Distinguishing Social Studies from History

Social Studies vs History

The difference between social studies and history lies in the scope of each subject. Although they are often confused as being the same, they are indeed distinct from one another. History is a part of the social sciences, while social studies focuses on the study of society and social behavior.

What is History?

History involves the study of various events that took place in the past in the human world. These events include historical occurrences, different types of rule experienced by various countries, the development of civilizations across the world, constructions, and contributions made over several centuries.

History has a vast area of study and is divided into different parts. Each country includes the history of their nation as part of the history lessons. Additionally, every country includes a world history portion in their school curriculum to educate students about important events that have affected the world as a whole. History contributes significantly to the development of the subject of social studies.

What is Social Studies?

Social studies refer to the studies made to promote social competence. The goal is to help individuals understand their responsibility to the society they live in and to recognize the factors that contribute to the growth of the society around them. Social studies is a major subject taught at the primary, middle, and high school levels, with environmental studies being an essential part of social studies.

Social studies has a bearing on other subjects such as history and political science. In other words, social studies borrow portions from social sciences, making it a subset of social sciences. For example, a lesson in social studies about Africa incorporates elements of history, political science, social science, and economics.

Key Takeaways

  • Social studies is the study of various aspects of society and humanity, while history is the study of past events in the human world.
  • Social studies focuses on making students aware of the society or world in which they live, whereas history aims to make students understand their origins and consider the actions of their ancestors.
  • History is a part of social studies, as it impacts the behavior of people, but social studies has a broader focus on the world, while history is limited to learning about past events.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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