Social Studies Topics

Left Brain or Right Brain?
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Social Studies is the study of human beings as they relate to each other and their environments. If you enjoy exploring people, their cultures and behavior, you should enjoy social studies. There are many disciplines that fit under the umbrella of the social sciences, so you can narrow the field to one that most interests you as you select a research topic.

History Topics

You might think of history as a branch of study that falls outside the realm of social studies.

Not so. In every era of human existence, people had to relate to each other. For example, after World War II, there was great pressure for women to leave the workforce --  they had been the backbone of the defense industry, filling vital jobs while men were overseas fighting the Japanese and the Nazis -- yet they were shunted aside when the men returned. This created a great shift in the social dynamic in the U.S.

Other historical themes offer rich areas for social studies research ranging from inventions that changed the nature of schoolwork to the impact U.S. presidents had when visiting a small town. Local architecture greatly influenced who people interacted with throughout history, and even things as seemingly innocuous as the introduction of silverware impacted social norms and etiquette at the nightly dinner table.

  • Diets of Civil War Soldiers and Nutrition
  • WWII Women Who Worked and Returned to Homemaking
  • Confederate Symbols and Race in My Town
  • Inventions That Changed School Work
  • Midwives and Birth Rates
  • Local Architecture Patterns
  • Vanity in the Nineteenth Century
  • Vietnam War and Grandma
  • Country Doctors' Records
  • The Impact of a President's Visit
  • When Silverware Came to Town
  • Coal Camps in Local History
  • The Household Impact of the Discovery of Germs

    Economics Topics

    Economics -- "a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services," as Merriam-Webster notes -- is, by definition, a social science. Job growth and loss -- both nationally and locally -- affect not just how people vote but how they relate to each other. Globalization is a hot topic that often brings people of opposing views into heated arguments and even physical confrontations. International treaties -- particularly those focusing on trade -- can inflame passions in the electorate overall, in small communities and even among individuals.

    • Do Attractive People Make More Money?
    • What Political Party Creates Job Growth?
    • Is Globalization Good or Bad?
    • International Treaties - Good or Bad
    • How Does the IMF Work?

    Political Science Topics

    Race and politics are obvious areas for sociological study, but so is the fairness of the Electoral College. Many groups nationwide are firm believers in conspiracy theories, which have spawned entire groups devoted to the study and discussion of these topics.

    • Is the Media Really Biased?
    • How Do Polls Work?
    • How Does Fact Checking Work?
    • Race and Politics
    • Is the Electoral College Fair?
    • Political Systems Compared
    • What Is the New World Order?
    • Conspiracy Theories

    Sociology Topics

    The umbrella topic of sociology can cover everything from marriage customs -- including same-sex marriage -- to the ethics involved in adopting children from Third World countries. The debate over private-versus-public schools -- and the funding that goes with it -- is a topic that stirs strong passions and discussions among advocates on each side. And, the ever-present specter of racism is a vexing problem that continues to plague our society.

    • Federal v. State Power
    • Food Regulation
    • What Opportunities Are Available to Specific Minority Groups?
    • Good and Bad Role Models
    • Religion and Politics
    • Building in Flood Zones
    • Marriage Customs Examined
    • Same-Sex Marriage
    • Is It Ethical to Adopt Children from Third World Countries?
    • Population Control Around the World
    • Education: Private or Government Systems
    • Will Racism Ever Die?
    • The Roots of Regional Customs in America
    • How the Internet Affects Our Perception of Truth

    Psychology Topics

    Psychology -- the study of the mind and behavior -- goes to the very heart of what makes human beings tick as well as how they relate to each other, a prime topic for sociological study and research. Everything from local traffic patterns, politics emanating from the pulpit and the impact of Walmart on local communities influences how people think, congregate and form friendships and groups -- all issues that make the following list perfect for sociology research paper ideas.

    • The Impact of River Traffic (on your hometown)
    • Where Do Our Apples Come From?
    • Could We Survive on Garden Foods Today?
    • Using a Local Currency
    • How Clothing Prices Affect Teenager Image
    • Does Walmart Help or Hurt Local Economy?
    • Renting Families, Owning Families, and PopularityWere Local Politicians Popular in School?
    • Voting Habits: Grandmothers and Mothers
    • Are We Born Liberal or Conservative?
    • Political Messages from My Preacher
    • Television and Test Scores
    • Technology and Fitness Among Kids
    • TV Commercials and Self Image
    • Wii Games and Family Time
    • Superstitions and Family Traditions
    • Birth Order and Test Scores
    • A Secret Poll: Who Do You Hate?
    • Do Unusual Names Affect Grades?
    • Does Home Punishment Policy Affect School Performance?
    • Local Vocabulary Patterns
    • Why Do We Make Friends?
    • Are Girls' Teams as Competitive as Boys' Teams?
    • Snow Days: Cold States, Warm States, and Family Bonding
    • Anatomy of a Small Town Parade
    • Patterns of Lunchroom Seating
    • Bullying Yesterday and Today
    • Does Movie Violence Impact Behavior?
    • Facebook and Family Communication
    • What Would You Change About Your Body?
    • Procrastination and Technology
    • Why Kids Tell Lies
    • Clothing and Attitudes: Do Shopkeepers Treat Me Differently If I Dress Differently?
    • Does Citizen Status Affect Students' Self-Esteem?
    • Are You Vulnerable to a Cult?
    • How Do Cults Work?