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Portal:Society

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Cleric, knight and Peasant; example of feudal societies

Cleric, knight and Peasant; an example of feudal societies


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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Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful, or, alternatively, as opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations. Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical voluntary associations. There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Anarchist schools of thought can differ fundamentally, supporting anything from extreme individualism to complete collectivism. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism, or participatory economics. However, anarchism has always included an individualist strain, egoist strain, and free market strain. Some individualist anarchists are also socialists or communists, while some anarcho-communists are also individualists. Anarchism as a mass social movement has regularly endured fluctuations in popularity. The central tendency of anarchism as a social movement has been represented by anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism, with individualist anarchism being primarily a literary phenomenon which nevertheless did have an impact on the bigger currents and individualists have also participated in large anarchist organizations. Most anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, supporting self-defense or non-violence (anarcho-pacifism), while others have supported the use of some coercive measures, including violent revolution and propaganda of the deed, on the path to an anarchist society.

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Australian Light HorseCredit: Photo: American Colony; Restoration: Lise Broer

An Australian Light Horse encampment on Mount Olivet and Mount Scopus near Jerusalem, 1918. Australian Light Horse were mounted troops with characteristics of both cavalry and mounted infantry who served during the Second Boer War and World War I. A number of Australian light horse units are still in existence today, most notably of the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry), now a light armoured unit.

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Eccentric flint on display in Brussels

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Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928) was a political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. Although she was widely criticised for her militant tactics, her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain. She became involved with the Women's Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for women. When that organisation broke apart, she joined the left-leaning Independent Labour Party through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie. After her husband died in 1898, Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union, an all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to "deeds, not words". The group quickly became infamous when its members smashed windows and assaulted police officers. Pankhurst, her daughters, and other WSPU activists were sentenced to repeated prison sentences, where they staged hunger strikes to secure better conditions. Eventually arson became a common tactic among WSPU members, and more moderate organisations spoke out against the Pankhurst family. With the advent of World War I, Pankhurst called an immediate halt to militant suffrage activism, in order to support the British government against the "German Peril". They urged women to aid industrial production, and encouraged young men to fight.

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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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Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, First Series (1841)

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