Social Studies vs History (With Table)

During our time at school, we were taught multiple subjects that were a part of the curriculum. These subjects were essential to form a strong foundation for future studies. All the fundamental aspects that were present in these subjects carried a lot of value. Two such core subjects were History and Social Studies. Every high school student is familiar with these terms. These subjects have taught us some of the basic but important concepts. Let us take a look at Social Studies vs History.

The key difference between History and Social Studies is that History as a subject deals with the events of the past. On the other hand, Social Studies is actually a study of the collective features surrounding society. History forms a part of Social Studies. It deals with the events and developments related to the past. Whereas Social Studies include human activities that have a connection with the past as well as the present. Both of these terms focus on the activities of humans. There are multiple differences based on the scope and usage of these terms.

Comparison Table: Social Studies vs History

CriteriaSocial StudiesHistory
MeaningSocial studies are defined as the study of human society as a whole.History is defined as the study of past events.
DisciplinesThere are multiple disciplines in Social studies such as Geography, Economics, and Archaeology.History is one of the disciplines of Social studies.
OrderNo such sequential orders can be found in social studies.A sequential order from the beginning of human evolution is presented in History.
Relation with the placeSocial studies focus on the geographical features of the place.History focuses on the historical importance of a place.
Relation with timeOn the other hand, social studies are not time-bound. It forms a relationship with the past, present, and future.History is time-bound and deals with the events of the past.
Social Studies vs History Table
Social Studies vs History
Social Studies vs History

What is History?

History is a branch of study that deals with the events of the past. It deals with the activities surrounding humans. All these activities and events have happened right from ancient times.

History as a branch of study falls under the catering of Social Studies. It exclusively deals with topics like human evolution. Social studies are important to understand how Planet earth had formed and what came after the formation.

All the information that we get from studying History is mentioned in chronological order. It offers a well-structured line of study which focuses on the human development of multiple civilizations.

History is not restricted to a particular place. Rather it deals with every place around the world and teaches us about the lifestyle or culture of the people.

History also covers the inventions and discoveries made during the ancient years. You will find information about the artifacts, buildings, and architectural styles in an organized pattern. It explains the evolution of culture and tradition of the past. Within this subject, many cross-cultural attributes can be seen.

What amazes us the most are the ancient events and activities that cannot be seen in today’s modern era. There was the domination of one nation over the other, ruling over the motherland and a different architectural history. All of these cannot be seen anymore, what remains are the monuments and traditions.

What is Social Studies?

The branch of study that deals with human society are known as Social Studies. It is a very generic subject and human activities are focused on the past as well as the present. Social Studies helps to focus on how things might be in the future. Under this branch of study, multiple other branches are interconnected.

 Social Studies consists of

  • History
  • Geography
  • Civic life
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Political Science
  • Social Science
  • Economics

Every branch under Social Studies can be explored in detail and there are research scholars based on each of these branches. Social Studies is actually broader than history. Riddles with the culture, tradition, and activities of the humans, of various locations.

It is not time-bound like history and all the facts have happened either in the past or the present. These facts have led to an increase in the development of the people. This makes Social Studies a very important branch of study.

One can explore the lifestyle in different parts of the world and at different timelines. It deals with the standard of human living in the form of economics. The geographical locations and their importance and prominence are extensively dealt with to understand and compare other parts of the world.

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Difference Between Social Studies and History

1) Education

Both the terms History and Social Studies can be found in the school curriculum in the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels.

2) Human element

Social studies focus on the people or the human as an element. It explains the relationship between the individual and society. History is about the contributions of the people and the human element over a course of time.

3) Category

Social studies is a very broad category that includes multiple disciplines such as history and other subjects from Social Science and Humanities. History, on the other hand, is the discipline that belongs to both Social Science and Humanities.

4) Focus

History focuses on the people with a special reference to past events. It is all about the past constructions and contributions that have changed the present. Social studies, on the other hand, focuses on the society which acts as the entity and the activities that the members are engaged in.

5) Disciplines

History does not have any disciplines under it and is a specific field of study. It can only be differentiated by the period, geographical location, or discipline. History has two forms: written and oral history. Social studies, on the other hand, have multiple disciplines such as history, geography, sociology, archaeology, and others.

6) Time-bound

History follows a chronological order and is mostly time-specific. Social studies do not follow any such time-specific order.

7) Methods of Research

Both History and Social Studies are centered around qualitative and quantitative methods of research.

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Both Social Studies and history are very important branches of study. Multiple aspects of human life are looked into and covered by these disciplines.

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