The Society Portal

Canis lupus social ethology

Canis lupus social ethology


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.

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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The Norslunda Runestone, bearing runic inscription U 419, which mentions the personal name Kylfingr
The Kylfings were a people of uncertain origin who were active in Northern Europe during the Viking Age. They were active from roughly the late ninth century through the early twelfth century and could be found in areas of Lapland, Russia, and the Byzantine Empire that were frequented by Scandinavian traders, raiders and mercenaries. Scholars differ on whether the Kylfings were ethnically Finnic or Norse. Their geographic origin is also disputed; Denmark, Sweden and the Eastern Baltic are put forward as candidates. Whether the name Kylfing denotes a particular tribal, socio-political, or economic grouping is a matter of much debate. They are mentioned in Old Norse runestone inscriptions, sagas, and poetry, as well as Byzantine records and Rus' law-codes, in which they were afforded significant economic and social privileges. According to the sagas, the Kylfings opposed the consolidation of Norway under Harald Fairhair and participated in the pivotal Battle of Hafrsfjord. After Harald's victory in that battle, they are described in the sagas as having raided in Finnmark and elsewhere in northern Norway and having fought against Harald's lieutenants such as Thorolf Kveldulfsson.

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The Ambassadors (1533) is a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger in the National Gallery, London. As well as being a double portrait, the painting contains a still life of several meticulously rendered objects, the meaning of which is the cause of much debate. The most notable and famous of Holbein's symbols in the work is the skewed skull, rendered in anamorphic perspective, which is placed in the painting's bottom centre. It is meant to be a visual puzzle as the viewer must approach the painting nearly from the side to see the form morph into an accurate rendering of a human skull.

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Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed to be the author of The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture, both as an author of The Art of War and through legend. Sun Tzu, also known as Sun Tze or Sun Wu in other translations, was a historical figure whose authenticity is questioned by historians. This is a Chinese name which would usually mean the family name comes first however "Zi" (子; "Tzu" in Wade–Giles transliteration) was used as a suffix for the family name of a respectable man in ancient Chinese culture. In this case, 子 "Tzu" is not the personal or family name. It is a rough equivalent to "Sir" and is commonly translated into English as "Master". Traditional accounts place him in the Spring and Autumn period of China (722–481 BC) as a military general serving under King Helü of Wu, who lived c. 544–496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the completion of The Art of War in the Warring States period (476–221 BC), based on the descriptions of warfare in the text, and on the similarity of text's prose to other works completed in the early Warring States period. Traditional accounts state that his descendant, Sun Bin, also wrote a treatise on military tactics, titled Sun Bin's Art of War. Both Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese writings, and some historians believed that Sun Wu was in fact Sun Bin until Sun Bin's own treatise was discovered in 1972. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Sun Tzu's The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society. His work continues to influence both Asian and Western culture and politics.

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The Lost Chord, recorded by George Gouraud. It was played at the August 14, 1888, press conference that introduced the phonograph to London.

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Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin, Karl Marx (1978)

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