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Portal:Society

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Ant (formicidae) social ethology

Ant (formicidae) social ethology


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.

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.

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Map showing different regions that can be referred to as Macedonia
The definition of Macedonia is a major source of confusion due to the overlapping use of the term to describe geographical, political and historical areas, languages and peoples. Ethnic groups inhabiting the area use different terminology for the same entity, or the same terminology for different entities. Geographically, no single definition of its borders or the names of its subdivisions is accepted by all scholars and ethnic groups. Demographically, it is mainly inhabited by four ethnic groups, three of which self-identify as Macedonians: One Slavic group does so at a national level, while another, Bulgarians, as well as a Greek one do so at a regional level. Linguistically, the names and origins of the languages and dialects spoken in the region are a source of controversy. Politically, the use of the name Macedonia has led to a diplomatic dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. Despite intervention from the United Nations, the dispute is still pending full resolution.

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Punch (magazine)Credit: John Tenniel; Engraver: Joseph Swain;
Restoration: Adam Cuerden

A Punch cartoon from 17 June 1876 showing Russia preparing to let slip "the dogs of war", its imminent engagement in the growing conflict between Slavic states in the Balkans and Turkey, while policeman John Bull (representing Britain) warns Russia to take care. The Slavic states of Serbia and Montenegro would declare war on Turkey at the end of June, and Russia formally joined the war in April 1877.

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Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx (Berlin German pronunciation: [kaːɐ̯l ˈhaɪnʀɪç ˈmaːɐ̯ks], 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the establishment of the social sciences and the development of the socialist movement. He is also considered one of the greatest economists in history. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Capital (1867–1894). He often worked closely with his friend and fellow revolutionary socialist, Friedrich Engels. Marx's theories about society, economics and politics—collectively known as Marxism—hold that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labour for goods. Heavily critical of the current socio-economic form of society, capitalism, he called it the "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie", believing it to be run by the wealthy classes purely for their own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system, socialism. He argued that under socialism society would be governed by the working class in what he called the "dictatorship of the proletariat", the "workers state" or "workers' democracy".He believed that socialism would, in its turn, eventually be replaced by a stateless, classless society called communism. Along with believing in the inevitability of socialism and communism, Marx actively fought for the former's implementation, arguing that both social theorists and underprivileged people should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change.

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Neville Chamberlain announcing that Britain was at war with Germany, over the wireless, on 3 September 1939

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Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon, Memoirs, Volume I, p. 116.
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