A science can be defined in two principle ways. Science as a content is a body of known facts and relationships. Such as the topics we learn in biology, psychology and sociology. On the other hand, science as a process can be said to be the activity that includes systematic ways of gathering data, determining relationships and offering explanations. Social science, on the other hand, can be defined as a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world.
They can be distinguished from the humanities and arts, by virtue of the fact that they emphasize on the scientific study of humanity including qualitative and quantitative methods. Social sciences include sociology, social work, anthropology, and economics among others. In years past, distinguishing between a natural science and a social science was easy since it was believed that natural sciences dealt with the objective aspects of nature and aspects of society. Nowadays, social sciences and natural aspects have almost become one through interdisciplinary mergers .
By this it means aspects of social sciences are incorporated in to the natural sciences such as medical sociology, sociobiology, neuropsychology and many more. The one sure way of rooting for the social sciences to be perceived as a science is through the research methodologies employed by the social sciences. Most, if not all natural sciences use quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. These methodologies include experimental, correlation, case study, survey and natural observation.
The above mentioned methodologies have been used extensively by social scientists throughout to collect data analyze and come up with probable conclusions and recommendations just like their counterparts in the natural sciences. Good examples of the methodologies used by social scientists include surveys. In surveys, the researchers use interviews and questionnaires to be able to come up with conclusion concerning different aspects of the society, which in most cases, prove to be true. Another way of vouching for social science to be considered as a science is through the various similarities that are present.
For one to become a natural scientist one must undergo socialization and indoctrination in a social set up or institution. The teacher will use textbooks that are approved for that particular discipline, which does not vary though there might be different textbooks available. Both the natural and social sciences are carried out in the same environment- the society. Therefore whatever is perceived to be true to the natural sciences should also be done to the social sciences. The natural science deals with human environment (surrounding) whereas the social science deals with the society as a whole.