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Portal:Society


The Society Portal

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

A human society is a group of people related to each other through continued relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, same interests, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human 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 members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification and/or dominance patterns in subgroups.

In so far 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: an organized group working together having a common interests, beliefs, or profession.

More broadly, a society may be described as an economic, social, or industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied collection of individuals or subgroups. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society can be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons; a nation state, such as Bhutan; or a broader cultural group, such as a Western society. The word society may also refer to an organized voluntary association of people for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes. A "society" may also be a group of social organisms such as an ant colony, or any cooperative aggregate such as, for example, in some formulations of artificial intelligence.

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Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the world's smallest continent and a number of islands, the largest of which is Tasmania. Australia has been inhabited for about 50,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Eastern Australia was claimed by the British in 1770, and officially settled as a British penal colony on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, six largely self-governing Crown colonies were established within Australia over the course of the 19th century. On 1 January 1901 the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has had a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth realm. Australia currently has a population of about 20 million, concentrated mainly in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

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Australian Light Horse
Credit: 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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Bob Marshall
Robert Marshall (1901–1939) was an American forester, writer and wilderness activist. He developed a love for the outdoors during his childhood and became one of the first Adirondack Forty-Sixers. He also traveled to the Alaskan wilderness and wrote numerous publications, including the 1933 bestselling book Arctic Village. A scientist with a Doctor of Philosophy in plant physiology, Marshall became independently wealthy after the death of his father. He held two significant public posts during his life: chief of forestry in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, from 1933 to 1937, and head of recreation management in the Forest Service, from 1937 to 1939. Defining wilderness as a social as well as an environmental ideal, Marshall was the first to suggest a formal, national organization dedicated to the preservation of primeval land. In 1935 he became one of the principal founders of The Wilderness Society. Marshall died of heart failure at the age of 38. Today, Marshall is considered largely responsible for the wilderness preservation movement. Several landmarks and areas, including The Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana and Mount Marshall in the Adirondacks, were named in his honor.

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

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