The Society Portal
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.
are an ethnic group indigenous
to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi
. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency
of Tana Toraja
. Most of the population is Christian
, and others are Muslim
or have local animist
beliefs known as aluk
("the way"). Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan
, and colorful wood carvings
. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days. Before the twentieth century, Torajans lived in autonomous
villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia
: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists
. By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had evolved
significantly, from its agricultural beginnings into a largely Christian society.
A scene from Oscar Wilde's 1895 play An Ideal Husband, originally published in a 1901 collected edition of Wilde's works. The comedy, which opened January 3, 1896, at the Haymarket Theatre in London, revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. It has been adapted into television, radio/audio, and three films. The published version differs slightly from the performed play, for Wilde added many passages and cut others. Prominent additions included written stage directions and character descriptions. Wilde was a leader in the effort to make plays accessible to the reading public.
Did you know...
Anniversaries this month
(1770–1809) was a gaol
keeper and animal breeder from Leicester
, England, famous for his unusually large size. He was a keen sportsman and extremely strong, on one occasion fighting a bear in the streets of Leicester. He was an expert in sporting animals
, widely respected for his expertise on dogs, horses and fighting cocks
. In 1805 the gaol of which Lambert was keeper closed. By this time he weighed 50 stone
(700 lb; 320 kg), and had become the heaviest authenticated person in recorded history
up to that time. Unemployed and sensitive about his bulk, he became a recluse. Poverty forced Lambert to put himself on exhibition to raise money, and in April 1806
he moved to London, charging spectators to enter his apartments to meet him. Visitors were impressed by his intelligence and personality, and visiting him became highly fashionable. After a few months, Lambert returned wealthy to Leicester and soon began making short fundraising tours. In June 1809
he died suddenly in Stamford
. At the time of his death he weighed 52 stone 11 lb (739 lb; 335 kg). It took 20 men almost half an hour to drag his casket
into the trench in the burial ground
at St Martin's Church
. Though no longer the heaviest person in history, Lambert remains a popular character in Leicester.
A very early wax cylinder recording (October 5
, 1888) of composer Arthur Sullivan
. It was created in London by George Gouraud
as an audio letter to be sent back to Edison.