Description: Social science is the field of study concerned with society and human behaviours. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences. These include: anthropology, archaeology, criminology, economics, education, linguistics, political science and international relations, sociology, geography, history, law, and psychology. The term may however be used in the specific context of referring to the original science of society established in 19th century sociology (Latin: socius, "companion"; -ology, "the study of", and Greek λόγος, lógos, "word", "knowledge"). Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber are typically cited as the principal architects of modern social science by this definition. Positivist social scientists use methods resembling those of the natural sciences as tools for understanding society, and so define science in its stricter modern sense. Interpretivist social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories, and thus treat science in its broader sense. In modern academic practice, researchers are often eclectic, using multiple methodologies (for instance, by combining the quantitative and qualitative techniques). The term social research has also acquired a degree of autonomy as practitioners from various disciplines share in its aims and methods.
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