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Portal:Society

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The Society Portal

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 geographical 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.

Insofar as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would not otherwise be possible 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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Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, Gen. Nyakayirima Aronda, Chief of Defense Forces, Ugandan People’s Defense Force, and Gen. Jeremiah Kianga, Chief of General Staff, Kenya, render honors during the opening ceremony for Natural Fire 10, Kitgum, Uganda, Oct. 16, 2009.
Polyethnicity refers to the close proximity of people from different ethnic backgrounds within a country or other specific geographic region. It also relates to the ability and willingness of individuals to identify themselves with multiple ethnicities. It occurs when multiple ethnicities inhabit a given area, specifically through means of immigration, intermarriage, trade, conquest, and post-war land-divisions. Professor William H. McNeill states in his series of lectures on polyethnicity that it is the societal norm for cultures to be made up of many ethnic groups. This has had many political and social implications on countries and regions. Many, if not all, countries have some level of polyethnicity, with countries like the United States and Canada having large levels and countries like Japan and Poland having relatively small levels (and more specifically, a sense of homogeneity). The amount of polyethnicity prevalent in current society has spurred some arguments against it, which include a belief that it leads to the weakening of each societies strengths, and also a belief that political-ethnic issues in countries with polyethnic populations are better handled with different laws for certain ethnicities.

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Extermination of EvilCredit: Artist: Unknown

Extermination of Evil is a set of five paintings believed to have been created in the 12th century, depicting traditional Asian deities banishing evil. The paintings are collectively listed as a National Treasure of Japan and held at the Nara National Museum. Clockwise, from top left: Sendan Kendatsuba, Shinchū, Bishamonten, Tenkeisei, and Shōki.

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The pale wolfberry (Lycium pallidum)

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Stanley Green
Stanley Green (1915–1993) was a sandwich man who became a well-known figure in London, England, during the latter half of the 20th century. For 25 years Green patrolled Oxford Street, carrying a placard that advocated "Less Lust, By Less Protein: Meat Fish Bird; Egg Cheese; Peas Beans; Nuts. And Sitting"—the wording, and punctuation, changing somewhat over the years. Arguing that protein made people lustful and aggressive, his solution was "protein wisdom," a low-protein diet for "better, kinder, happier people." For a few pence, passers-by could buy his 14-page pamphlet, Eight Passion Proteins with Care, which reportedly sold 87,000 copies over 20 years. Green became one of London's much-loved eccentrics, though his campaign to suppress desire, as one commentator put it, was not invariably popular, leading to two arrests for obstruction and the need to wear green overalls to protect himself from spit. He nevertheless took great delight in his local fame. The Sunday Times interviewed him in 1985, and his "less passion, less protein" slogan was used by Red or Dead, the London fashion house. When he died in 1993 at the age of 78, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Times published his obituary, and his pamphlets, placards, and letters were passed to the Museum of London.

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Excerpts of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt at Carnegie Hall, March 12, 1912, recorded August 12 by Thomas Edison. The time constraints of the wax cylinder medium probably required the abridgement.

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John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)
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