Distinguishing Sociology from Social Science

Key Takeaways

  • Social science is a broad area that encompasses many sub-fields, while sociology is a subfield of social science.
  • Sociology focuses on human behavior and social structures, while social science deals with various aspects of society.
  • Both sociology and social science use scientific methods to study their respective subject areas.

The primary difference between sociology and social science is that social science is a vast field of study that includes many sub-fields, while sociology is a specific sub-field within social science. Both sociology and social science are dedicated to the study of human beings and society, with sociology focusing on human behavior and social structures.

Understanding Sociology

Sociology is an academic study of social behavior and social structures. It investigates areas such as the origin, development, structures, units, organizations, institutions, and social roles of individuals. Sociology has been developed as a scientific study field using scientific methods, empirical investigations, and analysis methods to examine its subject areas. It can be divided into two main sub-categories: theoretical sociology, which looks at the historical development of society and tries to understand social processes and changes, and practical sociology, which focuses on applying theoretical principles in practical situations.

Sociology covers both micro-level studies (e.g., family, gender, social class) and macro-level studies (e.g., social organizations, social change). Sociological knowledge is crucial in working with humans, as it deals with human behavior and nature. Additionally, sociological theories can be applied to various disciplines, such as politics, history, engineering, and medicine.

Understanding Social Science

The origins of social science can be traced back to the 18th century, with articles published by Rousseau and other pioneers. Social science is an extensive study area focused on human society, encompassing numerous sub-fields such as economics, political science, geography, law, and sociology. In a broader perspective, social science is an academic discipline concerned with society and its relationships with individual members. Research subject disciplines like anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology also fall under social sciences. As most of the sub-disciplines use scientific methods to investigate facts, social science can be defined as a scientific study field, similar to natural sciences.

Comparing Sociology and Social Science

The main differences between sociology and social science lie in their scope and focus. Social science is a broad subject area that consists of many sub-fields, while sociology is one of its major sub-branches. Social science deals with various aspects of society due to its numerous sub-branches, whereas sociology mainly focuses on society, human behavior, and social structures. In terms of scope, social science is a vast study area that covers almost all aspects of society, while sociology is not as extensive and primarily concentrates on human behaviors and social structures.

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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