From there, we can start to look for major trends in terms of when things change. Historians call the first period the 'Progressive Era' and the second one the 'Roaring Twenties'.
This is called periodization, the basic idea that history can be organized into periods of similar trends. If we chronologically organized major events and ideas throughout the last century, we'd notice that right at the start of the 20th century a lot of people were really focused on social reform. By looking at the balance between change and continuity, we identified major periods of history to help us understand what was going on.
Now, obviously civilizations can come in different shapes and sizes, and so we can continue organizing them into more concrete categories.
For example, let's just look at Central America in the time of the Aztecs.
Another way to organize societies is to look at how they organize themselves.
More specifically, I'm talking about people's forms of social, geographic, and political organization.
The Dictionary is aimed at students and scholars who need ready access to defined terms in a social science outside of their immediate area of expertise, for example an economist needing information regarding a political science term. ' is one to which no final answer can be given, since - like other groupings of scientific and academic fields - the social sciences differ in their scope from one generation to another.
There are also within-generation differences: witness the continuing controversies over whether history should be considered as one of the social sciences or as a humanistic discipline; whether geography is an independent social science or a synthetic discipline that draws upon both the social sciences and the earth sciences; whether law is a social science or a body of professional and philosophical knowledge; whether psychology belongs with the social or the natural sciences; and whether psychiatry is a social science or a branch of medicine.
The most obvious example is an empire, a civilization that invades and conquers other civilizations.
So, from the huge amount of information we could study about societies, we're starting to find ways to organize it, and that makes our jobs that much easier.