The set of so-called social Sciences It is constituted by a series of disciplines that undertake, from a scientific perspective or as scientific as possible, the study of human groups and their material and immaterial relationships in society. Its objective is to discover the social laws inherent to the different human institutions and organizations, based on the knowledge of individual and collective behavior. For instance: sociology, geography, archeology.
Given their methodological problems singular, this set of studies is distinguished, in the ordering of the fields of knowledge, from the formal science or natural, responsible for the study of the laws that govern nature (such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc.) through an inductive or deductive methodology.
While they aspire to the status of full sciences, Social Sciences involve reasoning and argumentative discussion, so there is a long debate about what Social Sciences are and even what is really a science, or what requirements a field of knowledge must have to be considered as such.
The truth is that the study of human behavior does not conform to the methodology and measurement canons of Natural Sciences and requires its own system of evaluation and understanding.
Types of Social Sciences
Broadly speaking, Social Sciences can be classified according to the area of interest, namely:
- Sciences related to social interaction. Whose area of interest is constituted by the relationships that take place within and between human societies.
- Sciences related to the cognitive system of man. They study the modes of communication, learning, social and individual formation of thought. In some countries they are considered part of the humanistic field, rather.
- Sciences related to the evolution of societies. They look for patterns and trends in the history of societies and keep a record of the modes and tendencies of their constitution.
It should be noted that there is no classification univocal and indisputable of the Social Sciences, but rather a set of fields of knowledge susceptible to reordering and in constant discussion.
Examples from Social Sciences
Of the first type:
- Right. Science advocated to the study of the ordering methods and legal process that determine the code of conduct with which different societies are governed.
- Economy. Study of the methods of management, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and the satisfaction of human needs from a finite set of elements.
- Anthropology. Discipline that aspires to study the human being from an integral perspective, making use of characteristic tools of both the Social and Natural Sciences.
- Library Science (and Library Science). Also known as Information Sciences, it is proposed to study the methods of filing and classifying different types of documentary material, not just books and magazines.
- Ethnography. Discipline dedicated to the systematic study of cultures and different social groups, considered in many cases as a branch of social anthropology or cultural anthropology. It is also considered a research method of ethnology.
- Ethnology. It is also dedicated to the study of peoples and human nations, but establishing comparative relationships between modern and ancient societies.
- Sociology. Science dedicated to the study of the structures and functioning systems of the various human societies, always considering them in their specific historical and cultural context.
- Criminology. Also known as criminal sciences, it is devoted to the study of the behavioral patterns associated with crime and criminality, that is, the breakdown of the legal framework of a given human society.
- Political science. Sometimes referred to as Political Science or Political Theory, it is a social science that studies the different systems of government and human legislation, both in antiquity and modernity.
Of the second type:
- Linguistics. In many countries considered a humanistic science or the field of humanities, it is a discipline dedicated to the study and understanding of the different methods of human communication: both verbal and non-verbal.
- Psychology. Science dedicated to the study of human behavior and the constitution of the psyche, both from its social and community perspectives, as well as individual and introspective ones. Many of its tools come from Medicine.
- Education. Avocada to the study of the ways of acquiring knowledge and the methods or institutions for it developed by man.
Of the third type:
- Geography. Science in charge of the graphic representation of the earth’s surface, as well as the description of its human, natural and biological contents. It is devoted to the study of the real or imaginary relationships that exist between the different regions in which the planet is divided. He is often held by the Humanities, too.
- Archeology. It aims to systematically study the changes that have occurred in the course of ancient societies, based on the material remains that are still preserved from them.
- Demography. Science whose purpose is the statistical understanding of the structures and dynamics inherent to human communities, including their processes of formation, preservation and disappearance.
- Human ecology. Discipline that studies the ecological and social relationships between human society and the environment. It is often considered a branch of Sociology.
- History. There is a very current debate regarding the belonging or not of History in the Social Sciences. In any case, it is in charge of the study in time of human societies and their forms of interaction, their processes and the events that characterized them.