What Are the Main Areas of Study of the Social Sciences?
Social sciences are one of the major branches of science concerned with the social aspects of daily life. It includes psychology, anthropology, sociology and related fields. The word itself was originally used to describe the field of anthropology, the name of which dates back to the early 19th century. Sociology is now a major element of academic research all over the world. In the United States alone, sociologists account for about five percent of all university graduates each year.
The most important areas of study in the social sciences are anthropology, economics, sociology and cognitive science. All these areas of study share the common theme that human beings are sociable beings and interact socially in order to meet their needs and fulfill their wants. This is in contrast to the reductionist view of the human being as just a biological species whose function is to reproduce. This reductionist view of human beings has been widely accepted as the core academic view in the United States since the time of the social sciences’ movement in the late nineteenth century. With the rise of the industrial revolution, the working class became the core of the modern economy, and its economic hardships led to the rise of social science as an academic discipline.
Today, economics is one of the most important branches of social sciences, accounting, statistics and micro-economics. Many of the economic theories of the economists are social science insights based on the observation of human beings and their interaction with each other and with the environment. In addition, there is the economic approach to psychology. This school of thought traces its roots back to the works of such economists as Leo Tolstoy and Peter Sedgwick.
Psychology is one of the most important areas of social science. It incorporates psychology, sociology and other cognitive sciences and combines them into a more complex explanatory framework. The social sciences theory behind psychology is that behaviour is shaped by individual and social meaning systems. In this way behaviour is not a random occurrence but is influenced by multiple factors. The human behaviour classically includes such elements as: individual genetics, culture, language, education, and power and attitude and expectations.
Sociology is one of the largest branches of the social sciences. It is concerned with the observation and interpretation of social behaviours and attitudes. As it has a wider focus than psychology, it is also often referred to as the science of social sciences. Sociology also draws from many other disciplines such as anthropology, art, law and medicine. It studies the interactions of people at a basic level, the life span of individuals and how social factors shape human behaviour.
An emerging field in the social sciences is political science. This discipline studies the influence of human beings on the environment. It also looks into the role of the state in promoting or limiting societal choices. One prominent strand of this is the study of politics, policymaking and governance. The major branches of the social sciences that use political science include: political science, psychology and anthropology, economics, and sociology.
Natural science is an academic field that studies the phenomena of nature. It is also known as the naturalistic sciences. The major branches of the natural sciences that use naturalistic sciences include: zoology, botany, geology, ecology, forestry, environmental science, biology, chemistry, physics, and satellite engineering. Other important areas in the natural sciences are marine science, forestry, astronomy, archeology and art history.
Applied research in the social sciences deals with research about the social aspects of people and how they interact with each other. This may be done at the macro scale like studying human relations at a local level or the micro level like studying the brain activity of animals as they perform certain behavioural functions. These can include communication, violence, conflict, gossiping and persuasion. There are many academic disciplines that use applied research in the social sciences to study how people interact and form relationships.