Portal:Society

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A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical 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.

Insofar 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.

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.

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Cold War alliances mid-1975
The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that the United States was aligned with. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a new meaning that was more applicable to the times. Since its original definition, the term First World has come to be largely synonymous with developed countries or highly developed countries (depending on which definition is being used). First World countries in general have very advanced economies and very high Human Development Indexes. On the other hand, the United Nations defined the First World on the wealth of the nation's gross national product (GNP). The definition of First World is now less concrete than during the Cold War. Global dynamics between the First World and the other Worlds were essentially split into two. Relationships with the Second World were competitive, ideological and hostile. Relationships with Third World countries were normally positive in theory, while some were quite negative in practice (such as with the practice of proxy war). Present inter-world relationships are not so rigid, although there is a disparity in terms of the First World having more influence, wealth, information and advancements than the other worlds. Globalization is an increasingly important phenomenon which has been fueled largely by the First World and its connections with the other worlds. An example of globalization within the First World is the European Union which has brought much cooperation and integration to the region. Multinational corporations also provide examples of the First World's impact on globalization, as they have brought economic, political and social integration in many countries. With the rise of the multinational corporation, the problem of outsourcing has risen in many First World countries.

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AidaCr: Poster: Otis Lithograph Co; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

A poster for a 1908 American production of Aida, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi that premiered on December 24, 1871, to great acclaim at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo, Egypt. However, Verdi was most dissatisfied that the audience consisted of invited dignitaries and critics, but no members of the general public. He therefore considered the European premiere, held at La Scala, Milan, to be its real premiere.

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Tuareg people

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Max Weber
Maximilian Karl Emil "Max" Weber (German: [ˈmaks ˈveːbɐ]; 21 April 1864 – 14 June 1920) was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself. Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as one of the three founding architects of sociology. Weber was a key proponent of methodological antipositivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive (rather than purely empiricist) means, based on understanding the purpose and meaning that individuals attach to their own actions. Weber's main intellectual concern was understanding the processes of rationalisation, secularization, and "disenchantment" that he associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity and which he saw as the result of a new way of thinking about the world. Weber is perhaps best known for his thesis combining economic sociology and the sociology of religion, elaborated in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he proposed that ascetic Protestantism was one of the major "elective affinities" associated with the rise in the Western world of market-driven capitalism and the rational-legal nation-state. Against Marx's "historical materialism," Weber emphasised the importance of cultural influences embedded in religion as a means for understanding the genesis of capitalism. The Protestant Ethic formed the earliest part in Weber's broader investigations into world religion: he would go on to examine the religions of China, the religions of India and ancient Judaism, with particular regard to the apparent non-development of capitalism in the corresponding societies, as well as to their differing forms of social stratification. In another major work, Politics as a Vocation, Weber defined the state as an entity which successfully claims a "monopoly on the legitimate use of violence". He was also the first to categorize social authority into distinct forms, which he labelled as charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal. His analysis of bureaucracy emphasised that modern state institutions are increasingly based on rational-legal authority. Weber also made a variety of other contributions in economic history, as well as economic theory and methodology. Weber's analysis of modernity and rationalisation significantly influenced the critical theory associated with the Frankfurt School. After the First World War, Max Weber was among the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party. He also ran unsuccessfully for a seat in parliament and served as advisor to the committee that drafted the ill-fated democratic Weimar Constitution of 1919. After contracting the Spanish flu, he died of pneumonia in 1920, aged 56.

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A recording of the Welsh national anthem, "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" (composed in January 1856 by James James, with words by his father Evan James), sung by Madge Breese for the Gramophone Company on 11 March 1899.

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