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What are Social Sciences?

The social sciences are the set of disciplines that are responsible for studying, systematically, social and cultural processes that result from the activity of the human being and its relationship with society.

The objectives of the social sciences are, fundamentally, to interpret, understand and explain the social phenomena and the manifestations of the human being as a social subject.

The concept of 'social sciences', on the other hand, is broad and, depending on the criteria to which it is submitted, it is possible to determine which discipline can be considered as social.

Some of the sciences that are usually considered social are History, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Politology and Economics.

Branches of social sciences

The branches of the social sciences are the different groups into which the disciplines of the social sciences can be classified. In this sense, there are different forms of classification. For example, depending on the object of study, two branches can be identified within the social sciences: the general social sciences and the particular social sciences.

The general social sciences are focused on the activities of social groups, such as History and Ethnography. While within the particular social sciences, one can distinguish those disciplines that study social groups and their internal structure, such as Economics and Sociology, as well as those that focus on their external structure, such as Geography and Demography.

Another form of classification distinguishes between descriptive social sciences, such as Anthropology and Sociology, and analytical social sciences, such as economics and law.

Social sciences and humanities

There are different epistemological positions that classify a science or a discipline within the category of the social sciences or the humanities . Due to the relationship between the two concepts, on many occasions they appear united, for example, to name a faculty or an academic unit.

In general, the humanities are considered to be the set of disciplines that study the human being, such as Pedagogy or Philosophy. Some studies consider the social sciences a broader concept, which would include humanistic disciplines.

Social sciences and natural sciences

In some curricula of the first levels of education, the social sciences appear together with the so-called natural sciences, under the generic name of "Knowledge of the natural, social and cultural environment". However, the natural sciences focus on the study of nature through experimental scientific methods and the use of formal sciences. Some of them are Chemistry, Biology and Physics.

What are Social Sciences?
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