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Family and consumer science or home economics, involves the study of nutrition, cooking, parenting, interior decoration, textiles, gardening, and other useful aspects of home management.

Keeping the home in good working order remains a demanding, time-consuming task. Today, societies are arguably underrating the skill involved in keeping the home.

Most of the best, most highly skilled homemakers never studied "family and consumer science" or even knew it by that name. Some have developed their skills at a finishing school.

Family and Consumer Sciences may be represented under the Social Sciences category for its emphasis on the well-being of families, individuals, and communities, or under the hard sciences for its emphasis on Nutrition and Textile Science.

The field as it is today originated from Home Economics; it began at land grant universities after women appealed to have their own niche while the men studied things like agriculture. Over time Home Economics as we know it today has split into its own branches. Among these include Food Sciences and Human Development (but keep in mind that both of these branches go by many other names, as noted above). Human Development has evolved to be more closely related to Sociology and Psychology than its Home Economics roots; indeed many of the theories Human Development is built upon are taken from older social sciences like Psychology and Sociology.

While Food Sciences does involve cooking and Nutrition, and Human Development involves the study of parents and families, very rarely does either of these fields consider such things as gardening, textiles, or interior design. Gardening is studied in the field of horticulture, and interior design and textiles are usually branched in their own field (which tends also to include apparel and fashion).


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