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Portal:Society

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The Society Portal

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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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Young Toraja girls at a wedding ceremony
The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja. Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs known as aluk ("the way"). Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days. Before the twentieth century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists. By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had evolved significantly, from its agricultural beginnings into a largely Christian society.

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Gondi peopleCredit: Yann

Women of the Gondi, the largest tribe of Indian aboriginals in central India. They are classified as a scheduled tribe in most Indian states. The Gondi language is related to Telugu and other Dravidian languages. About half of Gonds speak Gondi languages, while the rest speak Indo-Aryan languages including Hindi. For many years during the British colonial period, the Gonds were considered to have performed human sacrifices, although this notion was later discredited.

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The city block across the street south of the bazaar halls burned down in 1858. The old firewatch building is seen behind to the left.

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Stanley Green
Stanley Green (1915–1993) was a sandwich man who became a well-known figure in London, England, during the latter half of the 20th century. For 25 years Green patrolled Oxford Street, carrying a placard that advocated "Less Lust, By Less Protein: Meat Fish Bird; Egg Cheese; Peas Beans; Nuts. And Sitting"—the wording, and punctuation, changing somewhat over the years. Arguing that protein made people lustful and aggressive, his solution was "protein wisdom," a low-protein diet for "better, kinder, happier people." For a few pence, passers-by could buy his 14-page pamphlet, Eight Passion Proteins with Care, which reportedly sold 87,000 copies over 20 years. Green became one of London's much-loved eccentrics, though his campaign to suppress desire, as one commentator put it, was not invariably popular, leading to two arrests for obstruction and the need to wear green overalls to protect himself from spit. He nevertheless took great delight in his local fame. The Sunday Times interviewed him in 1985, and his "less passion, less protein" slogan was used by Red or Dead, the London fashion house. When he died in 1993 at the age of 78, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Times published his obituary, and his pamphlets, placards, and letters were passed to the Museum of London.

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Excerpts of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt at Carnegie Hall, March 12, 1912, recorded August 12 by Thomas Edison. The time constraints of the wax cylinder medium probably required the abridgement.

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William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt, Table-Talk (1822)

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