Sociological Definition of Society


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Society is “the complex patterns of #social #relationships.”* Sociology textbooks sometimes define society as “people who interact in a defined space and share culture.” This definition doesn’t quite capture the reality of our globalised lives where cultures flow across borders.

Postcolonial theories study the history of groups who were forced to leave their homelands due to slavery, conflict or other disasters. Around 20 nations dispute their territories and some groups such as the Kurdish and Romani are dispersed across various countries. Societies therefore have a connection to geography but they are not necessarily defined by place. Societies are made up of institutions that socialise us, providing the norms, values, laws, and rules that organise our #behaviour and cooperation.

Citations: 1) The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ritzer & Ryan (eds). 2) Sociology: A Global Introduction. Macionis & Plummer.

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