Difference Between Sociology and Social Science

Key Difference – Sociology vs Social Science

The key difference between sociology and social science is that the social sciences is a broad area which consists of many sub-fields and sociology is a subfield of social science. Sociology and social science are study fields that are dedicated to the study of human beings and society. In simpler terms, it can be said that sociology is a sub-study branch of social science. Social science can be divided into various sub categories studying different aspects of society. Sociology, Political Science, History Studies, Law Studies are some examples for these sub-categories. Sociology, on the other hand, basically focuses on the human behavior and the features of a social structure. In this article, we are going to look at the differences between Sociology and Social Science in detail.

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the academic study field of social behavior and social structure. It studies areas like origin, development, structures, units, organizations, institutions and social roles of individuals etc. Sociology has been developed as a scientific study field with the use of scientific methods. It uses empirical investigations and analysis methods to examine the study areas of the subject. Sociology can be divided into two main sub categories. Theoretical Sociology looks at the historical development of the society and tries to understand the social processes and changes accordingly. Practical Sociology, on the other hand, focuses on the practical side of the subject area. There, the sociologists associate the theoretical principles in practical situations.

Sociology varies from micro level studies, such as family, gender, social class etc. to macro level studies, such as social organizations, social change etc. Sociological knowledge can be considered indispensable in working with the humans because sociology deals with human behavior and nature. Moreover, sociological theories can be applied to many kinds of other disciplines, such as Politics, History, Engineering, Medicine, etc. Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim are some of the most famous pioneers of Sociology.

difference between sociology and social science

Family unit – A micro social structure

What is Social Science?

The beginning of social science goes back to the 18th century, with the articles published by Rousseau and some other pioneers. Social Science is a vast study area which is focused on the human society. There are many sub fields of Social Science. Economics, Political Science, Geography, Law and Sociology, etc. are some of the major sub branches of social sciences. In a broader perspective, social science is an academic discipline concerned with the society and its relationships with individual members. The research subject disciplines like Anthropology, Linguistics, and Archaeology, etc. also come under social sciences. Since almost all the sub disciplines use the scientific methods in order to investigate facts, Social Science can be defined as a scientific study field, as of natural sciences.

social science vs. sociology - key difference

Social Science -All aspects of society are studied

What is the difference between Sociology and Social Science?


Social Science: Social science is a broad subject area which consists of many sub fields.

Sociology: Sociology is one of the major sub branches of Social Science.

Study Focus

Social Science: Social science deals with many aspects of the society since there are many sub braches for various fields of the society.

Sociology: Sociology mainly focuses on the society, the human behavior, and the social structure.


Social Science: Social science is a vast study area. Almost all the aspects of society are studied.

Sociology: Sociology, not as vast as social sciences. It mainly focuses on the human behaviors and social structures.


Image Courtesy:
“Logo sociology” by Tomeq183 – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons