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Humanities and Social Sciences

Research the broad topic of the humanities and social sciences, which is a discipline that involves the study of human society and social relationships. Within this discipline, however, the humanities and the social sciences are distinct in their methodology and focus (although there is some overlap). The humanities typically are considered more critical and analytical, dealing with the philosophical question of what makes us human. The social sciences, on the other hand, use a more scientific approach, essentially applying similar methodology as the natural sciences to the study of humans in society.

Scholars consider the humanities to have developed first, starting in ancient Greece and evolving into a topic of study in the 15th century. The social sciences sprang from the Enlightenment, an intellectual and philosophical movement prevalent in Europe during the 18th century that emphasized rationality, logic, and methodology as applied to the empirical world.

Branches of the humanities include law, languages, philosophy, religion and mythology, international relations, gender and women’s studies, multicultural and regional studies, popular culture, and art and music, while branches of the social sciences include sociology, anthropology, archeology, geography, political science (including politics and government), psychology, communication studies, criminal justice, demographics, library and information science, and economics.

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Humanities and Social Sciences Topics

Gale provides insights and useful resources for research supporting humanities and social sciences across a variety of topics. 

Humanities and Social Sciences Resources

Gale offers a product portfolio, including databases, primary sources, and eBooks designed to support education.


Gale databases support the humanities and social sciences by providing full-text articles, peer-reviewed articles, and abstracts from must-read humanities scholarly journals and social science resources. Topics include ecosystems, cultural differences, and more.

Primary Sources

Gale Primary Sources archives provide researchers with firsthand content, including social science resources and humanities journals.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks that can be added to a customized collection and cross-searched to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools enable users to access, share, save, and download materials.

  • Analyzing Inequalities: An Introduction to Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Using the General Social Survey, 1st Edition

    Analyzing Inequalities: An Introduction to Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Using the General Social Survey, 1st Edition

    SAGE | 2017 | ISBN-13: 9781506304106

    This book is a practical resource for helping students connect sociological issues with real-world data in the context of their first undergraduate sociology courses. This work introduces readers to the General Social Survey (GSS), one of the most widely analyzed surveys in the U.S.; examines a range of GSS questions related to social inequalities; and demonstrates basic techniques for analyzing this data online. No special software is required—the exercises can be completed using the Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) website at the University of California-Berkeley, which is easy to navigate and master. Students will come away with a better understanding of social science research and will be better positioned to ask and answer the sociological questions that most interest them.

  • Working for Social Justice: Appreciating Diversity, 1st Edition

    Working for Social Justice: Appreciating Diversity, 1st Edition

    Enslow Publishing | 2020 | ISBN-13: 9781978507975

    In a time of divisive headlines, it’s vital for students to learn the many ways diversity makes the world a better place. With this volume, students will be encouraged to celebrate the many different cultures of the globe. They’ll learn to understand concepts like intersectionality and discrimination and how these concepts affect them and their friends. Young readers will learn why it’s important to respect everyone no matter how different they may seem. The narrative simplifies complex ideas, making them accessible to students and showing them that when we celebrate our differences, the world becomes a friendlier place.

Resources to Boost Your Research

From trending social issues to classic literature, Gale resources have you covered. Explore overviews, statistics, essay topics, and more or log in through your library to find even more content.

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