Eliminate one social science

From the Freakonomics blog:

You can even put your answer on a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WhichSocialScienceShouldDie
Don’t answer “none” because that sort of defeats the debate of this question. Hard choices have to be made in this theoretical.

Why isn’t Freakonomics one of the choices? :slight_smile:

I just hope not too many people write in “Mixology.” That’s one we really need.

It is as tough call between political science and sociology but I will get rid of political science. Psychology is a gigantic field that ranges all the way from being a hard science on the neuroscience side to business on the industrial/organizational side to a clinical specialty. That is too much to get rid of. Economics is very important because money makes the world go round even if today’s economic predictions aren’t always rock solid.

That leaves sociology and political science. Sociology is among the softest of the sciences but understanding the behavior of large groups is still a worthwhile goal. Political science is cool but it serves mainly to give future lawyers something to major in for undergrad and you could argue that it is just a subset of sociology anyway.

Communications. Is phony major.

(Believe me, I know).

Agree - just merge political science into sociology. We don’t have separate departments for social studies of religion, or social studies of healthcare, or social studies of media and culture. So why a separate department for social studies of politics?

I don’t think there’s anything important about political science that can’t be subsumed into other disciplines. Especially in America, where political science (other than comparative politics and international relations) is generally taught as a combination of economics and history anyway.

My degree is in political science, for what it’s worth. Like the rest of my class, I’m in law school now.

Only one? Can I eliminate more than one? :smiley:

I agree with the others. Hey, Hey; Ho, Ho; PoliSci has got to go!

Perhaps, but not one of the options.

“P.S. I am not a crank”.

All four fields are important: eliminating any would be a mistake. So the question becomes, would it be better if psychologists, political scientists and economists practiced sociology? Or should psychologists, economists and sociologists dabble in political science? Also, would it be better for unemployed sociologists to join, say, psychology departments? Or should political scientists enter one of the other departments?

I’d probably eliminate sociology. Many of the statistically oriented ones would do fine in other fields. The rest can become journalists.*

*Oh no-o-o-o-o-o-o-oes!

Fine, but what will they do for a job?

Wow, tough question. I’m going to go with my gut here and say psychology. Not because it isn’t a very important field, but because I believe that there’s a significant percentage of psych students who enter the field because they actually need tons of therapy.

I say we round up the psych majors, and the sane ones go to med school, the troubled ones are redirected to English and individual therapy.

Among those choices, sociology but preferably gender studies.

I’m going with economics.

I mean, what has it done for us lately?

Preventing a replay of 1929-33 was salubrious. Too bad we couldn’t avoid a lost decade. Ah well, that’s politics. Two doors down the hall.

Ah, but both 1929-33 and the construction/loans bubble were caused by attempts to manipulate the economy, which wouldn’t have been possible to the scale to which they were if Economics hadn’t been invented. Economics turned the purposeful manipulation of markets from something small-scale done by people running on hunches into something done at the governmental and supragovernmental level, by people who run on hunches but call them “expertise”.

I vote economics. “Voodoo science”, more like.

Sociology. Took it in college to fulfill some requirement, and spent the term wondering why.

ETA: easiest A of my life.

Another vote for Sociology. Could there be a topic any more nebulous than that?

Thanks for not including “geography” as a choice for elimination.

I’d go with “sociology”. The best sociologists might as well call themselves human geographers, and a lot of good “sociology” is already being done by people who already are geographers.