Social sciences and their importance to society and individuals’ relationships

 By Mohamed Ragab, CNN Week

Updated 02:29 AM December 30, 2023

Social sciences are academic disciplines that are concerned with society and the relationships of individuals with each other within society and rely primarily on experimental approaches. It is usually used as an umbrella term to refer to anthropology, economics, psychology, and sociology. In its broadest sense it may often include the humanities such as archaeology, regional studies, communication studies, cultural studies, history, law, linguistics and political science. This term can be used in a scientific context to refer to the origin of sociology, which arose in the nineteenth century. Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber are referred to as the founders of modern social science according to this definition.

Sociologists use positivist theory, which is similar to the natural sciences, as tools to understand society and thus define science in its modern narrow sense. As for sociologists who oppose positivist philosophy, on the contrary, they may use social criticism or symbolic interpretation and not fallible empirical constructivist theories that deal with science in its broad sense. In modern academic practice, researchers are often eclectic and use multiple methodologies. The term social research has also gained a degree of independence, as participants from different disciplines share goals and methods.

The history of the social sciences began in the Age of Enlightenment after 1650, which witnessed a revolution within natural philosophy that changed the basic framework through which individuals understood what was termed “scientific.” The social sciences emerged from the moral philosophy of the era and were influenced by the era of revolutions, such as the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution. The social sciences have evolved from empirical and applied sciences, or from systematically based knowledge or guiding practices, relating to the social development of a group of interacting entities.

The beginnings of the social sciences appeared in the 18th century in Diderot's Encyclopaedia Grande, with articles by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other pioneers. The growth of social sciences has also been featured in other specialized encyclopedias. The modern era viewed social science in first use as a distinct conceptual field. Social science was influenced by positivism, focused on knowledge based on confirmed sensory experience, and moved away from uncertain knowledge. Metaphysical contemplation was excluded. Auguste Comte used the term “social science” to describe the field derived from the ideas of Charles Fourier; Comte also referred to a field known as social physics.

After that period, five paths of development in the social sciences were launched, influenced by Comte in other fields. The first path to follow was the emergence of social research. Large statistical surveys were conducted in various regions of the United States and Europe. Emile Durkheim, studying social facts, and Vilfredo Pareto took another path, which led to post-theoretical ideas and individual theories. A third means has developed, emerging from the existing methodological divide, by which social phenomena are known and understood; Max Weber was one of the figures who supported this path. The fourth path developed from within economics, and promoted economic knowledge as a representation of hard science. The final path was the intersection between knowledge and social values; Max Weber's sociology of understanding and anti-positivism strongly demanded this distinction. In this path, description and claim theory were overlapping systematic discussions of the topic.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Enlightenment philosophy faced a challenge in various circles. Multiple fields were used, such as mathematics studies in favor of experimental studies, and verification equations for the purpose of building a theoretical structure, after the use of classical theories since the end of the scientific revolution. The development of sub-disciplines of social sciences has become highly quantitative in its methodological aspect. In contrast, the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of scientific research into human behavior, and the social and environmental factors affecting it, has made many natural sciences concerned with some methodological aspects of the social sciences. Examples of blurring boundaries between disciplines include those emerging disciplines, such as the social studies of medicine, sociobiology, neuropsychology, bioeconomics, and the sociology and history of science. The integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches has become increasingly important in the study of human behavior and its effects and consequences. In the first half of the twentieth century, statistics became a stand-alone discipline within applied mathematics, and statistical approaches were used with confidence.

The term social sciences refers to any branch of science that relates to human behavior and includes its social and cultural aspects. It is sometimes used to refer to psychology, sociology, political science, economics, history, and law, and often includes social and economic geography.

The social sciences go back to their ancient Greek and Greek origins, and are considered a strong heritage in the history of social thought because of their rational inquiries about human nature, the state, and morality, knowing that there were long periods of time in which social sciences were lacking, but they later became the core of the Renaissance and development in Modern European history, such that this trend was restored through the texts of the great classical philosophers.

The importance of social sciences

The social sciences are of great importance in all areas of life, especially in the areas of social care, primary care, the justice system, business, etc. Just as government and university support and investments are provided for technology, engineering and mathematics sciences, attention must also be given to the social sciences and the imbalance must be addressed. education and providing the necessary support to it.

Social science is not limited to social workers or teachers only. It is a broad science that focuses on several aspects and branches such as psychology, sociology, history, law, and other branches. It also studies the relationship between individuals in society. Therefore, it is considered (the science of science) for its ability to provide insight. About how other sciences and innovations work and provide social scientists with both the analytical and communication skills needed in industries and organizations, and help them solve the largest issues in the world that have serious impacts on society, such as violent crimes, alternative energy, and cybersecurity. What distinguishes social scientists is that they have the skills necessary to see The world in a different way, in addition to their ability to find information that others may miss.

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Mohamed Ragab

Professional Journalist and Editor Since 2016 A graduate of the Workers' University, I love writing in entertainment, art, science and technology Bring out my passion through my writing