Outline of social science

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to social science:

Social science – branch of science concerned with society and human behaviors.

What type of thing is social science?[edit]

Social science can be described as all of the following:

  • Branch of science – systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[1][2][3]
  • Major category of academic disciplines – an academic discipline is focused study in one academic field or profession. A discipline incorporates expertise, people, projects, communities, challenges, studies, inquiry, and research areas that are strongly associated with academic areas of study or areas of professional practice. For example, the branches of science are commonly referred to as the scientific disciplines. For instance, Gravitation is strongly associated with the discipline of physics, and is considered to be part of that disciplinary knowledge.

Branches of social science[edit]

  • Anthropology – deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, social customs, and beliefs of humankind.
    • Archaeology – 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 – interdisciplinary fields of research and scholarship pertaining to particular geographical, national/federal, or cultural regions.
  • Behavioral science – encompasses all the disciplines that explore the activities of and interactions among organisms in the natural world.
  • Communication studies – academic field that deals with processes of communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time.
  • Cultural studies – concerns the political dynamics of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It studies how a particular medium or message relates to ideology, social class, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, and/or gender.
  • Development studies – multidisciplinary branch of social science which addresses issues of concern to developing countries.
  • Economics – analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
  • Education – process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to another, e.g., instruction in schools.
  • Environmental studies – integrate social, humanistic, and natural science perspectives on the relation between humans and the natural environment.
  • Gender studies – interdisciplinary study which analyses race, ethnicity, sexuality and location.
  • Geography – science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth.
    • Human geography – studies the world, its people, communities, and cultures with an emphasis on relations of and across space and place. It is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography.
  • Information science – interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information.
  • Journalism – craft of conveying news, descriptive material and comment via a widening spectrum of media.
  • Law – 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.
  • Legal management – discipline designed for students interested in the study of State and Legal elements.
  • Library science – 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.
  • Linguistics – scientific study of human language.
  • Management – all business and human organization activity is simply the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives.
  • Political science – concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior.
    • International studies – concerned with the study of ‘the major political, economic, social, cultural and sacral issues that dominate the international agenda.
      • International education – comprehensive approach that intentionally prepares people to be active and engaged participants in an interconnected world.
      • International relations – study of foreign affairs and global issues among states within the international system
    • Political economy – study of production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government.
    • Public administration – implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work.
  • Psychology – study of the mind, occurring partly via the study of behavior.
    • Social psychology – scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.
  • Social work – professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or perceived social injustices and violations of their human rights.
  • Sociology – scientific study of society. It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity.
    • Criminal justice – system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.
    • Criminology – study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society.
    • Demography – statistical study of all populations.

History of social science[edit]

Education and degrees[edit]

General social science concepts[edit]

Social science organizations[edit]

Social science publications[edit]

Social scientists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Edward O. (1998). Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1st ed.). New York, NY: Vintage Books. pp. 49–71. ISBN 0-679-45077-7. 
  2. ^ "... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. It was a discovery that nature generally acts regularly enough to be described by laws and even by mathematics; and required invention to devise the techniques, abstractions, apparatus, and organization for exhibiting the regularities and securing their law-like descriptions." —p.vii, J. L. Heilbron, (2003, editor-in-chief). The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511229-6.
  3. ^ "science". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena 

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