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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 society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. 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 of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Societies construct patterns of behavior by deeming certain actions or speech as acceptable or unacceptable. These patterns of behavior within a given society are known as societal norms. Societies, and their norms, undergo gradual and perpetual changes.

Insofar as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would otherwise be difficult 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, and also applied to distinctive subsections of a larger society.

More broadly, and especially within structuralist thought, a society may be illustrated as an economic, social, industrial or cultural infrastructure, made up of, yet distinct from, a varied collection of individuals. In this regard society can mean the objective relationships people have with the material world and with other people, rather than "other people" beyond the individual and their familiar social environment. (Full article...)

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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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The Garden of Earthly Delights is a triptych by the early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch. The left panel depicts God presenting Eve to Adam, while the central panel is a broad panorama of sexually engaged nude figures, fantastical animals, oversized fruit and hybrid stone formations. The right panel is a hellscape and portrays the torments of damnation. The intricacy of its symbolism, particularly that of the central panel, has led to a wide range of scholarly interpretations over the centuries.

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Guy Bradley in 1905
Guy Bradley in 1905
Guy Bradley (1870–1905) was an American game warden and deputy sheriff for Monroe County, Florida. Born in Chicago, his family relocated to Florida when he was young. As a boy, he often served as guide to visiting fishermen and plume hunters, although he later denounced poaching after legislation was passed to protect the dwindling number of birds. In 1902, Bradley was hired by the American Ornithologists' Union, at the request of the Florida Audubon Society, to become one of the country's first game wardens. Tasked with protecting the area's wading birds from hunters, he patrolled the area stretching from Florida's west coast, through the Everglades, to Key West, single-handedly enforcing the ban on bird hunting. Bradley was shot and killed in the line of duty, after confronting a man and his two sons who were hunting egrets in the Everglades. His much-publicized death at the age of 35 galvanized conservationists, and served as inspiration for future legislation to protect Florida's bird populations. Several national awards and places have been named in his honor. (Full article...)

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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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