The Society Portal

Ant (formicidae) social ethology

Ant (formicidae) social ethology


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.

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A view of the Earth from space.
Sustainability is the capacity to endure through renewal, maintenance, and sustenance, or nourishment, in contrast to durability, the capacity to endure through unchanging resistance to change. For humans in social systems or ecosystems, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse, robust, and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. Robust, diverse, productive ecosystems and environments provide vital resources and processes (known as "ecosystem services"). There are two major ways of managing human impact on ecosystem services. One approach is environmental management; this approach is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in earth science, environmental science, and conservation biology. Another approach is management of consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in economics.

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The Wicked WorldCredit: Illustration: D. H. Friston; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

The climactic scene from Act III of The Wicked World (1873), a blank verse play by W. S. Gilbert about how female fairies cope with a sudden introduction to them of men and "mortal love". This is one of several "fairy comedies" by Gilbert, and it established him as a writer of wide range, propelling him beyond the burlesques he had produced in his early career, and leading towards his famous Savoy operas.

Did you know...

Adriatic Sklavinia c. 800 AD according to Nada Klaić - the nucleus of the Zahumlje principality

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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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Ursula Franklin in 2006
Ursula Franklin (born 1921) is a Canadian metallurgist, research physicist, author and educator who has taught at the University of Toronto for more than 40 years. She is the author of The Real World of Technology, which is based on her 1989 Massey Lectures, and The Ursula Franklin Reader: Pacifism as a Map, a collection of her papers, interviews, and talks. Franklin is a practising Quaker and has been active in working on behalf of pacifist and feminist causes. Franklin has received numerous honours and awards, including the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for promoting the equality of girls and women in Canada and the Pearson Medal of Peace for her work in advancing human rights. Franklin is best known for her writings on the political and social effects of technology. For her, technology is a comprehensive system that includes methods, procedures, organization, "and most of all, a mindset". She distinguishes between holistic technologies used by craft workers or artisans and prescriptive ones associated with a division of labour in large-scale production. Franklin argues that the dominance of prescriptive technologies in modern society discourages critical thinking and promotes "a culture of compliance".

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Frank C. Stanley's 1910 performance of Robert Burns' Auld Lang Syne. Contains the first and last verse.

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Euripides
Euripides, Phœmissæ. Frag. 809.

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