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Social Sciences 

Investigate the discipline of social sciences, which is the scientific study of human society and social relationships. This broad discipline links multiple academic fields, including sociology, anthropology, archaeology, geography, political science, psychology, and economics, with some arguing that history and linguistics should also be included. While social sciences uses the scientific method to examine human behavior, the lack of predictability and universal laws in human behavior differs from the application of the scientific method to the natural, or so-called “hard sciences,” leading some to refer to the social sciences as the “soft sciences.”

The social sciences sprang from the Age of Enlightenment, an intellectual and philosophical movement prevalent in Europe during the 18th century that emphasized rationality, logic, and methodology as applied to the empirical world. The philosophical system of positivism, which holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified, spurred an interest in describing, explaining, and predicting human behavior.

While social sciences attempts an objective evaluation of human and social behavior, by its very nature it must grapple with questions of equality, fairness, cohesion, and happiness, and thus, with moral issues. It’s this ethical and moral dimension that, to a degree, sets apart the social sciences from the natural sciences.

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Social Science Resources

Gale provides social sciences journal articles, periodicals, primary sources, and collections that support social sciences research, including databases, primary source archives, and eBooks.


Gale databases support social sciences research with guides, abstracts, full-text documents, primary sources, journal articles, bibliographic information, and more, all powered by robust subject indexing.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains full-text social sciences journals that present academic researchers with firsthand content, including historical documents, printed works, and news articles.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of social sciences topics, including sociology, political science, psychology, economics, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition

    International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition

    Pergamon | 2015 | ISBN-13: 9780080970875

    The International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences offers social and behavioral sciences reference material. It comprises over 3,900 articles commissioned by 71 section editors and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes.

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  • The Psychology and Dynamics Behind Social Media Interactions, 1st Edition

    The Psychology and Dynamics Behind Social Media Interactions, 1st Edition

    Information Science Reference | 2020 | ISBN-13: 9781522594147

    Adolescents and young adults are the main users of social media. This has sparked interest among scholars and students regarding the effects of social media on normative development. A need exists for an edited collection that presents readers with both breadth and depth on the impacts of social media on normative development and how it amplifies positive and negative behaviors. This essential reference book focuses on current social media research and provides insight into its benefits and detriments through the lens of psychological theories. It enhances the understanding of current scholarship regarding the antecedents to social media use and problematic use, effects of use for identity formation, mental and physical health, and relationships (friendships and romantic and family relationships) in addition to implications for education and support groups. Aids collaborative research opportunities; ideal for students, clinicians, educators, researchers, councilors, psychologists, and social workers.

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Resources to Boost Your Research

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