What are the 8 branches of social science?

There are many different fields of study that fall under the umbrella of social science. Social science is an encompassing body of several disciplines with the sole purpose of studying all aspects of humanity. If you want to know the 8 branches of social science, keep reading.

What are the 8 branches of social science?

Here are the 8 branches of social science:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Linguistics

The eight branches of social science can be divided into two different types: macro-level and micro-level. Macro-level social science is concerned with societies as a whole, such as the United States, the world, or the universe. 

This type of study can be used to answer questions such as “Where are the world’s cultural and artistic centers?”, “What is the capital of the world?”, and “What is the meaning of life?”. 

Micro-level social science is concerned with social groups and communities, such as families, siblings, relatives, neighborhoods, or groups of friends. 

This type of study can be used to answer questions such as “What is the best way to raise a child?”, “What is the best way to run a house cleaning business?”, and “What is the best way for a person to make a living?”.

What is Social Science?

Social science is a broad group of disciplines committed to the study of human behavior, interaction, and society. It encompasses all aspects of human activities, from the individual to the global. 

It is concerned with the nature, condition, and development of social groups and organizations, such as families, societies, and communities.

Social science can be traced back to Aristotle who was the first to classify what we now know as sociology, psychology, economics, and political science. 

For over two millennia, social scientists have been exploring the complexities of human behavior and interactions. Most of the foundational knowledge gained by social scientists is through the analysis of human behavior in a social context.


The three main characteristics in social science are found in the human condition individuals or groups are studied. For some social scientists who study specific groups, these are gender, race, or class, others study the behavior of entire societies such as culture, religion, or political systems.


Anthropology is the study of human beings and their cultures, societies, and languages. It is a holistic discipline that considers all aspects of human existence, including the physical, social, linguistic, psychological, and spiritual aspects. 

Its objective is to understand the distinctive characteristics of humans from other living things such as animals through our evolutionary origins.

An anthropologist studies everything that makes humans different from primitive times to the contemporary era through a holistic investigation of our culture, biology, behavior, and societies in all regions of the world.

Subfields under Anthropology are the following:

  • Applied Anthropology
  • Archaeological Anthropology
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Physical (Biological) Anthropology
  • Social-cultural Anthropology


Archaeology is the study of past human cultures through the excavation and analysis of artifacts and other archaeological evidence.

Archeology has become very important in explaining the what, how, when, where, and why of entire human history from the discovery of primitive cavemen to our contemporary society.

Archaeologists investigate the emergence, progress, and behavior of human beings and their societies through storing, sorting, washing, and cataloging recovered artifacts after bringing them back from the field. 

Archeology and anthropology are interdisciplinary social sciences in both studying the human race from the earliest age to modern societies thus scientists in this field work closely with each other.


Economics is the study of how people use scarce resources to produce and exchange goods and services. It is a social science that considers factors such as supply and demand, inflation, unemployment, and gross domestic product.

Economics is an important discipline of social sciences because issues related to it affect our daily lives. By understanding our economy, economist were able to maximize and utilize the management of resources.

Scarcity is one of the issues that economics is trying to solve. Through practices and methods, some economies were able to optimize, conserve, quantify, and even multiply for the benefit of human societies.

Political Science

The field of political science is concerned with the study of political systems and processes. Political science is a broad field that is often divided into two main branches: public and private. 

Political science mainly focuses on the practice and theory of politics and government starting from the local to state, nation, and even international levels.

The ancient Greeks are believed to be the originators of Political Science in the first century BCE. Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher wrote several themes called “dialogues” about politics and governance. He often asks questions about what makes a good government, and what is justice? What is its nature of it? And what is best for humanities in terms of policy making?

The three main branches of political science are the following:

  • Political Theory
  • Public Law
  • Public Administration


Sociology is a social science that studies the social world. It focuses on diverse subject matter such as human social relationships, human social institutions, human social behavior and pattern, and human social interactions.

Sociology focuses on all aspects of social relationships such as social life, change, and the social causes as well as the consequences of human behavior.

Subfields under sociology are the following:

  • Theoretical Sociology
  • Historical Sociology
  • Sociology Of Knowledge
  • Sociology Of Religion
  • Economic Sociology
  • Rural Sociology
  • Urban Sociology
  • Political Sociology
  • Demographic Sociology
  • Industrial Sociology
  • Family Sociology
  • Sociology Of Education
  • Legal Sociology


Geography is a branch of social science that studies the connection and interaction of people to their environment including physical and social relationships in the context of place.

Geography is interdisciplinary of natural science and social science because even though “geo-graphy” exactly translates to graph the earth, it also focuses on people living on the spatial aspects of the earth.

Because of geology, we were able to make certain facts such as there are more people living in the north than in any other hemisphere. 90% of the estimated 7.7 billion people in the world are living in the northern hemisphere. 


Psychology came from the Greek words “psychē” meaning mind, soul, or spirit, and “logos” which means study. Psychology is the study of the human mind, its inner workings, and how it affects behavior.

Psychology is a discipline that covers all aspects of the human experience and other wide selection of topics from the faculties of the brain to the whole activities of nations, from child development to care for the elderly, to the conscious and unconscious brain and behavior phenomena.

The goal of this field is to attempt to understand the human mind and behavior from human intellectual growth and development to the diagnosis of different mental illnesses that affects millions of people around the globe.


Linguistics is the science of human language. Experts in linguistics studies focus on different languages to understand how they can affect the behavior and culture of people that use a specific language.

Linguistics employs a systematic, precise, comprehensive, and objective analysis of the nature, phonetics, morphology, and all aspects of human language.

Interdisciplinary branches of linguistics are the following:

  • Ethnolinguistics 
  • Dialectology
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Historical Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Psycholinguistics


The branches of Social Science or the Social Sciences are varied depending on the focus of the study. The 8 branches of social science are Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, Geography, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, and Linguistics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): what are the 8 branches of social science?

Who are some of the most famous social scientists?

Some of the most famous social scientists are the following:

  • David Emile Durkheim
  • Karl Marx
  • Max Weber

What are the 5 methods of learning social studies?

The 5 methods of learning Social-Studies are the following:

  • Inquiry or Investigation method
  • Interview method
  • Observation
  • Expository method
  • Discussion method

What are the different approaches of social science?

There are three different approaches to social sciences research according to Neuman (1997:62). These are interpretive social science, critical social science, and positivism.


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Flyvbjerg, B. (2005). Social science that matters. Foresight Europe, 2, 38-42.

Seligman, E. R. (1930). What are the social sciences. Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1, 3-7.

Branches of Sciences – Physical, Earth & Life Sciences | Leverage Edu. Retrieved from https://leverageedu.com/blog/branches-of-science/

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