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Home Education Exactly What are the Humanities and Social Sciences?

Exactly What are the Humanities and Social Sciences?

A sculpture of the philosopher, PlatoHumanities and Social Sciences are both academic principles that are taught almost everywhere in the world. While Humanities focuses on the study of human society and culture, Social Sciences, on the other hand, is devoted to studying human societies and the relationships that exist between individuals. In addition to that, both disciplines possess extended branches and ensure a promising future. Therefore, let us discuss what exactly are the Humanities and Social Sciences and what do they offer.

Humanities

From history’s perspective, Humanities has a significant role to play in developing individuals. As a discipline, it makes use of speculative or critical methods to conclude. As compared to Social Sciences, Humanities does not have a central discipline. It includes the study of literature, history, human geography, and law, etc. The scholars that have contributed to the discipline are known as humanists. Humanities is an important discipline if individuals wish to develop research, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills as they are some of the most sought out skills by prominent employers across the globe.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2016 explains that employers prefer and rank problem-solving and communication skills above technical training, which highlights the professional value of Humanities as a discipline. Individuals choosing to go with the program can pursue careers in media, education, government, business, and non-profit organizations and work.

Now that we have precisely discussed Humanities as a discipline let us now move towards discussing some of the fields it features.

Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humans. It deals with the science of human existence in total. Similar to many fields of psychology and unlike chemistry or physics, Anthropology utilizes general principles rather than general laws derived. Anthropology’s goal is to take into account and explain humans, along with human nature as well. What this means is that, while anthropologists specialize in only one sub-field, while solving a problem, they have to consider other factors related to the problem as well, such as historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural aspects.

Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of human activity highlighted through materials recovered. These materials are closely attached and are a prime source for identifying cultures and traditions. The archeological records include architecture, artifacts, ecofacts, or biofacts in addition to cultural landscapes. Furthermore, Archeology can be considered as a type of both social sciences and humanities. Amongst the various goals it intends to achieve, the biggest is, understanding cultural history, discovering artifacts, and explaining the way societies have changed with time through the reconstruction of the past events that includes traditions and cultures as well.

Classics

According to the Western traditions of academics, Classics is known as the study of cultures that hold classical significance. These cultures are not only unique but, with time, have maintained significant historical value as well. Most of these Classics include cultures of Latin, Ancient Greek, and the Ancient Greek and Roman. There was a time when Classics was perceived to be one of Humanities’ cornerstones; however, during the 20th century, its declining popularity was quite evident.

History

History, as everyone is aware, is a record of the past. It includes all the information about events, individuals, buildings and countries, etc. However, when we discuss history as a discipline, it refers to the study of societies, humans, and institutions that have changed over time. Back in the day, history was considered a part of Humanities, but today, it is classified as social science, more often.

Social Science

As already mentioned, Social Science is the study of human societies and the relationships that exist between the individuals in those societies. It was originally referred to as the “science of society” during the 19th century. Today, Social Science as a discipline encompasses a wide variety of different disciplines such as economics, media studies, linguistics, and political science, etc. When it comes to studying Social Science, Positivist social scientists tend to make use of the methods that resemble that of natural sciences to understand society. On the other hand, Interpretivist scientists make use of symbolic interpretation or social critique that prevents them from developing empirically false theories. This allows them to discuss Social Science from a broader perspective.

Similar to Humanities, Social Science is a vast field as well. Let us take a look at what it has to offer.

Economics

Amongst the existing disciplines, Economics is one of the most popular. It is the study of distribution, consumption, and production of wealth. The goal of Economics is to seek news ways in terms of managing a household or a business. An economist makes use of theories, principles, researches, and studies to make predictions and offer a better solution to problems. Their in-depth knowledge is the reason they are considered a valuable resource for a country. On the one hand, where Economics helps us understand the consumption, production, and distribution of wealth, on the other, it takes into account scarce resources as well and how they can be used efficiently. This is one of the cornerstone concepts of economics, which no other discipline can explain better. Lastly, Economics extends its branches into macroeconomics and microeconomics. Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a whole, whereas microeconomics considers a firm, household, or individual.

Political Science

As it is evident from the name itself, political science focuses on studying the science of politics. It takes into consideration the theories and practices to help understand the political systems and overall political behavior. In addition to that, political science is a diverse discipline, which involves diving deep into history and uses primary sources such as interviews, official records, and historical documents to understand the ongoing rhythm of political systems. These are the same resources that are further analyzed and used to predict events taking place in the future.

Psychology

Psychology is devoted to understanding the mental state of individuals. It derives knowledge and experience by studying various spheres of human activity and then uses that information and knowledge to treat mental illness. This discipline has witnessed a rising trend over the years, and more and more individuals try to become psychologists and master the art of eliminating problems such as anxiety and depression. Even though psychologists are one of the most well-paid individuals, understanding and digging up the root cause of the problem when it comes to patients is not that easy. It is a very complex specialization, which takes years to master. Studying Psychology makes you visit a totally different world where the talk of the town is neurology. It extensively explains how human brains interact and the reactions that arise as a result.

Final Word

By now, you must have developed a good idea about how vast Humanities and Social Sciences as disciplines are. Both disciplines, with time, have experienced immense research and progress. With economists, psychologists, and even philosophers of ancient times contributing to these fields, there is no doubt that the basis of these disciplines is as strong as concrete. If not else, these disciplines are bound to broaden your horizons, which is a meager attribute in the world of disciplines.

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