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Social science Disciplines

Updated on April 8, 2012

In order to acquire some understanding of the kind of science sociology is, it will be helpful to locate it in the scientific universe and to exhibit its relations with the other academic disciplines. Sociology is one of several related fields known as the social sciences. The social science disciplines share the same subject matter, human behavior. They are called social science because the human is not a solitary beast. Our daily lives interlock with the lives of others. what we do, even much of what we hope, is influenced by those around us. To study ourselves we must study our social relations.

Despite their common subject matter, there are a number of different social sciences. Psychology, economics, anthropology, political science, history and jurisprudence (the science of law) are all group as social science disciplines. Divisions among these fields are often hazy, Indeed, sometimes it is impossible to tell which field is social scientist work belongs. It is in this light that it is often said that the learned community is not a light ship, all neatly divided into separate watertight compartments of knowledge. As knowledge advances and trends of research change, currently adequate definitions of the several social science will be rendered inaccurate, as great areas of similarities emerge among them. Nevertheless, the branch of study concerned with man and his work and society do have several numerous distinguishing features which at the present time fairly and clearly mark off one discipline from another.

The social sciences are better understood, when they are situated against the natural sciences. However, one must exercise considerable caution in interpreting this statement, for the phenomena that social scientist study, that is social phenomena, are just as natural as are those studied by physical scientists, like physicists. There is nothing artificial or supernatural about social phenomena or human behavior; if there were, then they would not be subjects to study bt the ordinary methods of science. social phenomena are as natural as the phenomena of magnetism, gravitation, temperature and electricity. For reasons of convenience however, the science are divided into two large area those that deal with the physical universe, including astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, biology e.t.c. And those that deal with the social universe-the social science. That this division is mere administrative than logical can be seen in the fact that some sciences do not clearly fit into one or the other of these categories but rather cut across them, for example consider both physical and social facts. There are for example both physiological and social psychology; both physical and cultural geography and both physical and anthropology. But there is no physical sociology. in this sense sociology is clearly a social science.

Sociology studies human society. It seeks to explains contemporary or past human behaviour as we experience it directly or encounter it embodied in artifacts, monument, laws and books. in this sense history, economics, political science, anthropology and other disciplines also study human society and behavior. It is therefore necessary to distinguish sociology from these other social behavioral sciences by pointing out similarities between them as well as their differences. The distinction here entails not only differences in content or area of investigation but also differences in the degree of emphasis given certain aspects of the same content, or more especially, the different ways in which the same content is approached and investigated. it need to be noted that some of these relationships are not settled, constant matters. The dynamism of society and the social sciences makes the similarities and differences a kind of a continuous shifting balances.


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    • Ericajean profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this hub. I have a social science degree and the courses I learned the most from was psychology, sociology and group dynamics. The major is not STEM but social skills is a plus and it has helped me get good jobs.


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