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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 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 concepts 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, and also applied to distinctive subsections of a larger society.

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. (Full article...)

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A Nigerian Dwarf goat, one of the animals kept by the Oklahoma City Zoo and considered at recovering status by the ALBC
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit organization focused on preserving and promoting rare breeds of livestock. Founded in 1977 through the efforts of livestock breed enthusiasts concerned about the disappearance of many of the US's heritage livestock breeds, the ALBC was the pioneer livestock preservation organization in the United States, and remains a leading organization in that field. It has initiated programs that have saved multiple breeds from extinction, and works closely with similar organizations in other countries, including Rare Breeds Canada. The ALBC maintains a conservation priority list that divides endangered breeds of horses, asses, sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits, pigs and poultry into five categories based on population numbers and historical interest. The organization has published several books, and works with breed registries and other groups on several aspects of breed preservation, including genetic testing, historical documentation, animal rescue and marketing. Preservation of genetic material is of special interest to the ALBC, and for a period of time it maintained a gene bank that was later transferred to the United States Department of Agriculture. It has also developed and published several heritage definitions, including parameters for heritage breeds of cattle and poultry.

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Vanity FairCredit: Artist: Ethel McClellan Plummer; Restoration: Lise Broer

The cover to the June 1914 issue of Vanity Fair, an American magazine published from 1913 to 1936 by Condé Montrose Nast, the first of many published by his company Condé Nast Publications. Nast purchased a men's fashion magazine titled Dress in 1913 and renamed it Dress, and Vanity Fair. In 1914, the title was shortened to Vanity Fair. During its run, it competed with The New Yorker as the American establishment's top culture chronicle and featured writing by Thomas Wolfe, T. S. Eliot, P. G. Wodehouse, and Dorothy Parker. However, it became a casualty of the Great Depression and declining advertising revenues, and it was folded into Vogue in 1936. In 1983, Condé Nast revived the title as a new publication.

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William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book III.

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Mary Anning
Mary Anning
Mary Anning (1799–1847) was a British fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist who became known around the world for important finds she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis where she lived. Her work contributed to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the earth. Her discoveries included the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified, found when she was just twelve years old; the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and important fish fossils. Her observations were critical to the discovery that coprolites were fossilised faeces. Her gender and social class prevented her from fully participating in the scientific community of 19th-century Britain and she struggled financially for much of her life. As a woman she was not eligible to join the Geological Society of London, and she did not always receive full credit for her scientific contributions. After her death her unusual life story attracted increasing interest. In 2010 the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science. (Full article...)

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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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