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Portal:Society

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Cleric, knight and Peasant; example of feudal societies

Cleric, knight and Peasant; an example of feudal societies

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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George V of Hanover and familyCredit: 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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Rainforest ecosystems are rich in biodiversity. This is the Gambia River in Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park.

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Laozi
Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade–Giles: Lao Tzu; also romanized as Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Laosi, Laocius, and other variations) (fl. 6th century BCE) was a philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi). His association with the Tào Té Chīng has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of philosophical Taoism (pronounced as "Daoism"). He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of Taoist philosophy, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or "One of the Three Pure Ones". According to Chinese traditions, Laozi lived in the 6th century BCE. Some historians contend that he actually lived in the 5th–4th century BCE, concurrent with the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States period, while some others argue that Laozi is a synthesis of multiple historical figures or that he is a mythical figure. A central figure in Chinese culture, both nobility and common people claim Laozi in their lineage. He was honored as an ancestor of the Tang imperial family, and was granted the title Táishāng xuānyuán huángdì, meaning "Supreme Mysterious and Primordial Emperor". Throughout history, Laozi's work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.

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Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig, 2001

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