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Differences between History and Social Sciences that you need to know


Differences between History and Social Sciences that you need to know

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History and Social Sciences are two different fields of study, although they are often interconnected and influence each other. The following are some of the main differences between the two:

  1. Main Focus:

    • Historical Science: Historical Science is the study of the past, especially events, figures, culture and societal developments in the past. Historical Science seeks to understand, analyze, and explain the changes and events that occurred in human history.
    • Social Science: Social Science, on the other hand, is a more general term that encompasses various scientific disciplines that study human society and social interactions. This includes fields such as sociology, anthropology, economics, social psychology, and others. Social Sciences focuses on understanding social structure, culture, and human behavior in various contexts.
  2. Methodology:

    • Historical Science: Historical Science tends to use research methods that involve analysis of documents, archives, historical sources, and interpretation of past events. Historiography is the study of how history is written and historical methods.
    • Social Sciences: Social Sciences uses a variety of research methods, including surveys, experiments, interviews, statistical analysis, and field observations, depending on certain scientific disciplines and research objectives.
  3. Scope and Subdisciplines:

    • Historical Science: History can be divided into various subdisciplines, such as political history, economic history, cultural history, military history, and social history. Each subdiscipline focuses on a particular aspect of history.
    • Social Sciences: Social Sciences includes various disciplines that address various aspects of human society, such as sociology (social structure), anthropology (culture) , economics (economic system), social psychology (human behavior), and so on.
  4. Purpose:

    • Historical Science: The main goal of Historical Science is to record, analyze, and understand past events, as well as construct accurate historical narratives. Historical Science helps us understand how we got to the present point in social and cultural development.
    • Social Science: The goal of Social Science is to understand social patterns, human interactions, and behavior society with the aim of increasing our understanding of society and contributing to improvements in various aspects of social life.

While there are clear differences between History and Social Sciences, both often complement each other in broader historical analysis, and the use of multidisciplinary approaches often produces deeper insights into the past and human society.

To understand more about the differences between history and social sciences. So you can read a more detailed explanation regarding the differences between history and social sciences below.

What is History and What is Social Science?

Let’s start with a basic definition of these two fields:

Historical Science is a scientific discipline that studies events, figures, culture and the development of society in the past past. Historical science seeks to record, analyze and explain changes and events that have occurred in human history. The main goal is to understand how certain events influenced the development of society and how we got to the present point in social and cultural development.

Social Sciences is a more general term that covers a wide range of scientific discipline that studies human society and social interactions. These include fields such as sociology (the study of social structure and human interactions), anthropology (the study of human culture), economics (the study of economic systems), social psychology (the study of human behavior in social contexts), and many other scientific disciplines. Social Sciences focuses on understanding social structure, culture, and human behavior in various contexts.

Thus, while Historical Sciences mainly concentrates on the analysis of past events and human historical development, Social Sciences covers various aspects of human society in a broader context and includes many different scientific disciplines.

Main Focus

The main focus in History is the study of the human past. The scope of study in History is very broad and covers various aspects of human life and events that occurred in the past. Below are some common scopes of study in History:

  1. Political History: This includes the study of political events, governments, conflicts, and revolutions in history. Political History explores the formation of nations, constitutions, political leaders, and political policies.

  2. Economic History: It focuses on economic development, trade, monetary systems, industrialization, and other economic changes in human history.

  3. Social History: Studies in this scope focus on the social aspects of society, such as structure society, social classes, social changes, norms, values, and gender roles in various historical periods.

  4. Cultural History: It involves the analysis of culture, art , literature, religion, and traditions in history. Cultural history explores the way culture influences and is influenced by historical change.

  5. Military History: This study explores the history of armed conflict, war strategy, military technology, and the influence of military forces on historical events.

  6. Environmental History: It deals with the impact of humans on the environment and environmental changes that have affected human civilization. It also covers the history of natural science and environmental conservation.

  7. History of Technology: It traces the development of technology from prehistoric times to modern times. It also discusses the impact of technology on society and changes in the way we live.

  8. International History and Diplomacy: The focus is on relations between countries, international treaties, war , peace, and diplomacy in history.

  9. Regional or Local History: It deals with the study of the history of a particular geographical area, such as the history of a country, city , or a particular region.

  10. Cultural History: This includes the study of subcultures, cultural movements, and cultural identities in history.

  11. Civilization and Ancient History: It focuses on ancient civilizations such as Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, as well as other ancient civilizations.

  12. Modern Century History: It covers the modern period from the enlightenment to the present, focusing on important events such as the Industrial Revolution, the World Wars, and recent social and political changes.

The scope of study in History is very varied and can be tailored to suit specific research interests and focus. History helps us understand how past events have shaped the world we live in today and provides insight into how human societies and cultures have developed throughout history.

Methodological Approaches

In Historical Sciences, the methodological approaches used for research and analysis can vary depending on the nature of the research and its objectives. The following are some research and analysis methods commonly used in History:

  1. Primary Source Analysis: This is the most common approach in History. Primary sources are original documents, artifacts, records, newspapers, journals, and other historical sources created at the same time as the events being studied. Researchers use these sources to understand and reconstruct past events.

  2. Secondary Source Analysis: Researchers also make use of secondary sources, such as history books , articles, and other research reports written by historians or other researchers. It is used to gain additional views and understanding of a particular topic.

  3. Comparative Method: This method involves comparison between different sources or historical cases to identify patterns, differences, and similarities. It helps in understanding the impact of historical events on various societies and cultures.

  4. Contextual Analysis: Historians often place events in social, political, economic, and economic contexts. their culture. It helps in a better understanding of why an event occurred and how it influenced society at that time.

  5. Qualitative Method: This method includes narrative analysis , description, and interpretation of historical sources. Researchers use qualitative insights to explain and understand social and cultural events and dynamics.

  6. Quantitative Methods: These involve the collection and analysis of numerical data, such as statistics, graphs, and tables, to understand historical trends and quantitatively measure the impact of certain events.

  7. Interviews: Some historical research involves interviews with human sources a living person who has direct experience with a particular historical event. This can provide valuable perspective and additional information.

  8. Use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems): In geographic history or when geographic location is important, use of GIS can help analyze and visualize historical data in a spatial context.

  9. Interdisciplinary Approach: Historians often work together with social scientists and other experts to combine approaches and methods from various disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, or economics, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of history.

  10. Scanning and Digitization Methods: Modern technologies allows the use of scanning and digitization methods to preserve and access historical sources and analyze data on a large scale.

Research and analysis methods in History can vary according to research objectives and types of sources available. Historians often use a combination of these approaches to develop a deeper understanding of past events and their impact on human society and culture.

Data Sources

In History, data sources or materials -The materials used for research and analysis are very diverse. This data source is concrete evidence used by historians to understand, reconstruct and analyze past events. The following are several types of data sources commonly used in History:

  1. Written Documents: Written documents are the main source in History. These include letters, journals, diaries, legal documents, constitutions, historical texts, memoirs, etc. These documents record events, thoughts, and actions of people in the past.

  2. Manuscripts: Ancient texts, such as handwritten manuscripts, texts religions, philosophical texts, and ancient literary works, are important sources for understanding past culture, thought, and knowledge.

  3. Official Archives and Records : This includes government archives, church archives, and other organizational archives that contain official documents such as decrees, reports, and meeting notes.

  4. Newspapers and Media Publications: News articles, editorials, and advertisements in newspapers and other media publications provide insight into current events and views of a particular time.

  5. Images and Illustrations: Drawings, paintings, photography, illustrations and wall paintings are visual sources used to visualize life and past events.

  6. Artifacts and Historical Objects: Physical artifacts such as jewelry, weapons, clothing, tools, historical buildings, and archaeological artifacts provide evidence of technology, art, and daily life in the past.

  7. Oral Sources: Interviews with living human sources, such as eyewitnesses or family members who may have knowledge of past events, can be used as oral data sources.

  8. Official Family Documents: Family books, letters, family photos, and other official documents related to family history can also be valuable sources of historical data .

  9. Audio and Video Sources: Audio and video recordings, such as recorded interviews, speeches, and newsreels, can provide sound and pictorial evidence of events history.

  10. Statistical Data: Statistical data, such as censuses, economic data, and demographic data, are important sources for quantitative historical analysis.


  11. Digital Resources: Digital sources such as online archives, historical databases, and other digital sources allow easier access to many historical documents.

  12. Religious Documents: Religious texts, such as the Bible, Talmud, Koran, and other religious texts, provide insight into religious beliefs and practices in history.

These data sources are often used together in historical research to build a complete and in-depth historical narrative. It is important to examine the reliability and context of these sources when conducting research, as well as to develop critical analysis skills in interpreting information found in historical sources.

Research Objectives

Main objectives of Research in History is to analyze historical events and processes with the aim of understanding, explaining and providing in-depth interpretations of the past. In this context, there are several specific goals achieved through the analysis of historical events and processes:

  1. Recording History: One of the main goals of Historical Science is to record events, figures, and culture from the past so that this information is not lost and can be passed on to the next generation.

  2. Understanding Cause and Effect: Historical analysis helps us understand cause and effect relationships in historical events. It helps explain why certain events occur and what their consequences are.

  3. Explaining Change and Continuity: The science of History allows us to explain change and continuity in society and human culture throughout time. It helps us see how the past shapes the world today.

  4. Understanding Different Perspectives: Historical analysis allows us to understand the different perspectives that existed in the past then, whether from the perspective of an individual, a group, or society as a whole.

  5. Predict and Prevent: Through an understanding of historical events and processes, we can draw lessons from the past and use this knowledge to predict and prevent similar mistakes in the future.

  6. Developing Concepts and Theories: Research in Science History can help develop new concepts and theories that are used in various other scientific disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, and economics.

  7. Exploring Identity and Culture: Historical analysis helps us understand and explore the cultural and cultural identity of a society. This is important for maintaining and caring for cultural heritage.

  8. Providing a Critical Perspective: Historical research helps develop critical, analytical, and critical thinking skills in evaluating sources. historical sources and understanding the biases and interpretations that may exist in those sources.

  9. Exploring New Opportunities: Research in History often reveals opportunities to understand the previously unrevealed past and build new insights about historical events and processes.

  10. Contributing to Human Knowledge: Research in Historical Science provides an important contribution to human knowledge of our history and cultural heritage. This is important for appreciating and understanding our place in the historical context.

It is important to note that research objectives in History can vary depending on the topic, context, and specific research objectives. However, in all historical research, the main goal is to understand and explain the past using available historical evidence.

Contribution to the Understanding of the Past

Historical reconstruction is one way the importance in which Historical Science contributes to the understanding of the past. This refers to efforts to rebuild or reconstruct a picture of the past based on existing historical evidence. The contributions of historical reconstruction to understanding the past include the following:

  1. Filling Gaps in Knowledge: History is not always well or completely recorded. Some events or aspects of people’s lives may not have sufficient written documentation. In this case, historical reconstruction allows historians to fill gaps in historical knowledge by using existing evidence, including archaeology, artifacts, and oral sources.

  2. Unraveling Historical Mysterys: Some historical events or situations may remain mysterious or controversial. Through historical reconstruction, historians can try to unravel this mystery by collecting and analyzing various pieces of evidence and using careful research methods.

  3. Unearthing Forgotten Perspectives: Reconstruction history allows historians to unearth perspectives and stories that may be forgotten or ignored in official historical records. It includes the viewpoints of groups underrepresented in official history.

  4. Correcting Historical Bias: History is often influenced by certain biases, such as gender, racial, or political bias. Historical reconstruction can help in correcting these biases and provide a more objective picture of past events.

  5. Introducing Nuance and Context: Historical reconstruction allows historians to provide deeper nuance and context to certain events. This helps in a better understanding of why the events occurred and how they influenced society at the time.

  6. Using Interdisciplinary Methods: In reconstruction history, historians often work together with scientists from various other disciplines, such as archaeologists, anthropologists, geologists, and others, to gain a more holistic understanding of the past.

  7. Developing New Theories and Methods: The process of historical reconstruction can also produce new developments in theories and research methods. This can have a positive impact on the field of History and other disciplines.

  8. Teaching and Education: The results of historical reconstruction are often used in history education to teach students about past events. It helps students understand history as a dynamic process and enriches the teaching of history.

  9. Understanding Continuity and Change: Historical reconstruction helps in understanding continuity and change in society and human culture over time, providing deeper insight into how we got to the present point in historical development.

As such, historical reconstruction is a powerful tool for developing our understanding of the past, enriching historical records, and unearthing historical secrets that have not yet been revealed. This helps us to understand how historical events and processes have shaped the world we live in today.

Cultural Context

Cultural context is an important aspect in History because it greatly influences the way events and the historical process is understood, interpreted, and narrated. The relationship between cultural context, culture and identity in History can be described as follows:

  1. The Influence of Culture on History: Culture plays a key role in shaping historical events . Culture includes values, norms, traditions, language, religion, and other aspects that influence the actions and decisions of individuals and groups of society in various historical periods. For example, political policies, social structures, and economic practices often reflect the dominant cultural values of the time.

  2. The Relevance of Cultural Identity: Identity A person’s or group’s culture plays an important role in how they understand and interpret history. Cultural identity can include ethnic, national, religious, or even smaller subcultural identities. The way individuals or groups identify themselves within their cultural context can influence their perspective on historical events.

  3. Cultural and Identity Conflicts: Cultural conflicts often emerged in history as a result of conflicting values, beliefs, or cultural identities. History records cultural conflicts such as religious wars, ethnic conflicts, or national conflicts that influence the course of history of a society.

  4. Cultural Dynamics and Historical Change: Culture does not static; it changes over time. Cultural changes, such as changes in social norms or changes in language, can trigger significant historical changes. For example, technological change in history is often closely related to cultural change.

  5. Understanding of the Past: Culture and cultural identity can influence the way individuals and groups look at their past. Sometimes, historical views are subjective and influenced by cultural or identity bias. This can lead to disputes over historical interpretation.

  6. Cultural Heritage: History also serves as a way to understand and care for cultural heritage. Historical events, historical figures, and historical artifacts help preserve and convey important cultural elements.

  7. Cultural Studies in History: Historians often utilize cultural studies in their analysis to understand more deeply certain societies and historical periods. It includes the study of popular culture, art, music, and literature in historical context.

  8. Cultural Context in Historical Research: When conducting historical research, it is important to understand the cultural context in which an event or individual occurs. This helps researchers interpret historical evidence and understand the cultural implications in historical developments.

By paying attention to the complex relationship between cultural context, culture, and identity in History, historians can develop a deeper understanding of past events and their impact on human society and culture. Understanding the role of culture in history is an important step in embracing diversity and understanding the diverse contributions in the formation of our world.

Theoretical Development

The historical approach is one of the main theoretical approaches used in History by historians to understand and analyze past events. This is a traditional approach that has long been used in historical studies, and to this day still has a significant influence in the discipline of History. The following are some characteristics and theoretical developments in the historical approach:

  1. Emphasis on Narrative: The historical approach places a strong emphasis on narrative. Historians try to construct a coherent, chronological historical narrative that explains past events well. These narratives often follow a time-based structure and follow the development of events from beginning to end.

  2. Primary Source Research: Historians who use a historical approach tend to rely on sources -primary sources, such as original documents, letters, diaries, and other direct historical sources, as the basis for their research. These primary sources are considered as authentic evidence about past events.

  3. Historical Context: The importance of historical context is highly emphasized in the historical approach. Historians seek to understand past events in the context of their time and place. This includes understanding the cultural, political, social, and economic norms that existed in the period.

  4. Emphasis on Chronology: Historical approaches often utilize chronology to sequence events in correct time order. It helps in understanding cause and effect, as well as the evolution of historical events.

  5. Importance of Historical Figures: Historical figures often receive special attention in historical approaches . Research on the lives and actions of influential individuals in history is an important focus in this approach.

  6. Historical Interpretation: The historical approach includes the interpretation of history. Historians take historical evidence and try to provide an in-depth understanding and interpretation of these events. These interpretations are often based on existing evidence.

  7. Criticism of the Historical Approach: Although the historical approach remains relevant, there are also criticisms of it. This criticism includes issues such as bias in historical interpretation, lack of attention to history from a grassroots perspective, and lack of attention to structural impacts in history.

  8. Interdisciplinary: Although the historical approach is the main approach in History, historians often collaborate with scientists from other disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, or political science, to understand past events more holistically.

Theoretical developments in the historical approach have created various schools and approaches within it, such as political history, social history, cultural history and economic history. Historians continue to develop methods and theories within a historical approach to gain deeper insight into the past and the contribution of history to understanding our world today.


Relationships between Historical Sciences (History) and other scientific disciplines are interdisciplinary, which means that History works together and is interconnected with various other fields of study to understand and analyze various aspects of human history. This interdisciplinarity opens the door to richer approaches to understanding the past. The following are several fields of study that often interact with History:

  1. Sociology: Sociology and History often collaborate in understanding social structure, societal dynamics, social change , and the social effects of historical events. It helps in understanding how historical events influence individuals and groups in society.

  2. Anthropology: Anthropology studies human culture, and this includes the study of culture in context history. Historical anthropology focuses on the culture and lives of people in the past, and historians often use anthropological approaches in their research.

  3. Historical Economics: Historical economics studies development economics and trade in human history. It helps in understanding the role of economics in historical events, including trade, industrialization, and other economic changes.

  4. Political Science: The relationship between politics and history is very tightly. Political Science helps in understanding government structures, political policies, and political changes in history.

  5. Social Psychology: Social psychology studies human behavior in a social context. It is used to understand how individuals and groups behave and react to historical events.

  6. Historical Geography: Historical geography is the study of the role of geographical locations in history. It helps in understanding the impact of geography on historical events and developments.

  7. Arts and Literature: Arts and literature provide insight into cultural expression and human creativity in history . This study helps in understanding the cultural values and aspirations contained in works of art and literature.

  8. Natural Science: In the history of natural science, the study about the development of science and technology in human history is the main focus. It includes research on the development of science, technology, and important discoveries in history.

  9. Religion and Theology: Religion and theology play an important role in human history. The study of beliefs, religious practices, and the role of religion in historical events is the main focus in this discipline.

  10. Linguistics: Linguistics helps in the understanding of language change, language structure, and the role of language in human culture. This is especially relevant in the study of historical texts and written documentation.

These interdisciplinary relationships enrich our understanding of history by bringing together different perspectives and methodologies. It also helps in developing a more comprehensive approach to understanding past events and their impact on human society and culture.

Importance of Historical Science

Historical Science has a very important role in helping humans understand the past as a basis for planning the future. Here are some reasons why understanding the past through the Science of History is very important in the context of planning for the future:

  1. Avoiding the Same Mistakes: The study of history allows us to understand and learn from mistakes that have been made in the past. By understanding how past events and decisions can have a negative impact, we can avoid repeating similar mistakes in the future.

  2. Planning Better Policies: Understanding An in-depth understanding of history helps policy makers to plan better and more sustainable policies. They can consider past experiences and

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