Portal:Society

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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 concepts 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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Boston
Boston is the capital city and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a state in the United States. The largest city in New England, it is considered the unofficial capital of the New England region. The city-proper had an estimated population of 596,638 in 2005, and lies at the center of America's eleventh-largest metropolitan area, Greater Boston, which is home to 4.4 million people. Founded in 1630, Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for health care. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology — principally biotechnology. Boston is struggling with gentrification issues, and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States.

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Mount RushmoreCredit: Photo: Dean Franklin

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, United States. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, it features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

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R. H. Tawney
R. H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Society (1921)

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Su Song (simplified Chinese: 苏颂; traditional Chinese: 蘇頌; pinyin: Sū Sòng; style name: Zirong 子容) (1020–1101 AD) was a renowned Chinese polymath who specialized himself as a statesman, astronomer, cartographer, horologist, pharmacologist, mineralogist, zoologist, botanist, mechanical and architectural engineer, poet, antiquarian, and ambassador of the Song dynasty (960–1279). Su Song was the engineer of a water-driven astronomical clock tower in medieval Kaifeng, which employed the use of an early escapement mechanism. The escapement mechanism of Su's clock tower had previously been invented by Buddhist monk Yi Xing and government official Liang Lingzan in 725 AD to operate a water-powered armillary sphere, although Su's armillary sphere was the first to be provided with a mechanical clock drive. Su's clock tower also featured the oldest known endless power-transmitting chain drive, called the tian ti (天梯), or "celestial ladder", as depicted in his horological treatise.The clock tower had 133 different clock jacks to indicate and sound the hours. Su Song's treatise about the clock tower, Xinyi Xiangfayao (新 儀 . 象 法 要), has survived since its written form in 1092 and official printed publication in 1094. The book has been analyzed by many historians, such as Joseph Needham. However, the clock itself was dismantled by the invading Jurchen army in AD 1127, and although attempts were made to reassemble the clock tower, it was never successfully reinstated. Although the Xinyi Xiangfayao was his best known treatise, the polymath had other works compiled as well. He completed a large celestial atlas of several star maps, several terrestrial maps, as well as a treatise on pharmacology. The latter discussed related subjects on mineralogy, zoology, botany, and metallurgy. (Full article...)

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  • 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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