Difference Between History and Social Studies

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    History vs Social Studies

    History and social studies fall under the field of the academy. Both are considered as matters of inquiry and are included as compulsory subjects in the majority of schools and curriculum. The human element is prevalent in both studies. History focuses on the people involved in history as well as human contributions that lead to historical events. Meanwhile, social studies focus on society as a collective human entity and also on its members as individual human beings. Although both social science and history are similar in nature as a study, they have differences in terms of scope and nature.

    For instance, history is the study of an entity with respect to its past, the events, people, and others important variables that contributed to what is present in a particular context. As a study, it aims to discover, collect, and interpret data or information from the past. It may be people or artifacts that serve as proof of the human record. History often creates constructions and contributions of the past that are linked to the present.

    On the other hand, social studies involve various fields and an entity called society. It deals with society, how it works, and other people-related issues like social behavior or compliance, traditions and cultures. Social studies integrate the social studies and humanities fields under this umbrella term dealing with human behavior, interactions, as well as the human societies of both the past and the present.

    History can be classified in many different ways. It can be by period or time, geographical location, or by discipline. History can also be recorded (usually written) or non-recorded (oral history and tradition).

    The primary aim of social studies is to equip a citizen to make important decisions as a member of society. An individual citizen can make a huge contribution to either the growth or reduction of society where the individual belongs. Social studies comprise academic disciplines and stand-alone fields of study. It includes history, economics, political science, psychology, anthropology, geography, social science, sociology, archeology, communication, linguistics, law, philosophy, and religion.


    1.History and social studies are familiar studies in schools. Both studies are incorporated in the school curriculum on many levels of education (elementary, secondary, and tertiary).
    2.A major component of both subjects is the focus on people or the human element, from the individual to society (social studies), and contributions of people and the human element in the course of history (history).
    3.Social studies are a broad category that encompass many related disciplines including history. This broad category usually includes disciplines from social sciences and the humanities. History, on the other hand, can be classified as belonging both to social science and humanities.
    4.Social studies focus on the society as an entity and the activities that its members have (human interaction, relationships, culture and tradition, and other human aspects). On the other hand, history is also involved with people with a specific reference to what happened in the past. In addition, history is concerned about the past contributions and constructions that affect the present world.
    5.Social studies encompass many disciplines like: history, economics, political science, psychology, anthropology, geography, social science, sociology, archeology, and others. Meanwhile, history is a specific study and can be classified by period, geographical location, and by discipline. In addition, history can be in the form of written or oral history.
    6.History is time bound and mostly in a chronological form while social studies (and some of the disciplines that fall under this category) do not conform to this type of form.
    7.Both social studies and history are bound by both qualitative and quantitative methods and research.

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