Portal:Society

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World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva


A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Societies construct patterns of behavior by deeming certain actions or speech as acceptable or unacceptable. These patterns of behavior within a given society are known as societal norms. Societies, and their norms, undergo gradual and perpetual changes.

Insofar as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would otherwise be difficult on an individual basis; both individual and social (common) benefits can thus be distinguished, or in many cases found to overlap. A society can also consist of like-minded people governed by their own norms and values within a dominant, larger society. This is sometimes referred to as a subculture, a term used extensively within criminology, and also applied to distinctive subsections of a larger society.

More broadly, and especially within structuralist thought, a society may be illustrated as an economic, social, industrial or cultural infrastructure, made up of, yet distinct from, a varied collection of individuals. In this regard society can mean the objective relationships people have with the material world and with other people, rather than "other people" beyond the individual and their familiar social environment. (Full article...)

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Cold War alliances mid-1975
The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, when it was used to describe countries with whom the United States was aligned. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. Since its original definition, the term First World has come to be largely synonymous with that of developed countries, or highly developed countries (depending on which definition is being used). In general, First World countries have very advanced economies and very high Human Development Indexes. The United Nations defines the First World on the basis of its wealth: its gross national product (GNP). This being said, the definition of First World is now less concrete than it was during the Cold War.

Global dynamics between the First World and the rest of the world were essentially split into two. Relationships with the Second World were competitive, ideological and hostile. Relationships with Third World countries were normally positive in theory, while some were quite negative in practice (such as with the practice of proxy war). Present inter-world relationships are not so rigid, although there is a disparity in terms of the First World having more influence, wealth, information and advancements than the other worlds. Globalization is an increasingly important phenomenon which has been fueled largely by the First World and its connections with the other worlds. An example of globalization within the First World is the European Union which has brought much cooperation and integration to the region. Multinational corporations also provide examples of the First World's impact on globalization, as they have brought economic, political and social integration in many countries. With the rise of the multinational corporation, the problem of outsourcing has risen in many First World countries.

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Death maskCredit: Bain News Service; Restoration: AutoGyro

Two workers, c. 1908, use plaster to create a mold of a deceased person's face. This mold will then be used to make that person's death mask. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, used for creation of portraits, or placed on the face of the deceased before burial rites. The best known of the last are those used by Ancient Egyptians as part of the mummification process, such as the one for Tutankhamun.

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Tuareg people

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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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Euripides
Euripides, Phœmissæ. Frag. 809.

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Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest. As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry. He never returned to Ireland or Britain. Wilde wrote almost all of his major and minor works in the last decade of his life, including his fairy tales and short stories for children. He published three volumes of these, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories and A House of Pomegranates. (Full article...)

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  • The sentence uttered by Neil Armstrong upon being the first human to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 21, 1969
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