A Short Introduction to Human Sciences

Uomo Vitruviano ImageSince this is my first post to my website, I decided that I wanted to give you a short introduction to Human Sciences. In a nut shell, human science is an interdisciplinary field that uses empirical processes to study the biological and sociocultural aspects of human life. It aims to show how people interact with their environment, and how the world in turn affects us. It encompasses so many different fields and seeks to address multidimensional human issues.

For me, human science is about asking the big questions about our existence, but using science and data to make postulations rather than taking a purely philosophical stand point. In fact, what makes human science unique is that it has a very distinct phenomenological methodology – it makes use of both sensory and psychological experience to draw data from. Continue reading

People Watching on the Street as a Sociological Experiment

Sociology is one of the many human sciences that I am very much interested in. It’s just great, studying the behaviour of people, as well as their development. It’s a great way to see how society has evolved, how our history has influenced us and how our day to day lives have been affected by the lives of those who have lived before us.

Sociology LogoI like observing people to see how society functions, how one individual fits into the whole. And one of the very best ways to learn sociology I believe is from society itself.

There are so many different cultures around the world that it is almost insanely impossible to study everyone’s sociology. Unless you dedicate the rest of your life to visiting every country in the world just to learn more about people who live there. And even then, you still might not be able to learn everything there is to know about people, who are always constantly evolving.

So if you want to learn a bit more about people but you don’t want to commit to studying sociology as a major in university just yet, then you can just make observations by people watching.

What is Sociology?


People Watching as a Sociological Experiment

People Walking OutsideRecently I decided that I would go and spend an entire day people watching. I chose a cafe on a busy street/corner, ordered coffee, and basically took up the same outdoor table for the entire day. I only took breaks to order food or more coffee, or to go to the bathroom. I even brought along with me a notepad and a pen to write down all the notes I made.

So basically… I observed what people were doing on the road. People in cars, people walking by. If you want to learn more about society and the way we function, you can do the same thing if you like!

Anyway…here are just some of the observations I made as I was conducting my little social experiment!

People Cross the Street Haphazardly

Pedestrian LaneAs I observed the people walking on the road, I realised that not everyone follows the traffic rules. The truth is that many even risk their lives just to cross the street when there are many pedestrian crosswalks available.

Some jaywalk just because they do not want to walk the small extra distance to the pedestrian crossing. I think that we really need pedestrian safety barriers in order to keep people in line…even if it is for their own safety!

People Are Always in a Hurry

Another thing I noticed is that almost everybody is in a hurry. It’s a shame that people always are, because they miss out on a lot of the beauty around us.

Acts of KindnessIf people just stop and watch for a while, they would notice so much of the beauty in the world. But it cannot be helped—the hustle and bustle of the world stresses everyone out.

People Can Be Kind

I have noticed that people have kindness in their hearts. From the way they talk to strangers to the way they help those in need. It’s something that gives me faith in humanity. I love seeing it in action.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Political Science (That Doesn’t Involve Government)?

political-sciences-PhDsSince this entire website is all about human sciences, I would like also to discuss specific sciences that fall under human sciences’ general umbrella. One of those sciences is Political Science.

Not a lot of people are interested by this particular science—and certainly not many people are enticed to study this field. But the truth is that it is a noble science that can take you to many other tracks apart from actually becoming a politician. Yes—political science doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to try to be in office!

So what exactly can you do with a degree in political science that doesn’t involve you running for a position in the government?

Apart from government agencies, there are many other agencies that employ political science graduates—international agencies, some law firms (following certain other qualifications), universities/colleges, media and the private sector just to name a few. Here are some of the tracks you can follow.

 

Journalism

 

Journalism

 

Add a little communication skills training at an advanced level and you will find yourself poised in the perfect position to become a journalist. You could become a PR agent (public relations), handling public relations for big clients whether they are politicians or celebrities.

With that kind of training you could also become a TV or Radio journalist—a news anchor or something of the sort. If this type of thing isn’t so much your style, you can always just become a print journalist.

You can be a writer, an editor, or a publisher—it just all depends on what you feel is a better fit for you. In general, a degree in the political sciences can allow you to become a member of the press, relaying information and breaking news to the general public—or handling the public dealings of someone who is in the public’s eye.

criminal-law-policy

Law

Political sciences could lead you to a track in law—to become a solicitor or a barrister. Of course this would mean you would have to get additional training and education, so this may not be the track for everyone.

For the law track, you will also find yourself greatly benefiting from some training in communication skills. You and your clients will be grateful for the skills!

Business/Financial Consultant

If you are interested in this particular track, you can become a consultant dealing with finances and business dealings. You can become perhaps a financial planner, a budget analyst, or perhaps even a market analyst. In the business world, these positions are in demand—which means you will be too.

 

consultoria_economica

 

Especially if you are particularly good at what you do and make a name for yourself doing it too.

So there you go… These are just some of the careers you can go into after you finish a degree in political sciences. There are so many other careers and jobs you can get with a political science degree—perhaps I’ll make another post for this another time.

 

Where can a degree in Political Science take you?

The Human-Canine Relationship

Heather Nicholson with DogOne of the branches of human sciences that fascinates me is anthrozoology, or the study of how humans form relationships with animals. It is a subcategory of interspecies relationships and how they factor into our lives as people.

I am especially interested in human-canine relationships. It is arguably the oldest mutual relationship in history, and we have even studied how to breed our dogs and how to keep them healthy. Years of scientific research has gone into caring for our pets – we study their diet, and try to weigh the benefits of dry dog food as opposed to wet.

In fact, you will see hundreds of researchers arguing over what the perfect diet for dogs would be. Dry dog food is good for the teeth, while wet dog food is good for hydration. The debate goes on and on!

What is Anthrozoology?


The question is: Why do we care so much? How is it that the dog and other animals are so important to us? Why is it that we spend so much time and money to get the right nutrition for our pets, even though we know that we will never eat a dog?

Currently there are three theories regarding the human-canine relationship and why we seek it out. About 43% of the world’s people have a pet dog after all.

The Biophilia Theory
Cockapoos and GirlThe first theory that we will touch upon is the biophilia theory. Basically, it is the theory that believes that we look to our animal companions for survival. This is actually true in some respects – for example, the tribes men in Congo who keep dogs use them primarily to hunt. A good number of them believe that they would ultimately starve and die if they ever lose their pets.

The big flaw in the biophilia theory is that many people are actually capable of surviving without dogs – they are no longer crucial to our survival, so what is it that makes them so special?

The Social Support Theory
The Social Support Theory on the other hand, tells us that we depend on dogs for emotional support. It believes that humans are incapable of surviving without non-human contact, as having a pet is crucial to our well-being. Animals are part of our community, and many see dogs as human too.

The Self-Object Theory
Elliot Aronson and DogThis theory maintains that dogs are a self-object. Self-objects are empathetic items that we like to see as part of ourselves. For parents, their children are typically their self-object – parents see themselves mirrored in their children.

Similarly, dogs are mirrors of us. Dogs also have a knack for reading us in the same way that children read an adult. In fact, dogs are so well adapted to reading a person’s moods and gestures that they even beat out chimpanzees. It is the reason why dogs seem to recognize their names right away and know that we want them to fetch the paper if we point.

The human-canine bond is a fascinating subject. Since we are the ones squabbling over the health benefits of wet or dry dog food, you would wonder who the real domesticated animal is in this relationship. What if its really dogs that tamed us? Chew on that little brain tickler.