History vs Social Studies: Difference and Comparison

In the formative years, we are taught various subjects that set a strong foundation for the future. The course curriculum is framed in such a way that the students get to study the fundamentals.

These fundamental aspects are carried forward to advanced study modes later in their life. No one can miss those basic functionalities of any subject.

There are two important subjects that we are coached from childhood; History and Social Studies. Though these are broader when classified in detail, they are also different.

Key Takeaways

  1. History is the study of past events, societies, and cultures, focusing on analyzing and interpreting primary and secondary sources to understand the human experience over time.
  2. Social studies is an interdisciplinary subject encompassing history, geography, economics, civics, and other social sciences, aiming to promote civic competence and understanding of human society.
  3. Although history is a component of social studies, social studies cover a broader range of topics and disciplines, integrating multiple perspectives to explore the complexities of human society.

History vs Social Studies

The difference between History and Social Studies is, History is a subject that deals with past events, while Social Studies is a study of collective features of society. History is a branch of social studies that mainly focuses on historical events and developments from the past. In contrast, Social studies involve more human activities both in the past and present.

History vs Social Studies

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Both History and Social studies involve human activities as the primary focus of study. The difference lies in the scope and usage of these subjects.


What is History?

History is the branch of study that exclusively deals with past events. History deals with all the human activities that have happened right from ancient times.

This branch of study comes under Social Studies and exclusively deals with human evolution. This branch of study helps us understand how the Planet earth was formed and what happened next.

Primarily, history offers information in chronological order. A well-structured line of study which deals with human development from various civilizations.

It is not confined to one particular location. It deals with all the places and teaches how the place and people evolved.

Also, history is one branch which also talks about ancient inventions and discoveries. Many artefacts and buildings, and architectural styles are also dealt with in an organized pattern.

History remarkably explains how culture and tradition evolved from the past. The cross-cultural attributes are also exclusively dealt with within this area of study.

History also amazes with ancient artefacts and events that cannot be imagined in the modern era. The domination of nations over others and foreign rule over the motherland can be learned in detail.


What is Social Studies?

Social Studies is a branch of study that comprehensively deals with human society. It is more generic, and one can learn about human activities in the past and present.

Social Studies can also throw light on how things will be in future too. It is one branch of study that has various other branches interconnected.

Social Studies comprise of

  1. History
  2. Geography
  3. Civic Life
  4. Sociology
  5. Psychology
  6. Anthropology
  7. Archaeology
  8. Economics
  9. Political Science
  10. Social Science

Every branch can be studied evasively and can be a research scholar too. It can be seen that Social Studies is broader than History.

On the whole, Social Studies deals with humans, culture, tradition and activities in various locations. It is necessary not time bound as History but substantiates facts that have happened in the past or present, which is of significant importance for the development of people.

Broadly deals with lifestyle in different parts of the world at different timelines. It exclusively deals with the standard of living in the form of economics.

The supply and demand aspects are profound in every area of social studies. The geographical locations, prominence and features are widely dealt with to understand the other parts of the world too.

Of course, history is a part of social studies that deals with past events.

social studies

Main Differences Between History and Social Studies

  1. The main difference between History and Social Science is the scope of the study. History is the study of past events, while Social studies are the study of human society.
  2. History is one of the disciplines under Social Studies, whereas Social studies have many disciplines imbibed, e.g. Geography, Economics, Archeology.
  3. History is presented sequentially from the beginning of human evolution, while Social studies do not confine to such order.
  4. History deals with places to understand their historical importance, while Social Studies enumerates the geographical feature of the place.
  5. History deals only with past events, while Social Studies is not time-bound. It deals with the past, present as well as future.

Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 08T110747.398
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1512472
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-07986-023

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “History vs Social Studies: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article provides a valuable exploration of history and social studies, highlighting their significance and nuances. It is an excellent resource for those wishing to delve deeper into the subject.

    1. Absolutely, Nmurray. The structured approach to examining the two disciplines serves as a great reference to those seeking clarity on the topic.

  2. An engaging and informative piece that masterfully dissects the intricate differences between history and social studies. A must-read for those seeking a comprehensive understanding.

    1. Indeed, Ray Price. The article offers readers a compelling narrative that navigates the complexities of history and social studies, providing a rich tapestry of knowledge and insight.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree. The article effectively dissects the nuances between history and social studies, delivering a profound understanding of these disciplines.

  3. Interesting article, I particularly enjoyed the detailed explanation of the differences between history and social studies, providing a comprehensive guide for those interested in knowing more about this topic.

    1. I have to agree, the article really delves into the subject matter in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for readers to understand and differentiate between history and social studies.

  4. I was expecting a more in-depth analysis of the historical and societal implications of studying history and social sciences. This article felt somewhat superficial in its treatment of the subject.

    1. I second your sentiment, Tmitchell. While the article serves as an introductory piece, it would have been beneficial to include a more critical examination of the broader implications of history and social studies.

  5. The article does an impressive job of comparing history and social studies, presenting a compelling argument for their distinction and interconnectedness. A thought-provoking read.

    1. Indeed, Tyler95. The article’s analytical approach really encourages the reader to consider the broader implications of these disciplines, which is its most captivating feature.

  6. An insightful read, shedding light on the complexities between history and social studies. I appreciate how it clarifies the distinctions while acknowledging their interconnectedness.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Barry01. The integrated approach to discussing history and social studies is commendable and provides readers with valuable insights.

  7. An enlightening piece that encapsulates the essence of history and social studies. The lucid comparisons provide a nuanced understanding of these disciplines, making for an engaging read.

    1. I appreciate the comprehensive overview of history and social studies, although I believe the article could have incorporated more real-world examples to enhance the reader’s comprehension.

    2. I concur, Alexa Ellis. The article adeptly captures the subtleties of history and social studies, offering a layered examination of their unique attributes.

  8. I find the article to be enlightening, although I do wish it had included more examples to illustrate the contrast between history and social studies more vividly. Nevertheless, it’s a good read for anyone curious about the topic.

    1. You’re right, Isabella. More examples to illustrate the points would have been beneficial. But I appreciate that the article is well-researched and informative overall.

    2. I respectfully disagree, as I believe the article covers the differences well without the need for excessive examples. The focus is more on providing a conceptual understanding, which it achieves successfully.

  9. I found the article to be intellectually stimulating, presenting a thought-provoking analysis of history and social studies. It has certainly broadened my understanding of these disciplines.

  10. I found the article to be well-presented and detailed in its exploration of history and social studies. A commendable effort to provide a comprehensive understanding of these disciplines.

    1. Absolutely, Reynolds Jamie. The article effectively navigates the complexities of history and social studies, presenting a rich tapestry of knowledge and perspective.

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