Sociology and History – Difference Between Sociology and History

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between Sociology and History is that sociology is a core discipline of the social sciences, and history falls between social sciences and humanities. Both disciplines have distinct identities and serve unique purposes. As a result, these two sciences are interdependent. Today, sociology is studied from a historical perspective, while history is studied from a sociological perspective.

Difference Between Sociology and History PDF

The relationship between sociology and history is that sociology, being a social science discipline, refers to the academic study of aspects of human behaviour in the context of society. In contrast, history delves into the history of past events. Let’s explore the difference between sociology and history in detail.

Difference Between Sociology and History

The pivotal difference between sociology and history is that sociology studies society and deals with the past, present, and future. However, history is the study of the past and exclusively deals with the past. Let us check the differences between the two mentioned in the table below.

Sociology and History

Difference Between Sociology and History



Sociology deals with the study of diverse groups of people.

History comprises the study of past events.

With a degree in sociology, one explore roles such as policy analyst.

Sociology majors can also work in fields like criminal justice and public health.

Careers in history range from playing the roles of historians, archivists, museum curators, history guides, and academics.

Sociology is a highly analytical subject, with sociologists leveraging several techniques to study human behaviour in the context of their groups and interpret patterns to form a systematic analysis.

On the other hand, history is based on recounting facts related to events and their evolution.

Those pursuing sociology study must have a keen interest in understanding human relationships and activities in the context of social structures and must have a scientific bend of mind, critical thinking skills, and powers of observation.

Those pursuing the study of history must display a keen interest in the historical value of events and be curious about the past and how its consequences manifest in the present and future.

Famous sociologists include Emile Durkheim and Max Weber.

Famous historians include Helen Cam and Marc Raeff

Sociology and History

Studies of society include sociology and history; in this case, both fields are interested in human behaviour and events. Several historians also believed that sociological ideas and variations were crucial to human existence.

  • The study of history and social phenomena is one area of social science that is concerned with the understanding of sociological relevance.
  • The difference between sociology and history, along with a basic introduction, is discussed below.

What is Sociology?

Sociology, as the name suggests, involves the study of society or collective groups of people who may connect through associations such as social class, age demographics, religious beliefs, geography, gender, race, and sexuality.

  • Sociologists attempt to answer complex questions about modern social issues by doing so.
  • These social issues span a broad spectrum, from poverty and non-inclusive work cultures to discrimination and lack of access to healthcare.
  • Sociologists leverage scientific methods to understand how various communities engage, the evolution of social constructs, and their impact on social change.

What is History?

History is the in-depth study of past events, the factors that helped shape them, and how they impacted people, communities, countries, and other aspects of life. History also spans a wide spectrum of economic, religious, cultural, and social developments.

  • The spectrum of events studied can range from wars and imperialism to a nation’s history and the evolution of women’s rights.
  • History was established much earlier than most social sciences, as early as the 5th century BC.
  • The history study can be distorted based on the authenticity of the collection of facts and evidence.
  • Historians spend as much time verifying the authenticity of these facts as they do, building narratives around past events.


Key Difference Between Sociology and History

The key difference between sociology and history is that Sociology is a social science that focuses on the contemporary social environment. However, history deals with the past and examines previous societies. Sociology is an abstract field, while History is a concrete subject.

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