Portal:Society

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Social network analysis diagram

Social network

A human society is a group of people related to each other through continued relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, same interests, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human 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 members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification and/or dominance patterns in subgroups.

In so far as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would not otherwise be possible 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: an organized group working together having a common interests, beliefs, or profession.

More broadly, a society may be described as an economic, social, or industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied collection of individuals or subgroups. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society can be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons; a nation state, such as Bhutan; or 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 also be a group of social organisms such as an ant colony, or any cooperative aggregate such as, for example, in some formulations of artificial intelligence.

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Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. It was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack (today the Whitechapel Bell Foundry) in 1752, and was inscribed with part of a verse from the Book of Leviticus: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." It originally cracked when first rung after arrival in Philadelphia, and was twice recast by local workmen. The bell hung for years in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (today known as Independence Hall), and was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the American Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, and while there is no contemporary account of the Liberty Bell ringing, most historians believe it was one of the bells rung. It acquired its distinctive large crack sometime in the early 19th century—a widespread story claims it cracked while ringing after the death of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835. The bell was moved from its longstanding home in Independence Hall to a nearby glass pavilion on Independence Mall in 1976, and then to the larger Liberty Bell Center adjacent to the pavilion in 2003.

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George V of Hanover and family
Credit: Julius Giere

A lithographed portrait of King George V of Hanover, his wife Marie of Saxe-Altenburg and their children Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince (right), Frederica (centre), and Marie (left). George succeeded his father Ernest Augustus I as King of Hanover on 18 November 1851. His 15-year reign came to an end in 1866 when Prussia forcibly annexed Hanover in response to Hanover's support for Austria during the Austro-Prussian War.

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The former Royal Assurance Society office at 163 North Street, Brighton

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Anna Anderson (1896–1984) was the best known of several impostors who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia. The real Anastasia, the youngest daughter of the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia, Nicholas II and Alexandra, was murdered with her parents and siblings on 17 July 1918 by Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg, Russia, but the location of her body was unknown. In 1920, Anderson was institutionalized in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt in Berlin. At first, she went by the name Fräulein Unbekannt (German for Miss Unknown) as she refused to reveal her identity. Later she used the name Tschaikovsky and then Anderson. In March 1922, claims that Anderson was a Russian grand duchess first received public attention. Most members of Grand Duchess Anastasia's family and those who had known her, including court tutor Pierre Gilliard, said Anderson was an impostor, but others were convinced she was Anastasia. In 1927, a private investigation funded by the Tsarina's brother, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, identified Anderson as Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker with a history of mental illness. Upon her death in 1984, Anderson's body was cremated, and her ashes were buried in the churchyard at Castle Seeon, Germany. After the collapse of Communism, the locations of the bodies of the Tsar, Tsarina and all five of their children were revealed and multiple laboratories in different countries confirmed their identity through DNA testing. DNA tests on a lock of Anderson's hair and surviving medical samples of her tissue showed that Anderson's DNA did not match the Romanov remains or living relatives of the Romanovs. Instead, Anderson's mitochondrial DNA matched that of Karl Maucher, a great-nephew of Franziska Schanzkowska. Scientists, historians, and major news agencies accept that Anderson was Schanzkowska.

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The full audio recording of the inaugural address made by Barack Obama after being sworn in as the forty-fourth President of the United States on January 20, 2009. (Duration: 18 minutes, 57 seconds)

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Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon, Memoirs, Volume I, p. 116.

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