ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Introduction to social science



Department: Sociology


This course provides an introduction to the social sciences, the disciplines that study human behaviour. The sessions show how the social sciences are used to better understand social phenomena. The course focuses primarily on sociology, but also presents work from other disciplines (particularly demography and economics, but also history, psychology, political science and linguistics). 

It begins with a brief overview of the social sciences and a description of the data and methods used in the social sciences. The course then draws on theoretical and empirical, "classical" and contemporary work from French and international literature. 

This course has two main objectives:
- to introduce students to the social sciences, their objects and methods;
- to show the uses and contributions of quantification in the social sciences. 

Main achievements of the course :

At the end of this course, students will be able to understand the approaches used in social sciences to describe and explain social phenomena.

Method of evaluation: Written exam (100%).


Part I - Introduction: a brief overview of the social sciences; social science data and methods
Part II - Populations and Societies: Population Dynamics; Family Structures
Part III - Social Stratification: Social Groups; Inequality Dynamics