Branches of Social Sciences

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What are the branches of social science? The most important branches of Social Science are Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, History, Law, Linguistics, Archaeology and Geography. Social Science is not a common discipline of Science which requires you to bury your mind with endless scientific formulas and tire yourself out in mind-boggling experiments. It delves deeper into the science of humankind and society and explores many branches such as Law, Political Science, Psychology, History and more. Let’s dig more into the details of this subject through this detailed blog about branches of Social Sciences.

Branches of Social Sciences

Branches of Social Science

If you’re interested in this discipline but you’re still unable to decide which subject to choose from different branches of social sciences, you don’t have to wait up anymore. The below-provided list will help you find the best specialisation of Social Sciences you are more interested in:

  1. Anthropology: The Study of People, Past and Present.
  2. History: The Study of Human History.
  3. Archaeology: The study of the human past through recovery and analysis of material culture.
  4. Human Geography: The study of the relationship between people and places.
  5. Economics: The study of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
  6. Law: The study of legal systems in different aspects from people to businesses and the environment.
  7. Development Studies: The study of the evolution of countries from socio-economic, cultural, political and geographical perspectives.
  8. Philosophy: The study of the nature of existence.
  9. International Relations: The study of relationships between nations and cultures.
  10. Linguistics: The scientific study of language.
  11. Cultural Studies: The study of diverse cultures.
  12. Sociology: The study of human society, relationships and social change.
  13. Psychology: The study of the human mind and behaviour.
  14. Political Science: The study of political systems and governments.

Now, let’s unravel the salient features of some of the sought-after branches of Social Science:

Anthropology

One of the significant academic branches of Social Sciences, Anthropology encompasses the study of different aspects of the human condition and delves deep into a societies’ cultural moorings, and how over the years culture has shaped human behaviour. Furthermore, a student will learn the relationship between social hierarchy, its structure vis-a-vis evolution, and how individuals are just another product of the whole historical process. The primary purpose of this subject is to come to terms with our origin, and comprehend what makes each of us a different being. Anthropology has various subfields, like, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, etc.

History

There is nothing more complex and broader for research than the study of History. It straddles different territories of time and explores every aspect of it, trying to reconstruct the past for understanding the present through various resources available. While exploring the branches of social sciences, History is an appealing one for those inclined towards the study of renowned historical events and as you reach higher levels of study, you’ll be presented with opportunities to specialize in your own area of interest. You’ll learn different methodologies, applications and instruments that you can use to extract historical information and make your own interpretations accordingly. You can work as an independent historian and make perspectives about the past of a region by critically sifting through the information. 

Archaeology

To put it in a simpler manner, Archaeology encompasses the study of the material culture, i.e. the remains of past human life and associated activities from the specific past by collecting its residual remains, found during the excavation process and involves a subsequent analysis of these recent or prehistoric materials. As a student, you will explore primitive cultures and extinct societies. Being one of the most popular branches of social sciences, research in Archaeology involves building a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary origins, for example, the examination of nomadic people and also learning about the past culture and their art forms. It also entails the tiring but interesting work of going on field trips. The course aims to inculcate critical perspectives in students about the cultural influences of the past in relation to the present.

Economics

Often termed the study of choices and optimum utilization of scarce resources, Economics emphasises understanding the way people spend and utilize their available resources to satisfy their increasing demands. Economics is all about the distribution, production and consumption of resources. You will learn about markets, prices of products and factors that come into play to determine the monetary value, stock trades, working of financial institutions like banks, trade relations between countries and how the global economy works and much more. The students gain skills to implement their theoretical as well as mathematical knowledge in a more practical way and build habits to study in a deep manner about the current economic affairs of the world. In terms of its scope, it is one of the important branches of social sciences. 

Law

By studying Law courses you will acquire the necessary skills to understand different facets of laws and regulations on a national level as well as the global level. It presents you with the chance to fathom how the legal system of the country works and its importance as a major institution. Out of all the branches of social sciences, this one focuses on the laws that govern a country, its main provisions, and sections and how the constitution guarantees the enforcement of the law in a country. A student will also learn in an in-depth manner about international law, its legal framework, different war crimes and also the workings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

Geography

While the basic meaning of Geography is often associated with maps, its scope lies beyond that. Geography is one of the fundamental branches of social sciences as it studies lands, their salient features, crucial phenomena that impact the earth along with the human population and the relationship between the study of land and the human population. It brings a unique crossover of many disciplines like Geology, Environmental Science, Population Studies, Oceanology, Earth Sciences and more!

Linguistics

As the branches of social sciences analyse the relationship of human beings with society, Linguistics is an indispensable area of study amongst these disciplines as it peruses upon how a language is formed, its main origins as well as evolution. It explores the roots of every language, be it official ones or local dialects and indigenous languages and understands their role in defining the culture and traditions of a specific society.

Sociology

Concerned with the study of society in the individualistic as well as structural context, Sociology is somewhat of a similar specialisation to Social Sciences but skims down its essential focus on different societies, their origins and evolution since ancient times. As one of the popular branches of Social Sciences, it covers societal constructs like religion, class, caste as well as social mobility, to name a few and further studies the role of an individual in society at different levels and in terms of varied aspects.

Political Science

As human civilization discerned the role of government in the smooth functioning of every society, Political Science emerged as a significant field of study focusing on different systems of governance as well as political ideas and discourse. This area of study is even more prominent in the contemporary era where every country has its own style of governance and Political Science will help you gain a quintessential perspective of politics and governance at local, national and international levels!

Psychology

Another vast area of study amongst the branches of social science, Psychology delves deeper into the science of mind and human behaviour. It is a unique amalgam of both theory and experiments and is an intriguing discipline for those inclined towards the intricate human mind and its multifarious aspects. There are numerous branches of Psychology itself ranging from Child Psychology to Social Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Depression Counselling, Psychotherapy and much more!

Branches of Social Science
Courtesy: Slideshare

Apart from these, some other branches of social science are:

  • Criminology
  • Political Science
  • Translation Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Business and Management
  • Health
  • Education

What is Social Science?

Social science is the study of how people interact with one another. The branches of social science include anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Social scientists study how societies work, exploring everything from the triggers of economic growth and the causes of unemployment to what makes people happy. Their findings inform public policies, education programs, urban design, marketing strategies, and many other endeavours.

Importance of Social Science

Social Science is a vast discipline which aims to discover human society and its different constructs and their connection with human relationships. At the same time, it also carries out extensive studies about the manner in which people tend to organize, behave and affect change in the world surrounding them. It tries to reveal underlying social issues that closely form our experiences, which subsequently can clarify a great deal about the functioning of our society. It lies purely within its realm to explain, for instance, the different reasons that contribute to the steep rise in the unemployment graph. It is a fulcrum of the very philosophy according to which governments function and formulate policies. 

Where to Study Social Science?

Let’s explore some of the popular universities that offer quality education and degrees in various branches of Social Sciences:

University/ College  Country QS World University Rankings 2023 for Social Sciences and Management 
Harvard University USA 1
London School of Economics and Political Science UK 3
Stanford University USA 5
University of Oxford UK 2
University of Cambridge UK 4
Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA 6
University of California Berkeley USA 7
Yale University USA 9
University of California, Los Angeles USA 8
Bocconi University USA 10

Top Universities in India 

Here are some popular options if you are planning to pursue your higher education and degrees in various branches of Social Sciences from India:

  1. Indian Institute of Technology
  2. Indian Institute of Management 
  3. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  4. University of Delhi, Delhi 
  5. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  6. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
  7. Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune
  8. Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  9. Pondicherry University, Puducherry
  10. Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
  11. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  12. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  13. St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata 

Career Prospects

Corresponding to its wide range of subjects, this discipline offers a whole landscape of career opportunities to a student. Here are some of the top job prospects you can explore in the varied branches of social sciences:

  • Social Scientist
  • Lawyer
  • Judge
  • Psychologist
  • Economist
  • Banker
  • Urban Planner
  • Survey Researcher
  • Academician
  • Social and Cultural Anthropologist
  • Historian
  • Civil Servant

FAQs

What are the 12 branches of social science?

The most common social science subjects include Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, Geography, History, Law, Linguistics, Politics, Psychology and Sociology. Social sciences can help uncover useful insights into society in a variety of ways – from understanding how minds work, to how societies as a whole function.

Who is the father of social science?

David Emile Durkheim is considered the father of Social Sciences or Sociology for their remarkable works in laying a foundation for practical social research. Social Science is the branch of science devoted to studying human sciences and the relationships among individuals within those societies

Who named social science?

Auguste Comte used the term science sociale to describe the field, taken from the ideas of Charles Fourier; Comte also referred to the field as social physics. Following this period, five paths of development sprang forth in the social sciences, influenced by Comte in other fields.

Hope this detailed blog regarding branches of Social Sciences has provided you with all the specialisations you can explore in this vast stream of study. Looking forward to pursuing a degree in any of these specialisations? Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will help you choose the best-matched course and university combination along with connecting you to the best mentors to guide you throughout the admission process! Sign up for a free career counselling session with us today!

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