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What are Social Sciences?
The social sciences are the set of
disciplines that are responsible for studying,
systematically, social and cultural processes that
result from the activity of the human being and
its relationship with society.
The objectives of
the social sciences are, fundamentally, to interpret,
understand and explain the social phenomena and the
manifestations of the human being as a social subject.
The concept of 'social sciences', on the
other hand, is broad and, depending on the criteria to which
it is submitted, it is possible to determine which
discipline can be considered as social.
Some of the sciences that are usually considered social
are History, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, Politology
Branches of social sciences
The branches of the social sciences are
the different groups into which the disciplines of the
social sciences can be classified. In this sense, there are
different forms of classification. For example, depending on
the object of study, two branches can be identified within
the social sciences: the general social sciences and the
particular social sciences.
The general social sciences are focused
on the activities of social groups, such as History and
Ethnography. While within the particular social
sciences, one can distinguish those disciplines
that study social groups and their internal structure, such
as Economics and Sociology, as well as those that focus on
their external structure, such as Geography and Demography.
Another form of classification distinguishes between descriptive
social sciences, such as Anthropology and
Sociology, and analytical social sciences,
such as economics and law.
Social sciences and humanities
There are different epistemological positions that
classify a science or a discipline within the category of
the social sciences or the humanities . Due
to the relationship between the two concepts, on many
occasions they appear united, for example, to name a faculty
or an academic unit.
In general, the humanities are considered
to be the set of disciplines that study the human
being, such as Pedagogy or Philosophy. Some studies
consider the social sciences a broader concept, which would
include humanistic disciplines.
Social sciences and natural sciences
In some curricula of the first levels of education, the social
sciences appear together with the so-called natural
sciences, under the generic name of "Knowledge of
the natural, social and cultural environment". However, the
natural sciences focus on the study of nature through
experimental scientific methods and the use of formal
sciences. Some of them are Chemistry, Biology and Physics.