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Portal:Society

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The Society Portal

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

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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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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Punch (magazine)Credit: Artist: John Tenniel; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

"Our New 'First Lord' at Sea", an 1877 editorial cartoon from Punch mocking the appointment of William Henry Smith (right) as First Lord of the Admiralty, the governor of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. Smith had been a household name thanks to the W H Smith chain of booksellers and newsagents, and he had been a Member of Parliament for the previous ten years, but he had no naval or even military experience whatsoever. The following year, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore would satirise him on similar grounds, and he became known as "Pinafore Smith" throughout the course of his three years in the post.

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Confederate Memorial Monument in Montgomery, Alabama

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Louis XIV of France

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A 1972 FBI composite drawing of D. B. Cooper
D. B. Cooper is the name commonly used to refer to a hijacker who, on November 24 1971, after receiving a ransom payout of US$200,000, jumped from the back of a Boeing 727 as it was flying over the Pacific Northwest of the United States possibly over Woodland, Washington. Despite hundreds of suspects through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding Cooper's identity or whereabouts. The FBI believes he did not survive the jump. Several theories offer competing explanations of what happened after his famed jump. The nature of Cooper's escape and the uncertainty of his fate continue to intrigue people. The Cooper case remains an unsolved mystery. It has baffled both government and private investigators for decades, with countless leads turning into dead ends. In March 2008, the FBI thought it might have had one of the biggest breakthroughs in the case when children unearthed a parachute within the bounds of Cooper's probable jump site near the town of Amboy, Washington. Experts later determined that it did not belong to the hijacker. Still, despite the case's infamy for its enduring lack of evidence, a few significant clues have arisen.

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

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