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Social science disciplines

Social science covers a broad range of disciplines.

Demography and social statistics, methods and computing

·0 Demography is the study of populations and population changes and trends, using
resources such as statistics of births, deaths and disease.

·1 Social statistics, methods and computing involves the collection and analysis of
quantitative and qualitative social science data.

Development studies, human geography and environmental planning

·2 Development studies is a multidisciplinary branch of the social sciences which addresses


a range of social and economic issues related to developing or low-income countries.

·3 Human geography studies the world, its people, communities and cultures, and differs
from physical geography mainly in that it focuses on human activities and their impact -
for instance on environmental change.

·4 Environmental planning explores the decision-making processes for managing


relationships within and between human systems and natural systems, in order to
manage these processes in an effective, transparent and equitable manner.

Economics, management and business studies

·5 Economics seeks to understand how individuals interact within the social structure, to
address key questions about the production and exchange of goods and services.

·6 Management and business studies explores a wide range of aspects relating to the
activities and management of business, such as strategic and operational management,
organisational psychology, employment relations, marketing, accounting, finance and
logistics.

Education, social anthropology, and linguistics

·7 Education is one of the most important social sciences, exploring how people learn and
develop.

·8 Social anthropology is the study of how human societies and social structures are
organised and understood.

·9 Linguistics focuses on language and how people communicate through spoken sounds
and words.
Law, economic and social history

·10 Law focuses on the rules created by governments and people to ensure a more orderly
society.

·11 Economic and social history looks at past events to learn from history and better
understand the processes of contemporary society.

Politics and international relations

·12 Politics focuses on democracy and the relationship between people and policy, at all
levels up from the individual to a national and international level.

·13 International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the
roles of other organisations.

Psychology and sociology

·14 Psychology studies the human mind and try to understand how people and groups
experience the world through various emotions, ideas, and conscious states.

·15 Sociology involves groups of people, rather than individuals, and attempts to understand
the way people relate to each other and function as a society or social sub-groups.

Science and technology studies

·16 Science and technology studies is concerned with what scientists do, what their role is
in our society, the history and culture of science, and the policies and debates that shape
our modern scientific and technological world.

Social policy and social work

·17 Social policy is an interdisciplinary and applied subject concerned with the analysis of
societies' responses to social need, focusing on aspects of society, economy and policy
that are necessary to human existence, and how these can be provided.

·18 Social work focuses on social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the
empowerment and liberation of people to enhance social justice.

History of the social sciences

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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. Since the mid-20th century, the term "social science" has
come to refer more generally, not just to sociology, but to all those disciplines which analyse
society and culture; from anthropology to linguistics to media studies.

The idea that society may be studied in a standardized and objective manner, with scholarly
rules and methodology, is comparatively recent. While there is evidence of early sociology in
medieval Islam, and while philosophers such as Confucius had long since theorised on topics
such as social roles, the scientific analysis of "Man" is peculiar to the intellectual break away
from the Age of Enlightenment and toward the discourses of Modernity. Social sciences came
forth from the moral philosophy of the time and was influenced by the Age of Revolutions, such
as the Industrial revolution and the French revolution.[1] The beginnings of the social sciences in
the 18th century are reflected in the grand encyclopedia of Diderot, with articles
from Rousseau and other pioneers.

Around the start 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.
[2]
Examples of boundary blurring include emerging disciplines like social studies of
medicine, sociobiology, neuropsychology, bioeconomics and the history and sociology of
science. Increasingly, quantitative 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, there continues to be little movement toward consensus on what
methodology might have the power and refinement to connect a proposed "grand theory" with
the various midrange theories that, with considerable success, continue to provide usable
frameworks for massive, growing data banks. See consilience.