The scope of Social Sciences
The word "science" is older than its modern use. The word has become a short-form for "natural science". It is a recent development that society has become the object of an organized body of knowledge which can be standardized and taught objectively, while following its own rules and methodology.
The Social science has a wide scope. The social sciences comprise academic disciplines concerned with the study of the social life of human groups, animals and individuals including anthropology, archeology, communication studies, cultural studies, demography, economics, human geography, history, linguistics, media studies, political science, psychology, social work and sociology.
Mathematics, and study of history, poetry or politics had no difference in the past. With the development of mathematical proof the people perceived the difference between scientific disciplines and others. Aristotle studied poetry and planetary motion at the same time with the same methods, and Plato mixed geometrical proofs with his demonstration on the state of intrinsic knowledge.
The Public Administration, one of the main branches of political science, can be described as the development, implementation and study of branches of government policy. The non-government organizations (NGO’s) are working for the betterment of the society through out the world.
The social sciences are sometimes criticized as being less scientific than the natural sciences in that they are seen as being less rigorous or empirical in their methods. This claim has been made in the so-called science wars and is most commonly made when comparing social sciences to fields such as physics, chemistry or biology in which corroboration of the hypothesis is far more incisive with regard to data observed from specifically designed experiments. Social sciences can thus be deemed to be largely observational, in that explanations for cause-effect relationships are largely subjective. A limited degree of freedom is available in designing the factor setting for a particular observational study. Social scientists however, argue against such claims by pointing to the use of a rich variety of scientific processes, mathematical proofs, and other methods in their professional literature.
The modern world is making progress by leaps and bounds and the social sciences have its vital role in the development of the world. The following main branches of social science deal with the main issues facing by the modern world.
The human being is surrounded by the unlimited problems and as a human being one needs to solve them desperately.
Social work is concerned with social problems, their causes, their solutions and their human impacts. Social workers work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Social Work is the profession committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the enhancement of the quality of life, and to the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in society.
Social work is unique in that it seeks to simultaneously navigate across and within micro and macro systems -in order to sufficiently address and resolve social issues at every level. Social work incorporates and utilizes all of the social sciences as a means to improve the human condition.
Following are the main branches of social sciences that deal with the modern problems of the modern world of 21st century.
Economics is a social science that seeks to analyze and describe the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth. The classic brief definition of economics, set out by Robins in 1932, is "the science which studies human behavior as a relation between scarce means having alternative uses." Without scarcity and alternative uses, there is no economic problem.
Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge positive judgment and well-developed wisdom. Education has as one of its fundamental aspects the imparting of culture from generation to generation. It draws on many disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, sociology and anthropology.
Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main sub fields: human geography and physical geography. The former focuses largely on the built environment and how space is created, viewed and managed by humans as well as the influence humans have on the space they occupy. The latter examines the natural environment and how the climate, vegetation & life, soil, water and land form are produced and interact. As a result of the two subfields using different approaches a third field has emerged, which is environmental geography.
History is the continuous, systematic narrative and research of past events as relating to the human species; as well as the study of all events in time, in relation to humanity. History can be seen as the sum total of many things taken together and the spectrum of events occurring in action following in order leading from the past to the present and into the future. The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history.
Law in common place, means a rule, which (unlike a rule of ethics) is capable of enforcement through institutions. Law is not always enforceable, especially in the international relations context. It has been defined as a "system of rules", as an "interpretive concept” to achieve justice, as an "authority" to mediate people's interests, and even as "the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction”. However one likes to think of law, it is a completely central social institution. Legal policy incorporates the practical manifestation of thinking from almost every social sciences and humanity.
Linguistics investigates the cognitive and social aspects of human language. The field is divided into areas that focus on aspects of the linguistic signal, such as syntax (the study of the rules that govern the structure of sentences), semantics (the study of meaning), phonetics (the study of speech sounds) and phonology (the study of the abstract sound system of a particular language); however, work in areas like evolutionary linguistics evolutionary linguistics (the study of the origins and evolution of language) and psycholinguistics (the study of psychological factors in human language) cut across these divisions.
Political science is an academic and research disciplines that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour. Fields and subfields of political science include political economy, political theory and philosophy, civics and comparative politics, theory of direct democracy, apolitical governance, participatory direct democracy, national systems, cross- national political analysis, political development, international relations, foreign policy, international law, politics, public administration, administrative behaviour, public law, judicial behaviour, and public policy. Political science also studies power in international relations and the theory of Great powers and Superpowers.
Psychology is academic and applied field involving the study of behaviour and mental processes. Psychology also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individuals' daily lives and the treatment of mental illness.
Sociology is the study of society and human social action. It generally concerns itself with the social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups communities and institutions and includes the examination of the organization and development of human social life. The sociological field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social process. Most sociologists work in one or more subfields.
There are so many other fields that enhance the scope of social sciences in the century of machines.
Human life is enveloped by social sciences in one shape or other. The man of 21st century is surrounded by unlimited problems; social sciences are the solutions of these problems. Natural science talks about the facts of the universe; it is social sciences that deal with these facts.