Social Sciences Defined

Social Sciences is the large umbrella term used to describe those fields of study which examine society and human interaction. The term originates from the early concept of science of society established in 19th Century Sociology.

Social philosophers Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx are best known for establishing a scientific study of human behavior which first developed through the discipline of Sociology. Positivist social scientists drew heavily from the research methods and techniques used in the natural sciences to examine society and sought empirical measures to substantiate theoretical claims.

In contrast, interpretivist social scientists used social critique or symbolic interpretation to examine social behavior; hence, the division so commonly noted today between quantitative and qualitative social scientists.