Outline of society

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For other uses, see Society (disambiguation).

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to society:

Society – group of people sharing the same geographical or virtual territory and therefore subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Such people share a distinctive culture and institutions, which characterize the patterns of social relations between them. Large societies typically develop social stratification and dominance patterns among its subgroups. A given society may be described as the sum total of social relationships among its members. The branch of science that studies society is sociology.

What type of thing is a society?[edit]

A society can be described as all of the following:

Types of societies[edit]

  • Humanity – the entire human race. As a whole, it can be viewed as one great big society.

In anthropology: by methods of subsistence[edit]

In sociology and political science[edit]

Aspects or features of societies[edit]



Social institutions[edit]

Social institution – any persistent structure or mechanism of social order governing the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given community. The term "institution" is commonly applied to customs and behavior patterns important to a society, as well as to particular formal organizations of government and public services.

Societal change[edit]

Stages of sociocultural evolution[edit]

Sociocultural evolution – below are listed some typical and some potential stages of progression in the evolution of cultures and societies:

Forces of societal change[edit]

History of society[edit]

Study of society: sociology[edit]

Main article: Outline of sociology
  • Sociology – scientific study of society. This social science directs methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis upon human social activity, focusing on the influence of relationships and how they affect attitudes and behaviours. Sociologists conduct research to refine the theoretical understanding of social processes, or for application to social policy and welfare.

See also[edit]

Place these

Ethnic groups •

Social institutions – Organization
Social network – Communication • Journalism • Social capital


External links[edit]

Industrial revolution