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Portal:Society

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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, 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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Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. It was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was inscribed with part of a verse from the Book of Leviticus: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen. The bell hung for years in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (today known as Independence Hall), and was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the American Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century—a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. The bell was moved from its longstanding home in Independence Hall to a nearby glass pavilion on Independence Mall in 1976, and then to the larger Liberty Bell Center adjacent to the pavilion in 2003.

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Walter JohnsonCredit: Photo: National Photo Company; Restoration: Staxringold

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge shaking hands with baseball player Walter Johnson and presenting him with a "diploma" for the Washington Senators winning the 1924 American League championship. Johnson was one of the most accomplished pitchers in Major League Baseball history. He established several pitching records, some of which remain unbroken, including career shutouts (110) and most consecutive seasons leading the league in strikeouts (8).

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Confederate Memorial Monument in Montgomery, Alabama

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Robert Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement. After having been educated at Charterhouse School, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the city in the Siege of Mafeking. Several of his military books, written for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. Based on those earlier books, he wrote Scouting for Boys, published in 1908 by Pearson, for youth readership. During writing, he tested his ideas through a camping trip on Brownsea Island that began on August 1, 1907, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting. After his marriage with Olave St Clair Soames, Baden-Powell, his sister Agnes Baden-Powell and notably his wife actively gave guidance to the Scouting Movement and the Girl Guides Movement. Baden-Powell lived his last years in Nyeri, Kenya, where he died in 1941. (Full article...)

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  • A recording of the Welsh national anthem, "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" (composed in January 1856 by James James, with words by his father Evan James), sung by Madge Breese for the Gramophone Company on 11 March 1899.
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