialties including: Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Mathematical psychology
Mathematical psychology
Mathematical psychology is an approach to psychological research that is based on mathematical modeling of perceptual, cognitive and motor processes, and on the establishment of law-like rules that relate quantifiable stimulus characteristics with quantifiable behavior...

, Neuropsychology, and Quantitative Analysis of Behaviour to name only a few. The word psychology comes from the ancient Greek ψυχή, psyche
Psyche (psychology)
The word psyche has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older...

("soul", "mind") and logy
-logy
-logy is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek language ending in -λογία...

, study).

Psychology is a very broad science that is rarely tackled as a whole, major block. Although some subfields encompass a natural science base and a social science application, others can be clearly distinguished as having little to do with the social sciences or having a lot to do with the social sciences. For example, biological psychology is considered a natural science with a social scientific application (as is clinical medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

), social and occupational psychology are, generally speaking, purely social sciences, whereas neuropsychology is a natural science that lacks application out of the scientific tradition entirely. In British universities, emphasis on what tenet of psychology a student has studied and/or concentrated is communicated through the degree conferred: B.Psy. indicates a balance between natural and social sciences, B.Sc. indicates a strong (or entire) scientific concentration, whereas a B.A. underlines a majority of social science credits. This is not always necessarily the case however, and in many UK institutions students studying the B.Psy, B.Sc, and B.A. follow the same curriculum as outlined by The British Psychological Society and have the same options of specialism open to them regardless of whether they choose a balance, a heavy science basis, or heavy social science basis to their degree. If they applied to read the B.A. for example, but specialised in heavily science based modules, then they will still generally be awarded the B.A.

Sociology




Sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 is the systematic study of society and human social action. The meaning of the word comes from the suffix "-ology" which means "study of," derived from Greek, and the stem "soci-" which is from the Latin word socius, meaning "companion", or society in general.

Sociology was originally established by Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte
Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte , better known as Auguste Comte , was a French philosopher, a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism...

 (1798–1857) in 1838. Comte endeavoured to unify history, psychology and economics through the descriptive understanding of the social realm. He proposed that social ills could be remedied through sociological positivism
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

, an epistemological approach outlined in The Course in Positive Philosophy [1830–1842] and A General View of Positivism
A General View of Positivism
A General View of Positivism was an 1848 book by the French philosopher Auguste Comte, first published in English in 1865...

(1844). Though Comte is generally regarded as the "Father of Sociology", the discipline was formally established by another French thinker, Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

 (1858–1917), who developed positivism as a foundation to practical social research
Social research
Social research refers to research conducted by social scientists. Social research methods may be divided into two broad categories:* Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases to create valid and reliable...

. Durkheim set up the first European department of sociology at the University of Bordeaux
University of Bordeaux
University of Bordeaux is an association of higher education institutions in and around Bordeaux, France. Its current incarnation was established 21 March 2007. The group is the largest system of higher education schools in southwestern France. It is part of the Academy of Bordeaux.There are seven...

 in 1895, publishing his Rules of the Sociological Method
Rules of the Sociological Method
The Rules of Sociological Method is a book by Émile Durkheim, first published in 1895. It is recognized as being the direct result of Durkheim's own project of establishing sociology as a positivist social science. Durkheim is seen as one of the fathers of sociology, and this work, his manifesto...

. In 1896, he established the journal L'Année Sociologique. Durkheim's seminal monograph, Suicide
Suicide (book)
Suicide was one of the groundbreaking books in the field of sociology. Written by French sociologist Émile Durkheim and published in 1897 it was a case study of suicide, a publication unique for its time which provided an example of what the sociological...

(1897), a case study of suicide rates amongst Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 and Protestant populations, distinguished sociological analysis from psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 or philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

.

Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 rejected Comtean positivism but nevertheless aimed to establish a science of society based on historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

, becoming recognised as a founding figure of sociology posthumously as the term gained broader meaning. At the turn of the 20th century, the first wave of German sociologists, including Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 and Georg Simmel
Georg Simmel
Georg Simmel was a major German sociologist, philosopher, and critic.Simmel was one of the first generation of German sociologists: his neo-Kantian approach laid the foundations for sociological antipositivism, asking 'What is society?' in a direct allusion to Kant's question 'What is nature?',...

, developed sociological antipositivism
Antipositivism
Antipositivism is the view in social science that the social realm may not be subject to the same methods of investigation as the natural world; that academics must reject empiricism and the scientific method in the conduct of research...

. The field may be broadly recognised as an amalgam of three modes of social thought in particular: Durkheimian positivism
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

 and structural functionalism
Structural functionalism
Structural functionalism is a broad perspective in sociology and anthropology which sets out to interpret society as a structure with interrelated parts. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions and institutions...

; Marxist historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

 and conflict theory
Conflict theory
Conflict theories are perspectives in social science that emphasize the social, political or material inequality of a social group, that critique the broad socio-political system, or that otherwise detract from structural functionalism and ideological conservativism...

; Weberian antipositivism
Antipositivism
Antipositivism is the view in social science that the social realm may not be subject to the same methods of investigation as the natural world; that academics must reject empiricism and the scientific method in the conduct of research...

 and verstehen
Verstehen
Verstehen is an ordinary German word with exactly the same meaning as the English word "understand". However, since the late 19th century in the context of German philosophy and social sciences, it has also been used in the special sense of "interpretive or participatory examination" of social...

 analysis. American sociology broadly arose on a separate trajectory, with little Marxist influence, an emphasis on rigorous experimental methodology, and a closer association with pragmatism
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

 and social psychology
Social psychology
Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. By this definition, scientific refers to the empirical method of investigation. The terms thoughts, feelings, and behaviors include all...

. In the 1920s, the Chicago school
Chicago school
Chicago school may refer to:* Chicago school * Chicago school * Chicago school * Chicago school * Chicago school * Chicago School of Professional Psychology...

 developed symbolic interactionism
Symbolic interactionism
Symbolic Interaction, also known as interactionism, is a sociological theory that places emphasis on micro-scale social interaction to provide subjective meaning in human behavior, the social process and pragmatism.-History:...

. Meanwhile in the 1930s, the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

 pioneered the idea of critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

, an interdisciplinary form of Marxist sociology
Marxist sociology
Marxist sociology refers to the conduct of sociology from a Marxist perspective. Marxism itself can be recognized as both a political philosophy and a sociology, particularly to the extent it attempts to remain scientific, systematic and objective rather than purely normative and prescriptive....

 drawing upon thinkers as diverse as Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 and Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

. Critical theory would take on something of a life of its own after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, influencing literary criticism
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

 and the Birmingham School establishment of cultural studies
Cultural studies
Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural...

.

Sociology evolved as an academic response to the challenges of modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

, such as industrialization, urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

, secularization
Secularization
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values and secular institutions...

, and a perceived process of enveloping rationalization
Rationalization (sociology)
Rationalization is a term used in sociology to refer to a process in which an increasing number of social actions become based on considerations of teleological efficiency or calculation rather than on motivations derived from morality, emotion, custom, or tradition...

. Because sociology is such a broad discipline, it can be difficult to define, even for professional sociologists. The field generally concerns the social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

s, but as members of associations
Voluntary association
A voluntary association or union is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body to accomplish a purpose.Strictly speaking, in many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association...

, groups
Group (sociology)
In the social sciences a social group can be defined as two or more humans who interact with one another, share similar characteristics and collectively have a sense of unity...

, communities
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 and institutions, and includes the examination of the organization and development of human social life. The sociological field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts
Social contact
Social contact can refer to:*in the sociological hierarchy leading up to social relations, an incidental social interaction between individuals....

 between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

. In the terms of sociologists
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 Peter L. Berger
Peter L. Berger
Peter Ludwig Berger is an Austrian-born American sociologist well known for his work, co-authored with Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge .-Biography:...

 and Thomas Luckmann
Thomas Luckmann
Thomas Luckmann is a German sociologist of Slovene origin. His main areas of research are the sociology of communication, Sociology of knowledge, sociology of religion, and the philosophy of science.- Biography :...

, social scientists seek an understanding of the Social Construction of Reality. Most sociologists work in one or more subfields. One useful way to describe the discipline is as a cluster of sub-fields that examine different dimensions of society. For example, social stratification
Social stratification
In sociology the social stratification is a concept of class, involving the "classification of persons into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions ... a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions."...

 studies inequality and class structure; demography
Demography
Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

 studies changes in a population size or type; criminology
Criminology
Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society...

 examines criminal behavior and deviance; and political sociology
Political sociology
Contemporary political sociology involves much more than the study of the relations between state and society . Where a typical research question in political sociology might have been: "Why do so few American citizens choose to vote?" or even, "What difference does it make if women get elected?" ...

 studies the interaction between society and state.

Since its inception, sociological epistemologies, methods, and frames of enquiry, have significantly expanded and diverged. Sociologists use a diversity of research methods, drawing upon either empirical techniques or critical theory
Critical theory
Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

. Common modern methods include case studies, historical research
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

, interviewing, participant observation
Participant observation
Participant observation is a type of research strategy. It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly, cultural anthropology, but also sociology, communication studies, and social psychology...

, social network analysis, survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

 research, statistical analysis, and model building, among other approaches. Since the late 1970s, many sociologists have tried to make the discipline useful for non-academic purposes. The results of sociological research aid educators, lawmakers, administrators, developers, and others interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

, through subdisciplinary areas such as evaluation research, methodological assessment, and public sociology
Public sociology
Public sociology is an approach to the discipline which seeks to transcend the academy and engage wider audiences. Rather than being defined by a particular method, theory, or set of political values, public sociology may be seen as a style of sociology, a way of writing and a form of intellectual...

.
New sociological sub-fields continue to appear - such as community studies
Community studies
Community studies is an academic field drawing on both sociology and anthropology and the social research methods of ethnography and participant observation in the study of community. In academic settings around the world, community studies is variously a sub-discipline of anthropology or...

, computational sociology
Computational sociology
Computational sociology is a branch of sociology that uses computationally intensive methods to analyze and model social phenomena. Using computer simulations, artificial intelligence, complex statistical methods, and new analytic approaches like social network analysis, computational sociology...

, environmental sociology
Environmental sociology
Environmental sociology is typically defined as the sociological study of societal-environmental interactions, although this definition immediately presents the perhaps insolvable problem of separating human cultures from the rest of the environment...

, network analysis
Network analysis
Network analysis can refer to:* Analysis of general networks: see Network theory.* Electrical network analysis see Network analysis .* Social network analysis.You may also be interested in Network planning and design...

, actor-network theory
Actor-network theory
Actor–network theory, often abbreviated as ANT, is a distinctive approach to social theory and research which originated in the field of science studies...

 and a growing list, many of which are cross-disciplinary in nature.

Further fields


Additional Social Science disciplines and fields of study include:

  • Archaeology
    Archaeology
    Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

     is the science that studies human cultures through the recovery, documentation, analysis, and interpretation of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, features, biofacts, and landscapes.
  • Area studies
    Area studies
    Area studies are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geographical, national/federal, or cultural regions. The term exists primarily as a general description for what are, in the practice of scholarship, many heterogeneous fields of research, encompassing...

     are interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geographical, national/federal, or cultural regions.
  • Behavioral science is a term that encompasses all the disciplines that explore the activities of and interactions among organisms in the natural world.
  • Communication studies
    Communication studies
    Communication Studies is an academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Hence, communication studies encompasses a wide range of topics and contexts ranging from face-to-face conversation to speeches to mass...

     is an academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time.
  • Demography
    Demography
    Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

     is the statistical study of all populations.
  • Development studies
    Development studies
    Development studies is a multidisciplinary branch of social science which addresses issues of concern to developing countries. It has historically placed a particular focus on issues related to social and economic development, and its relevance may therefore extend to communities and regions...

     a multidisciplinary branch of social science which addresses issues of concern to developing countries.
  • Environmental studies
    Environmental studies
    Environmental studies is the academic field which systematically studies human interaction with the environment. It is a broad interdisciplinary field of study that includes the natural environment, built environment, and the sets of relationships between them...

     integrate social, humanistic, and natural science perspectives on the relation between humans and the natural environment.
  • Information science
    Information science
    -Introduction:Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information...

     is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.

  • International studies
    International studies
    International Studies generally refers to the specific University Degrees and courses which are concerned with the study of ‘the major political, economic, social, cultural and sacral issues that dominate the international agenda’...

     covers both International relations
    International relations
    International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

     (the study of foreign affairs and global issues among states within the international system) and International education
    International education
    International education can mean many different things and its definition is debated. Some have defined two general meanings according to its involvement of students...

     (the comprehensive approach that intentionally prepares people to be active and engaged participants in an interconnected world).
  • Journalism
    Journalism
    Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

     is the craft of conveying news, descriptive material and comment via a widening spectrum of media.
  • Legal management
    Legal management
    The Legal Management is a social sciences discipline that is designed for students interested in the study of State and its elements, Law, Law Practice, Legal Research and Jurisprudence, legal Philosophy, Criminal Justice, Governance, Government structure, Political history and theories, Business...

     is a social sciences discipline that is designed for students interested in the study of State and Legal elements.
  • Library science
    Library science
    Library science is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources; and the...

     is an interdisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation and dissemination of information resources; and the political economy of information.
  • Management
    Management
    Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...

     in all business and human organization activity is simply the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives.
  • Political economy
    Political economy
    Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

     is the study of production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government.


Social research



The origin of the survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

 can be traced back at least early as the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 in 1086, whilst some scholars pinpoint the origin of demography
Demography
Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

 to 1663 with the publication of John Graunt
John Graunt
John Graunt was one of the first demographers, though by profession he was a haberdasher. Born in London, the eldest of seven or eight children of Henry and Mary Graunt. His father was a draper who had moved to London from Hampshire...

's Natural and Political Observations upon the Bills of Mortality. Social research began most intentionally, however, with the positivist philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

 in the 19th century.

In contemporary usage, "social research" is a relatively autonomous term, encompassing the work of practitioners from various disciplines which share in its aims and methods. Social scientists employ a range of methods in order to analyse a vast breadth of social phenomena; from census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 survey data derived from millions of individuals, to the in-depth analysis of a single agent's social experiences; from monitoring what is happening on contemporary streets, to the investigation of ancient historical documents. The methods originally rooted in classical sociology and statistical mathematics have formed the basis for research in other disciplines, such as political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

, media studies
Media studies
Media studies is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass media'. Media studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass...

, and market research
Market research
Market research is any organized effort to gather information about markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy...

.

Social research methods may be divided into two broad schools:
  • Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases (or across intentionally designed treatments in an experiment) to create valid and reliable general claims.

  • Qualitative designs
    Qualitative research
    Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such...

     emphasize understanding of social phenomena through direct observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts, and may stress contextual and subjective accuracy over generality


Social scientists will commonly combine quantitative and qualitative approaches as part of a multi-strategy design. Questionnaires, field-based data collection, archival database information and laboratory-based data collections are some of the measurement techniques used. It is noted the importance of measurement and analysis, focusing on the (difficult to achieve) goal of objective research or statistical hypothesis testing
Statistical hypothesis testing
A statistical hypothesis test is a method of making decisions using data, whether from a controlled experiment or an observational study . In statistics, a result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance alone, according to a pre-determined threshold...

. A mathematical model
Mathematical model
A mathematical model is a description of a system using mathematical concepts and language. The process of developing a mathematical model is termed mathematical modeling. Mathematical models are used not only in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines A mathematical model is a...

 uses mathematical
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 language to describe a system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

. The process of developing a mathematical model is termed 'mathematical modelling' (also modeling). Eykhoff (1974) defined a mathematical model as 'a representation of the essential aspects of an existing system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

 (or a system to be constructed) which presents knowledge of that system in usable form'. Mathematical models can take many forms, including but not limited to dynamical systems, statistical model
Statistical model
A statistical model is a formalization of relationships between variables in the form of mathematical equations. A statistical model describes how one or more random variables are related to one or more random variables. The model is statistical as the variables are not deterministically but...

s, differential equations, or game theoretic models
Game theory
Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

.

These and other types of models can overlap, with a given model involving a variety of abstract structures. The system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

 is a set of interacting or interdependent entities, real or abstract, forming an integrated whole. The concept of an integrated whole can also be stated in terms of a system embodying a set of relationships which are differentiated from relationships of the set to other elements, and from relationships between an element of the set and elements not a part of the relational regime. Dynamical system
Dynamical system
A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics where a fixed rule describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the swinging of a clock pendulum, the flow of water in a pipe, and the number of fish each springtime in a...

 modeled as a mathematical
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 formalization
Formalization
Formalization may refer to* formal system in formal logic* a process enhancing bureaucracy in sociology...

 has fixed "rule" which describes the time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 dependence of a point's position in its ambient space
Ambient space
An ambient space, ambient configuration space, or electroambient space, is the space surrounding an object.-Mathematics:In mathematics, especially in geometry and topology, an ambient space is the space surrounding a mathematical object...

. Small changes in the state of the system correspond to small changes in the numbers. The evolution rule of the dynamical system is a fixed rule
Function (mathematics)
In mathematics, a function associates one quantity, the argument of the function, also known as the input, with another quantity, the value of the function, also known as the output. A function assigns exactly one output to each input. The argument and the value may be real numbers, but they can...

 that describes what future states follow from the current state. The rule is deterministic
Deterministic system (mathematics)
In mathematics, a deterministic system is a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state.-Examples:...

: for a given time interval only one future state follows from the current state.

Theory



Other social scientists emphasize the subjective nature of research. These writers share social theory perspectives that include various types of the following:
  • Critical theory
    Critical theory
    Critical theory is an examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism...

     is the examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across social sciences and humanities disciplines.
  • Dialectical materialism
    Dialectical materialism
    Dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxism synthesizing Hegel's dialectics. The idea was originally invented by Moses Hess and it was later developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

     is the philosophy of Karl Marx, which he formulated by taking the dialectic of Hegel and joining it to the Materialism of Feuerbach.
  • Feminist theory
    Feminist theory
    Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical discourse, it aims to understand the nature of gender inequality...

     is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical discourse, it aims to understand the nature of gender inequality.
  • Marxist theories
    Marxist philosophy
    Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are terms that cover work in philosophy that is strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory or that is written by Marxists...

    , such as revolutionary theory
    Proletarian revolution
    A proletarian revolution is a social and/or political revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists....

     and class theory
    Class conflict
    Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

    , cover work in philosophy which is strongly influenced by Karl Marx's materialist approach to theory or which is written by Marxists.
  • Phronetic social science
    Phronetic social science
    Phronetic social science is an approach to the study of social – including political and economic – phenomena based on a contemporary interpretation of the Aristotelian concept phronesis, variously translated as practical judgment, common sense, or prudence. Phronesis is the intellectual virtue...

     is an approach to the study of social – including political and economic – phenomena based on a contemporary interpretation of the classical Greek concept phronesis, variously translated as practical judgment, common sense, or prudence.
  • Post-colonial theory are reactions to the cultural legacy of colonialism.
  • Postmodernism
    Postmodernism
    Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

     refer to a point of departure for works of literature, drama, architecture, cinema, and design, as well as in marketing and business and in the interpretation of history, law, culture and religion in the late 20th century.
  • Rational choice theory
    Rational choice theory
    Rational choice theory, also known as choice theory or rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior. It is the main theoretical paradigm in the currently-dominant school of microeconomics...

     is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior.
  • Social constructionism
    Social constructionism
    Social constructionism and social constructivism are sociological theories of knowledge that consider how social phenomena or objects of consciousness develop in social contexts. A social construction is a concept or practice that is the construct of a particular group...

     is knowledge that consider how social phenomena develop in social contexts.
  • Structuralism
    Structuralism
    Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

     is an approach to the human sciences that attempts to analyze a specific field (for instance, mythology) as a complex system of interrelated parts.
  • Structural functionalism
    Structural functionalism
    Structural functionalism is a broad perspective in sociology and anthropology which sets out to interpret society as a structure with interrelated parts. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions and institutions...

     is a sociological paradigm which addresses what social functions various elements of the social system perform in regard to the entire system.

Other fringe social scientists delve in alternative nature of research. These writers share social theory perspectives that include various types of the following:
  • Intellectual critical-ism
    Anti-intellectualism
    Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible...

     describes a sentiment of critique towards, or evaluation of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits.
  • Scientific criticalism
    Antiscience
    Antiscience is a position that rejects science and the scientific method. People holding antiscientific views are generally skeptical that science is an objective method, as it purports to be, or that it generates universal knowledge. They also contend that scientific reductionism in particular is...

     is a position critical of science and the scientific method.
  • Rational criticalism is a cultural reaction against positivism in the early 20th century.


Education and degrees


Most universities offer degrees in social science fields. The Bachelor of Social Science
Bachelor of Social Science
The academic undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Social Science requires three to four years of study at an institution of higher education, primarily found in the Commonwealth of Nations....

 is a degree targeted at the social sciences in particular. It is often more flexible and in-depth than other degrees which include social science subjects.

In the United States, a university may offer a student who studies a social sciences field a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree, particularly if the field is within one of the traditional liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 such as history, or a BSc: Bachelor of Science degree such as those given by the London School of Economics, as the social sciences constitute one of the two main branches of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 (the other being the natural sciences). In addition, some institutions have degrees for a particular social science, such as the Bachelor of Economics degree, though such specialized degrees are relatively rare in the United States.

See also


General:Society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

Culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

Structure and agency
Structure and agency
The question over the primacy of either structure or agency in human behavior is a central debate in the social sciences. In this context, "agency" refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. "Structure", by contrast, refers to the recurrent...

Humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 (human science
Human Science
Human science refers to the investigation of human life and activities via a phenomenological methodology that acknowledges the validity of both sensory and psychological experience...

)
Methods: Historical method
Historical method
Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised in the...

Empiricism
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

Representation theory
Representation theory
Representation theory is a branch of mathematics that studies abstract algebraic structures by representing their elements as linear transformations of vector spaces, and studiesmodules over these abstract algebraic structures...

Scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

Statistical hypothesis testing
Statistical hypothesis testing
A statistical hypothesis test is a method of making decisions using data, whether from a controlled experiment or an observational study . In statistics, a result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance alone, according to a pre-determined threshold...

Regression
Regression
Regression could refer to:* Regression , a defensive reaction to some unaccepted impulses* Regression analysis, a statistical technique for estimating the relationships among variables...

Correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....


Areas: Political sciencesNatural sciencesBehavioral sciencesGeographic information science
Geographic Information Science
Geographic information science is the academic theory behind the development, use, and application of geographic information systems...


History : History of science
History of science
The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

History of technology
History of technology
The history of technology is the history of the invention of tools and techniques, and is similar in many ways to the history of humanity. Background knowledge has enabled people to create new things, and conversely, many scientific endeavors have become possible through technologies which assist...


Lists: Fields of scienceAcademic disciplines
People: Emile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

Sir John LubbockAlfred Schutz
Alfred Schütz
Alfred Schütz was an Austrian social scientist, whose work bridged sociological and phenomenological traditions to form a social phenomenology, and who is gradually achieving recognition as one of the foremost philosophers of social science of the [twentieth] century.-Life:Schütz was born in...


Other: Behavior
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

Ethology
Ethology
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology....

 and Ethnology
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

Game theory
Game theory
Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

Gulbenkian commission
Gulbenkian commission
The Gulbenkian Commission sought to address inadequacies in the organization of the social science disciplines that developed in the nineteenth century by indicating a direction for social scientific inquiry for the next 50 years. It was founded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation...

Labelling
Labelling
Labelling or labeling is describing someone or something in a word or short phrase. For example, describing someone who has broken a law as a criminal. Labelling theory is a theory in sociology which ascribes labelling of people to control and identification of deviant behavior.It has been argued...

"Periodic table of human sciences" (Tinbergen's four questions
Tinbergen's four questions
Tinbergen's four questions, named after Nikolaas Tinbergen, are complementary categories of explanations for behavior. It suggests that an integrative understanding of behavior must include both a proximate and ultimate analysis of behavior, as well as an understanding of both...

)Social actionPhilosophy of social sciences
Fields:

Further reading


Wikibooks

General sources



Academic resources

  • The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, ISSN: 1552-3349 (electronic) ISSN: 0002-7162 (paper), SAGE Publications
  • Efferson, C. & Richerson, P.J. (In press). A prolegomenon to nonlinear empiricism in the human behavioral sciences. Philosophy and Biology. Full text

Opponents and critics

  • Phil Hutchinson, Rupert Read
    Rupert Read
    Rupert Read is an academic and a Green Party politician in England. He is currently a city councillor in Norwich, and a Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia.Read comments regularly through the Eastern Daily Press 'One World Column'...

    and Wes Sharrock (2008). There's No Such Thing as a Social Science. ISBN 978-0-7546-4776-8
  • Sabia, D. R., & Wallulis, J. (1983). Changing social science: Critical theory and other critical perspectives. Albany: State University of New York Press.


External links