Portal:Society

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Ant (formicidae) social ethology

Ant (formicidae) social ethology

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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Seminole family in Indian camp, 1916
The indigenous people of the Everglades region arrived in the Florida peninsula approximately 15,000 years ago, probably following large game. The Paleo-Indians found an arid landscape that supported plants and animals adapted to desert conditions. Climate changes 6,500 years ago brought a wetter landscape, and the Paleo-Indians slowly adapted to the new conditions. Archaeologists call the cultures that resulted from the adaptations Archaic peoples, from whom two major tribes emerged in the area: the Calusa and the Tequesta. The earliest written descriptions of these people come from Spanish explorers who sought to convert and conquer them. After more than 200 years of relations with the Spanish, both indigenous societies lost cohesiveness. Official records indicate that survivors of war and disease were transported to Havana in the late 18th century. Isolated groups may have been assimilated into the Seminole nation, which formed in northern Florida when a band of Creeks consolidated surviving members of pre-Columbian societies in Florida into their own to become a distinct tribe. Seminoles were forced into the Everglades by the U.S. military during the Seminole Wars from 1835 to 1842. The U.S. military pursued the Seminoles into the region, which resulted in some of the first recorded explorations of much of the area. Seminoles continue to live in the Everglades region, and support themselves with casino gaming on six reservations located throughout the state.

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Gondi people
Credit: Yann

Women of the Gondi, the largest tribe of Indian aboriginals in central India. They are classified as a scheduled tribe in most Indian states. The Gondi language is related to Telugu and other Dravidian languages. About half of Gonds speak Gondi languages, while the rest speak Indo-Aryan languages including Hindi. For many years during the British colonial period, the Gonds were considered to have performed human sacrifices, although this notion was later discredited.

Did you know...

McLeave's Lock on the Lagan Canal

  • ... that the Lagan Canal (pictured) was once one of the most successful canals in Ireland but closed in the 1950s after succumbing to competition from road and rail transport?
  • ... that in response to the Norwegian butter crisis, Danish people have donated thousands of packs to butter-starved Norwegians?
  • ... that Natchez Indians attacked French colonists in Louisiana in 1729, killing over 240 people?

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Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams was an American statesman, politician, writer, and political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Adams was instrumental in garnering the support of the colonies in rebellion against Great Britain, ultimately resulting in the American Revolution. He was also one of the key architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped American political culture. Adams organized protests against the British, including the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and participated in the Continental Congress. He also advocated for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress. Following the American Revolution, Adams helped draft the Articles of Confederation. After the war ended, he ran for the House of Representatives in the 1st United States Congressional election, but was unsuccessful in his bid. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1789 and after John Hancock's death in 1793, Adams served as the acting governor, until he was elected governor in January of the following year. He served in that position until June 1797 when he decided to retire from politics.

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This 1860 phonautogram by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville is the earliest known recording of the human voice, though it was never intended to be played back.

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Bill Moyers

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