Reference Terms
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Social science

Social science is an academic discipline concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society, which often rely primarily on empirical approaches.

It includes anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

In a wider sense, it may often include some fields in the humanities such as archaeology, history, law, and linguistics.

Positivist social scientists use methods resembling those of the natural sciences as tools for understanding society, and so define science in its stricter modern sense.

Interpretivist social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories, and thus treat science in its broader sense.

In modern academic practice, researchers are often eclectic, using multiple methodologies (for instance, by combining the quantitative and qualitative techniques).

The term social research has also acquired a degree of autonomy as practitioners from various disciplines share in its aims and methods.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Social science", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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November 30, 2015

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