Sociology and History (Relationships and Differences)

Relationship of Sociology and History

As a mother of social sciences, sociology has a relationship with all other social sciences. Accordingly, it has a close relationship with history as well. Because present society bears symbols of the past, some scholars have refused to acknowledge sociology as a science distinct from history.

Sociology is the science of society. It is a study of systems of social action and their inter-relations, the study of social groups and social institutions. History studies the past political, social, and economic events and incidents of the world. It records the life of people and societies in the past in a systematic and chronological order.

History not only studies the past but also establishes relations with the present and future. That is why it is said that “History is the microscope of the past, the horoscope of the present and telescope of the future.”


Although these sciences differ in their core subject matter, both the sciences are closely interrelated and interdependent on each other. Both study the same human society. Both take help from each other. At the same time, one depends on the other for its own completeness.

  • History helps and enriches Sociology. History is the storehouse of knowledge from which Sociology gained a lot. History provides materials sociologists use. History is a record of past social matters, social customs, and information about different stages of life. In many cases, to know the impact of a particular past event on the present society, sociology depends on history.
  • Similarly, Sociology also provides help to history and enriches it. A historian greatly benefited from the research conducted by Sociologists. Historians now study caste, class, and family by using sociological data. Sociology provides the background for the study of history.
  • Now history is being studied from a sociological angle. Every historical event has a social cause or social background. To understand that historical event history needs help from Sociology. Sociology provides facts on which historians rely on.

Thus, these both sciences are mutually dependent on each other. History is now being studied from a Sociological angle and Sociology also now studied from a historical point of view.

Difference between Sociology and History

Both sciences study human society and take help from each other for their completeness. But in spite of the above close relationship and inter-dependence, both the sciences differ from each other in different aspects which are described below:


  • Sociology is a science of society and is concerned with the present society. But history deals with the past events and studies the past society.
  • Sociology is a modern or new subject. Whereas history is an older social science.
  • Sociology is general science. Whereas history is a special science.
  • The scope of Sociology is very wide. Sociology includes history within its scope. Whereas the scope of history is limited.
  • Sociology is an analytical science. Whereas history is a descriptive science.
  • Sociology studies a particular event as a social phenomenon. Whereas history studies a particular event in its entirety.
  • Sociology is abstract in nature. And, history is concrete in nature.

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