A society is a grouping of individuals that is characterized by a common interest and can have a distinct culture and institutions. It can refer to a group of people associated with a particular religion, political party, social group or religious organisation. A society can also consider a society as a collection of groups, such as families, groups of friends, communities, societies and communities.
Each of these structures has a different level of political power, depending on the political and social structures with which society is struggling.
A common theme of all societies is that they help individuals in times of crisis. A society that is unable to survive in close proximity to each other or to provide an effective response to other competing societies is usually subsumed by the culture of the more successful competing society. So there is a strong incentive to survive, given the competition for resources that can affect a society’s ability to thrive and survive and thus survive.
The more people pool their labour, the more resources they can pool and the better their chances of survival. The greater the incentive for people to pool and pool their labour and to work together.
According to Karl Marx, people are per se social beings who, without being sociable creatures, cannot survive and satisfy their needs. We tend to think and act and think as if we are working to achieve a group-oriented goal. As society becomes more complex, our work specializes and our social ties become more impersonal, especially when culture shifts from altruism to capitalism, where work is exchanged for money, and vice versa.
For Emile Durkheim’s positivist sociology, social facts are abstractions that are alien to the individual and restrict his actions. He gives us the “social facts,” which argue that social phenomena arise when interacting individuals form a group of individuals, not individuals per se. The sociologist Max Weber defines human action as social, because human action, unlike the subjective meaning that individuals attach to actions, takes into account the behaviour of others and is oriented in its course. This explains the social nature of human behaviour and the human tendency to act in accordance with social norms and norms.
One norm is expectations about how people behave and are generally seen as rules that are enforced socially rather than formally. Social norms enshrine rules and standards of behaviour shared by members of a social group. The structure, composition and relationships of members in a society influence the norms of appropriate behaviour. The ability of a person to become a fully accepted member of society may not depend on being socialized into a fixed set of norms.
These norms can be enforced or internalized through positive or negative sanctions, by integrating the individual into a social group in which conformity prevails through external reward and punishment.
These norms generally relate to social norms such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation and so on. Certain types of rules and customs can become law: for example, regulatory provisions can be introduced to formalise and enforce a law that determines who must drive a side – a motor vehicle – or a certain type of rule or custom can lead to certain rules or habits being laid down in proceedings or judgments that are enforced.
In some social contexts, some conventions may retain a common culture, such as the practice of people shaking hands. In other cases, people can interact within a defined territory, for example in the context of a national or ethnic group, or even within their own country.
Society and culture are interdependent, and neither could exist without the other, so people develop fully in a social environment. We are born into a social environment and live our lives in it, our interaction with other people shapes our thinking and how we feel, what we say and do.
One view is that norms reflect a common system of values developed through the process of individuals learning their group’s culture. They contribute to the functioning of the social system and are intended to develop in order to meet certain assumed needs of that system. Conflict theory, on the other hand, assumes that norms are a mechanism for dealing with recurring social problems.
Part of a society imposes norms as a means by which it can dominate and exploit others. In tribal societies there are limited cases of social rank and prestige, and society consists of large extended families, with families linked by a common language, culture, religion, language and other social norms.
Generally referred to as tribes, Germanic peoples by anthropological definition are not tribes but chiefs. As far back as knowledge goes, people lived in families and, in some cases, tribes.
We have a complex social hierarchy consisting of two main strata: the ruling elite and the lower strata, the middle class. There will be no single lineage, family, or elite class, but there will always be an inherited social class, though it can often be changed by extraordinary behavior in an individual’s life.