Portal:Society


The Society Portal

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 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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The Belarusian Republican Youth Union is an organized youth group in the Eastern European country of Belarus. The goals of the BRSM are to promote patriotism and to instill individual moral values into the youth of Belarus, using activities such as camping, sporting events and visiting memorials. The organization, which was created by a merger of other youth groups in 2002, is the successor of the Leninist Communist Youth League of the Belorussian SSR. While it is only one of a few youth groups inside Belarus, it is the largest and receives much backing from the Belarusian government. The BRSM has been accused of using methods of coercion and empty promises to recruit members and of being used as a propaganda tool by the Lukashenko Government.
Credit: 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.

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William Hazlitt, Table-Talk (1822)

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Emmeline Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928) was a political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. Although she was widely criticised for her militant tactics, her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain. She became involved with the Women's Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for women. When that organisation broke apart, she joined the left-leaning Independent Labour Party through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie. After her husband died in 1898, Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union, an all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to "deeds, not words". The group quickly became infamous when its members smashed windows and assaulted police officers. Pankhurst, her daughters, and other WSPU activists were sentenced to repeated prison sentences, where they staged hunger strikes to secure better conditions. Eventually arson became a common tactic among WSPU members, and more moderate organisations spoke out against the Pankhurst family. With the advent of World War I, Pankhurst called an immediate halt to militant suffrage activism, in order to support the British government against the "German Peril". They urged women to aid industrial production, and encouraged young men to fight. (Full article...)
  • 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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