The Society Portal

Social network analysis diagram

Social network


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.

More about society…

Selected article

The Stonewall Inn, taken September 1969
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. The Stonewall Inn, at the time, was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons, but it was known to be popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community: transvestites, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn, and attracted a crowd that was incited to riot. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. Today Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots.

Featured picture

Calydonian BoarCredit: Engraving: François Louis Lonsing, after Giulio Romano; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

A 1773 engraving showing the Greek legend of the Calydonian Boar, which was sent by Artemis to ravage the region of Calydon in Aetolia because its king failed to honor her in his rites to the gods. Many Olympian heroes took part in hunting the boar, and it was eventually killed by Meleager and Atalanta, as depicted here.

Did you know...

The Quiapo Church, which is fronted by Plaza Miranda

Anniversaries this month

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Selected biography

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.

Featured audio

From Ordo Virtutum (c.1151) by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179). Performed by Makemi.

Categories

Society categories
Society

WikiProjects

Selected quote

Gustave Flaubert

Recognized content

Featured article star.png

Featured articles

Featured lists

Good articles

Featured pictures

Things you can do


Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Related portals

Web resources

Associated Wikimedia

Portals