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 It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop and refine a body of knowledge about human social activity, often with the goal of applying such knowledge to the pursuit of social welfare. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of agency and interaction to the macro level of systems andsocial structures. Sociology is both topically and methodologically a very broad discipline. Its traditional focuses have included social stratification, social class, social mobility, religion, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are sculpted by social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, military and penal institutions, the Internet, and even the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. The range of social scientific methods has also broadly expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-twentieth century led to increasingly interpretative, hermeneutic, and philosophic approaches to the analysis of society. Conversely, recent decades have seen the rise of new analytically, mathematically and computationally rigorous techniques, such asagent-based modelling and social network analysis.
Chapter 1. Society and Culture 1.A Definition of Society http://en.wikipedia.org
A society or a human society is (1) a group of people related to each other through persistent relations such as social status, roles and social networks. (2) A large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals sharing a distinctive culture and institutions. Without an article, the term refers either to the entirety of humanity or a contextually specific subset of people. Used in the sense of an association, a society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence, possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity, social solidarity, language or hierarchical organization. Like other groupings, a society allows its members to achieve needs or wishes they could not fulfill alone; the social fact can be identified, understood or specified within a circumstance that certain resources, objectives, requirements or results, are needed and utilized in an individual manner and for individual ends, although they can't be achieved, gotten or fulfilled in an individual manner as well, but, on the contrary, they can be gotten only in a collective, collaborative manner; namely, team work becomes the valid functional means, to individual ends which an individual would need to have but isn't able to get. More broadly, a society is an economic, social or industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied collection of individuals. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society may be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons; a nation state, such as Bhutan; 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 even, though more by means of metaphor, refer to a social organism such as an ant colony or any cooperative aggregate such as for example in some formulations of artificial intelligence.
A society is a group of people living or working together. There are various different uses of the term society. The casual meaning of society simply refers to a group of people living together in an ordered community.1 The social sciences use the term society to mean a group of people that form a semi-closed (or semi-open) system, in which most interactions are with other individuals belonging to the group. More abstractly, a society is defined as a network of relationships betweenentities. A society is also sometimes defined as an interdependent community. The origin of the word society comes from the Latin societas, a "friendly association with others." Societas is derived from sociusmeaning "companion" and thus the meaning of society is closely related to what is social. Implicit in the meaning of society is that its members share some mutual concern or interest in a common objective. As such, society is often used as synonymous with the collective citizenry of a country as directed through national institutions concerned with civic welfare. Human societies are often organized according to their primary means of subsistence: social scientists identify hunter-gatherer societies, nomadic pastoral societies, horticulturalist or simple farming societies, and intensive agricultural societies, also called civilizations. Some consider Industrial and Post-Industrial societies to be separate from traditional agricultural societies. Societies can also be organized according to their political structure: in order of increasing size and complexity, there are band societies,tribes, chiefdoms, and state societies. Peoples of many nations united by common political and cultural traditions, beliefs, or values are sometimes also said to be a society (for example: Judeo-Christian, Eastern, Western, etc). When used in this context, the term is being used as a means of contrasting two or more "societies" whose representative members represent alternative conflicting and competing worldviews. Also, some academic, learned and scholarly societies and associations such as the "American Society of Mathematics" describe themselves as societies. In the United Kingdom these are normally non-profit making and have charitable status. In science they range in size to include national scientific societies including the Royal Society to regional natural history societies. Academic societies may have interest in a wide range of subjects, including the arts, humanities and science. In the United States, the title "society" is most common in commerce, in which a partnership between investors to start a business is usually called a "society". In the United Kingdom, partnerships are not called societies but cooperatives or mutuals are often known as societies (such as friendly societies and building societies).
the way that humans use technology to provide needs for themselves. Statuses within the tribe are relatively equal. and ashes are used as fertilizers. The passing on of property from generation to another helps to centralize wealth and power. hereditary chieftainships. governments) and not individuals. Since there are food surpluses. and people must look to themselves first" (Thatcher 1987). Thatcher argued that the obligation for solving social problems. horticulturists can stay in one area for a fairly long period of time. confusions in its understanding can often be traced to the various nuances in which it has been used to describe a great variety of political opinion. Thatcher only denies the existence of "society" as she understands it -. surplus food can lead to inequalities in wealth and power within horticultural societies. with most societal members being related by birth or by marriage. Although humans have established many types of societies throughout history. They generally consist of fewer than 60 people and rarely exceed 100. These subdivisions are hunting and gathering. commonly expected of the government. in a narrower sense. This role specialization allows people to create a wide variety of artifacts. Hunting and Gathering Societies The main form of food production in such societies is the daily collection of wild plants and the hunting of wild animals. Sociologists place societies in three broad categories: pre-industrial. Leadership is personal-charismatic-and for special purposes only in tribal society. When the land becomes barren. Pastoralists live a normadic life. therefore. tribal consolidation for collective action are not governmental. horticultural. there is still an ongoing debate in sociological and anthropological circles if there exists an entity we could call society.500 years ago that led to cultivating crops and raising farm animals. As a related note. They may return to the original land several years later and begin the process again. moving their herds from pasture to another. These societies have a level oftechnology and complexity similar to pastoral societies. is the main economic activity. As a result. industrial. former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously denied that society exists at all. the division of labor. fewer people are needed to produce food. Hunter-gatherers move around constantly in search of food. which is carried out through the use of human and animal labor. the typical form of government in pastoral societies. as a result. In the interview in Women's Own magazine. emerge. Sociologists use the phrase Agricultural Revolution to refer to the technological changes that occurred as long as 8. becomes more complex. and jewelry. This type of organization requires the family to carry out most social functions. and shouldn't be used as a sociological notion. there are no political offices containing real power. and decisions are reached through general agreement. hereditary chieftainships are prevalent. the specialization by individuals or groups in the performance of specific economic activities. weapons. Rather than searching for food on a daily basis. The size of a village's population depends on the amount of land available for farming. 1987. argued that society is nothing more than an effect of the ruling ideology of a certain class system. Because their food supply is far more reliable. By rotating their garden plots.the idea that social welfare is the responsibility of society at large (or. producing tools. include those of craftspeople. The wild vegetation is cut and burned. Horticultural Societies Fruits and vegetables grown in garden plots that have been cleared from the jungle or forest provide the main source of food in a horticultural society. however some Hunting and Gathering Societies in areas with abundant resources (such as the Tlingit) lived in larger groups and formed complex hierarchical social structures such as chiefdoms. they do not build permanent villages or create a wide variety of artifacts and usually only form small groups such as Bands and Tribes. As a result. shamans (religious leaders). The production of goods encourages trade. October 3.B Kinds of Society http://en. The family forms the main social unit.This trade helps to create inequality. The ties that bind the tribe are more complicated than those of the bands. Agricultural Societies Agricultural societies use technological advances to cultivate crops over a large area. horticulturists clear a new plot and leave the old plot to revert to its natural state.org Types of societies Types of societies are categories of social groups that differ according to subsistence strategies. surplus food leads to a more complex division of labor. However. members of a pastoral society rely on domesticated herd animals to meet their food needs. Virtually all societies have developed some degree of inequality among their people through the process of social stratification-the division of members of a society into levels with unequal wealth. Some horticultural groups use the slash-and-burn method to raise crops. pastoral societies can support larger populations. which . pastoral. These societies can be subdivided according to their level of technology and their method of producing food. As with pastoral societies. prestige or power. 1. Economic and political systems are developed because of settled nature of horticultural life. Pastoral Societies Pastoralism is a slightly more efficient form of subsistence. prestige or power. and traders. For example. Specialized roles that are part of horticultural life. some people become craftworkers. was more properly the responsibility of individuals and families: "no government can do anything except through people. As in pastoral societies. These families often gain power through their increased wealth.If society is something of a shibboleth. This meant a greater surplus. The need for mobility also limits the size of these societies. In time. a sort of adviser.wikipedia. For example. Thatcher's use of the term was narrow and should be understood within the context of her polemic. food production. agricultural and feudal. and postindustrial. anthropologists tend to classify different societies according to the degree to which different groups within a society have unequal access to advantages such as resources. like Louis Althusser. and a chief is merely a person of influence. as some families acquire more goods than others do. Some Marxist theorists. Increases in food supplies then led to larger populations than in earlier communities. This allows them to build semipermanent or permanent villages. Pre-industrial Societies In a pre-industrial society. thus villages can range from as few as 30 people to as many as 2000. includingproduction and education. Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Zizek. Horticulturists use human labor and simple tools to cultivate the land for one or more seasons.
Geographically. The caste system of feudalism was often multigenerational. crafts. politics and ideas. educators. However. vassals under feudalism were bound to cultivating their lord's land. capacity building. and religious leaders who did not have to worry about locating nourishment. Europe's exploration of the Americas served as one impetus for the development of capitalism. As villages and towns expanded into neighboring areas. and other services to the owner of the land. and have some form of political and military alliance or cooperation. silks. Information society Although the concept of information society has been under discussion since the 1930s. merchants. Capitalism is marked by open competition in a free market. they became more subordinate to men. Western society The development of the Western world has brought with it the emerging concepts of Western culture. the families of peasants may have cultivated their lord's land for generations. The cultures and lifestyles of all of these stem from Western Europe. a new economic system emerged that began to replace feudalism. Farmers provided warriors with food inexchange for protection against invasion by enemies. In hunting and gathering societies. access to information and knowledge. as well as their application to improve social inclusion. World Summit on the Information Society. feudalism was a form of society based on ownership of land. Cleric. the nobility managed to extract goods from the “lesser” persons of society. promotion of ICTs for development. The introduction of foreign metals. information and communication infrastructure. schools. are heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian values. In this way. crops. Between the 14th and 16th centuries. building confidence and security in the use of ICTs. Australia and New Zealand and sometimes also includes South America and Israel. in which the means of production are privately owned. Contemporary usage The term society is currently used to cover both a number of political and scientific connotations as well as a variety of associations. knight and Peasant. craftspeople. Here policies are directed towards promoting an open and competitive digital economy. research into information and communication technologies. homage. conflicts with other communities inevitably occurred. the workplace. and spices stimulated great commercial activity in Europe. They all enjoy relatively strong economies and stable governments. the lords exploited the peasants into providing food. women even gathered more food than men.resulted in towns that became centers of trade supporting various rulers. it covers at the very least the countries of Western Europe. Greater degrees of social stratification appeared in agricultural societies. often referred to simply as Western society. as well as the emergence of new social forms in cyberspace. A system of rulers with high social status also appeared. women previously had higher social status because they shared labor more equally with men. . This nobility organized warriors to protect the society from invasion. One of the European Union's areas of interest is the Information Society. allow freedom of religion. These include: enabling environment. Geneva The International Telecommunications Union's World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva and Tunis (2003/2005) has led to a number of policy and application areas where action is required. Unlike today's farmers. as food stores improved and women took on lesser roles in providing food for the family. an example of feudal societies Feudal Societies From the 9th to 15th centuries. favor capitalism and international trade. public services and quality of life. For example. In exchange for military protection. government and various communities and organizations. It therefore covers the effects of computers and telecommunications on the home. North America. in the modern world it is almost always applied to the manner in which information technologies have impacted society and culture. have chosen democracy as a form of governance.
They include technical knowledge about the artifacts.custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society . technologies and business models for the creative industries. service science. learning. Crete. management and engineering. agriculture and science.com Culture is the way of life of a social group. special attention was extended from the Information Society to the knowledge society. held in Chania. tourism and technology. sustainable development and strategic management. gave special attention to the following topics: business and enterprise computing. media. 1. ICT applications in the areas of government.the group's total man made environment including all the material and nonmaterial products of group life that are transmitted from one generation to the next. employment. store and transmit large quantities of information cheaply has increased at a staggering rate over recent years. The digitisation of information and the associated pervasiveness of the Internet are facilitating a new intensity in the application of knowledge to economic activity.According to Kroeber the consensus of most social scientists is that culture consists of patterns.Some sociologists exclude material objects from their defintion of culture. health.groundreport. in September 2009.morals. Knowledge society The Seoul Cyworld control room As access to electronic information resources increased at the beginning of the 21st century. future prospects for the Knowledge Society. "The capacity to manipulate. e-government and e-democracy. . the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached valeus. business. culture. ethical dimensions of the Information Society.belief.law.art. international and regional cooperation.The classic definition of culture which more sociological defintions have followed was stated by Edward B Taylor:"That complex whole which includes knowledge. to the extent that it has become the predominant factor in the creation of wealth. innovation. As much as 70 to 80 percent of economic growth is now said to be due to new and better knowledge.explict and implicit of and for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups including their embodiments in artifacts . intellectual and human capital development. social and humanistic computing. cultural and linguistic diversity and local content. In the words of an Irish governmental analysis.C Concept of culture http://www." The Second World Summit on the Knowledge Society. technology-enhanced learning. ICTs for ecology and the Green Economy. environment.