The article highlights the negative perception prevailing in our society towards social sciences and emphasizes the role of social scientists in shaping our society.

Social scientists study all areas of society-from past achievements to human conduct and relationships among groups. They provide insights into the ways people, groups and organizations make decisions, use power or respond to change. They look at every aspect of society in detail, study it carefully, reanalyze the already existing behaviors, go through historical records and documents, and interpret the effect of culture along with other aspects of society. They provide in-depth study and intense analysis of the physical, social, and cultural development of humans and establish links between human activity and the environment.

Social scientists hold a critical place in many industries, from government agencies that examine socio-economic trends to businesses that evaluate their target demographics. Mainly in the era of social media, those with an understanding of social network analysis are given great importance.

Unfortunately, the scope of such sciences particularly among the youth is on the decline due to which there has been an absence of social scientists in our society. Majority of our youth is unaware of this academic discipline and focuses more on science and engineering. They do not know about the subjects which constitute social sciences. Talented students are discouraged to venture into such subjects professionally and those who do not get admission in science, engineering and commerce are forced to choose subjects of social sciences, as a last resort. Students fail to excel in these subjects because they are not trained to understand the importance of these disciplines.

Among many other reasons, people lack understanding about the job prospects available for social scientists and believe these prospects are lower in number, if compared with other disciplines. Secondly, our education system doesn’t realize the importance of these subjects in our society. There is no faculty available at matriculation or college level and if these disciplines are taught in schools, they are treated as secondary subjects. Thirdly, parents force their children not to study these disciplines, considering them subjects which do not offer great prospects. They put pressure on children to choose business, engineering or medical schools, instead of going for arts or humanities. 

It is saddening to see that we do not realize the importance of social thinkers who shape the system of our society. The academic discipline which is pivotal to better and critical understanding of contemporary issues, is the most neglected one in Pakistan. It is important that more people opt for social sciences and engage in research in them, so that they can make valid interpretations and devise solutions for the well-being of society. Parents, teachers and educators need to encourage their students about the importance of social sciences, so that they can pursue these disciplines. They need to develop an interest in such fields, as it will also help bringing about a positive change in our society.

Madiha Salman

Madiha Salman is a journalist, freelancer and content writer for UMT-Office of Communications

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