What is social science? This is a branch of science that covers aspects like the working of a human society and the interpersonal relationships that thrive within the members of the society. Auguste Comte was the first to coin the term ‘social science’ in the 19th century.
The history of social sciences goes back to the Age of Enlightenment which witnessed a revolution in natural philosophy. Wilhelm Wundt is considered the Father of Psychology while David Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx are the fathers of Sociology. Other renowned names associated with this field include the likes of Max Weber, William Du Bois, Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith.
Areas of Social Science
Some of the disciplines within the social sciences include development studies, civics, economics and demography. In addition to this, this area includes anthropology, psychology, political science, geography, law and sociology, to name a few. It is no surprise if you come across social work, sustainable development, political science and linguistics to be part of this wide spectrum of study.
At any point of time, you will not see these branches stand by themselves, rather they merge with few other disciplines to come up with a new field of work. For instance, communication studies incorporates aspects of both social science and humanities.
Need for social science
This multidisciplinary branch sees its importance in the field of education, law, health and even beyond them. Others include:
Safety concerns- A group of psychologists studied the safety aspects in a factory and made an observation. Having a safety regime or a rulebook will not work to make the workplace safe. It is only when the workers identify or relate to the unsafe practices and mark them as unacceptable that a workplace is considered safe to work.
This safety concern can be extended to social activities like crowd management. When you are in a football match or you want to take a sneak peek at your favorite singer, those responsible for law and order are trained to ensure no trouble rises on the venue.
Public intellectuals- In an ever-changing world, a social scientist is looked upon as a public intellectual. This does not mean endless hours of debate or views on environmental issues. It is the duty of every social scientist to make their work engaging to the public. It includes creating an interactive platform where all the representatives of each discipline gather for a conference, and integrate their views and knowledge to culminate in a single point of interest.
Make the world a better place-Any political debate or a Bill passed is intended to achieve a common goal- to ensure that you lead a dignified life. Several social scientists work in unison with government institutions, funding agencies and even the media, donning the role of a planner, teacher and a strategist.
For example, a group of sociologists found that new rules provided chances for women to work as a laborer. This was unheard of before, and reduced the risk of hazardous work and hunger. On the flip side, all the obstacles like sexual harassment and improper pay was identified by the social scientists. They worked to protect women’s rights by coming up with creative solutions to the existing problems.
Offers new outlook on existing ideas- Social science offers each of you a better understanding on concepts like feminism, social issues, peace and much more. Few sociologists worked with a popular art gallery to enable local visitors to involve themselves by taking part in exhibitions on topics like gay rights.
To start off, programs included art workshops, talks and social activities that saw a large participation by the public.