Society is an inevitable consequence of human nature. Societies distinguish themselves with different traditions and cultures, aspirations and goals. A society is essentially a group of people interacting in persistent, social interaction, usually under the same cultural and political authority. Alternatively, we can think of a society as a set of relations characterized by shared aspects and structures. The maintenance of a society depends primarily on main factor. The society needs the ability of the groups to cooperate in the face of threats or dangers.
Types of Society
We can see three broad types of human societies: complex societies, simple societies, and gathering societies.
Individuals who live in close and associative relationships based on extended family and extended kinship make up a society. The members of the gathering society ordinarily all possess the same cultural background and share the same values. In such a society, socialization and adaptation are central processes. There is little need for state regulation and social guidance because the members are tightly bound by their familial and community ties.
The make up of a simple society consists of individuals, usually with varying cultural backgrounds, who live in mobile and nomadic camps. Owing to mobility and short distances, they meet together only for mating purposes or to form family units. State and economy are not present, and children stay at home to be nourished and protected by their parents.
A third type of society is the complex society which is typified by complex institutions and political systems, characterized by complex cultural norms and practices. In such societies, political power is exercised through a caste system. Furthermore, gender division and inheritance rights are organized through a complex political hierarchy. Castes may be tribal or class and divide themselves according to their socially defined roles. Another key feature is that the society recruits labour according to ability, which is distributed between classes and castes on the basis of their production and capacity to work.
There are many types of complex societies, which are typified by ritual and religion, private property, money, and knowledge. Often these societies have developed certain special relationships and interact with each other through their formal legal systems. In some cases, scholars debate the extent to which religion provides a meaningful part of life in these societies, as little remains of a religious character in many isolated communities. There are also substantial numbers of people who reject any sort of common culture thus rejecting any definition of common culture.
We can divide the definition of society into two categories: society as a set of practices and society as a set of beliefs. The former includes a range of practices associated with the preservation of the group’s communal life, such as property rights and family structure. The latter covers the entire spectrum of sociocultural practices, including hunting-and-gathering, agricultural production, industrialization, and currency trading. There is considerable intermixture between these two categories. For example, there are many elements of both a hunting-and-gathering society in some but not many modern societies.
Agriculture in Society
Agriculture has played a significant role in human development. Agricultural societies have developed various institutions related to production, such as markets, credit, and property rights. Some have developed protective institutions, such as laws against theft or violence. But, even in agricultural societies, some families have become wealthy, through specialization in particular tasks. , in most advanced countries, such specialized families live in towns and cities. There they have access to major jobs in industry, government, finance, medicine, and technology.
The emergence of societies with complex characteristics has been a product of sociohistorical processes. The evolution of a society depends on whether it has been stable and cooperative or not. Long term successful societies provide greater freedom and mobility when their institutions are conducive to prosperity and social progress. Societies that have promoted greater freedom and prosperity have, on the other hand, developed highly competitive, extractive, and insular societies. Cross-cultural research has identified significant genetic and environmental factors involved in the formation of human societies.