Society or human society is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations such as social status, roles and social networks. By extension, society denotes the people of a region or country, sometimes even the world, taken as a whole. Used in the sense of an association, a society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence, possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity, social solidarity, language or hierarchical organization. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals sharing a distinctive culture and institutions. Like other communities or groups, a society allows its members to achieve needs or wishes they could not fulfill alone.independent of, and utterly irreducible to, the qualities of constituent individuals; it may act to oppress. The urbanization and rationalization inherent in some, particularly Western capitalist, societies, has been associated with feelings of isolation and social "anomie".
More broadly, a society is an economic, social or industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied collection of individuals. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society may be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons; a nation state, such as Bhutan; 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 even, though more by means of metaphor, refer to a soci *
Evolution of societies
A half-section of the 12th century Song Dynasty version of Night Revels of Han Xizai, original by Gu Hongzhong; the painting, which is a masterpiece of the era's artwork, portrays servants, musicians, monks, children, guests, hosts all in a single social environment, serves as an in-depth look into 10th-century Chinese social structure.
According to anthropologist Maurice Godelier, one critical novelty in human society, in contrast to humanity's closest biological relatives (chimpanzees and bonobo), is the parental role assumed by the males, which were unaware of their "father" connection[clarification needed].
Sociologist Gerhard Lenski differentiates societies based on their level of technology, communication and economy: 1) hunters and gatherers, 2) simple agricultural, 3) advanced agricultural, 4) industrial, and 5) special (e.g. fishing societies or maritime societies). This is somewhat similar to the system earlier developed by anthropologists Morton H. Fried, a conflict theorist, and Elman Service, an integration theorist, who have produced a system of classification for societies in all human cultures based on the evolution of social inequality and the role of the state. This system of classification contains four categories:
* Hunter-gatherer bands (categorization on duties and responsibilities.) * Tribal societies in which there are some limited instances of social rank and prestige. * Stratified structures led by chieftains.
* Civilizations, with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments.
In addition to this there are:
* Humanity, mankind, that upon which rest all the elements of society, including society's beliefs. * Virtual society is a society based on online identity, which is evolving in the information age.
Over time, some cultures have progressed toward more-complex forms of organization and control. This cultural evolution has a profound effect on patterns of community. Hunter-gatherer tribes settled around seasonal food stocks to become agrarian villages. Villages grew to become towns and cities. Cities turned into city-states and nation-states.
Today, anthropologists and many social scientists vigorously oppose the notion of cultural evolution and rigid "stages" such as these. In fact,...