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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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An illustration of the beginning of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight saving time is the convention of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn; the ancients lengthened summer hours instead. Presaged by a 1784 satire, modern DST was first proposed in 1907 by William Willett, and 1916 saw its first widespread use as a wartime measure aimed at conserving coal. Despite controversy, many countries have used it since then; details vary by location and change occasionally. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farmers and other workers whose hours depend on the sun. Extra afternoon daylight cuts traffic fatalities; its effect on health and crime is less clear. DST is said to save electricity by reducing the need for artificial evening lighting, but the evidence for this is weak and DST can boomerang by boosting peak demand, increasing overall electricity costs. DST's clock shifts complicate timekeeping and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, medical devices, and heavy equipment.

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Batak warriorsCredit: Kristen Feilberg; Restoration: Peter Weis

Batak warriors in 1870. The term "Batak" is used to collectively identify a number of ethnic groups predominantly found in North Sumatra, Indonesia. It includes the Toba, Karo, Pakpak, Simalungun, Angkola and Mandailing, each of which are distinct but related groups with distinct, albeit related, languages and customs (adat).

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Margaret Fuller
Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) was a journalist, critic and women's rights activist. She was the first full-time female book reviewer in journalism. She became the first editor of the transcendental publication The Dial in 1840 before joining the staff of the New York Tribune in 1844. By the time she was in her 30s, Fuller had earned a reputation as the most well-read person in New England, male or female. Her seminal work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, was published in 1845 and is considered the first major feminist work in the United States. Fuller was an advocate of women's rights and, in particular, women's education and the right to employment. She also encouraged many other reforms in society, including prison reform and the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Fuller became involved with the revolution in Italy and allied herself with Giuseppe Mazzini. She also met Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. All three members of the family died in a shipwreck in 1850. Fuller's body was never recovered. Shortly after Fuller's death her importance faded; the editors who prepared her letters to be published, believing her fame would be short-lived, were not concerned about accuracy and censored or altered much of her words before publication.

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

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