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The Society Portal

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva


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, and also applied to distinctive subsections of a larger society.

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. (Full article...)

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Scouting
Scouting is a worldwide youth movement aiming to develop young people physically, mentally and spiritually, so that they can play constructive roles within the society. Scouting began in 1907 when R.S.S. Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment at Brownsea Island, England. Baden-Powell wrote the principles of Scouting in Scouting for Boys, based on his earlier military books, with influence and support of Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. During the first half of the 20th century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Rover Scout) and for girls (Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout, Ranger Guide). The movement employs the Scout method, a program of non-formal education with emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports.

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Extermination of EvilCredit: Artist: Unknown

Extermination of Evil is a set of five paintings believed to have been created in the 12th century, depicting traditional Asian deities banishing evil. The paintings are collectively listed as a National Treasure of Japan and held at the Nara National Museum. Clockwise, from top left: Sendan Kendatsuba, Shinchū, Bishamonten, Tenkeisei, and Shōki.

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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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Marcus Garvey

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Robert Sterling Yard in 1920
Robert Sterling Yard in 1920
Robert Sterling Yard (1861–1945) was an American writer, journalist and wilderness activist. Yard graduated from Princeton University and spent the first twenty years of his career as a journalist, editor and publisher. In 1915 he was recruited by his friend Stephen Mather to help publicize the need for an independent national park agency. Their numerous publications were part of a movement that resulted in legislative support for a National Park Service in 1916. Yard served as head of the National Parks Educational Committee for several years after its conception, but tension within the NPS led him to concentrate on non-government initiatives. He became executive secretary of the National Parks Association in 1919. Yard worked to promote the national parks as well as educate Americans about their use. Creating high standards based on aesthetic ideals for park selection, he also opposed commercialism and industrialization of what he called "America's masterpieces". These standards caused discord with his peers. After helping to establish a relationship between the NPA and the United States Forest Service, Yard later became involved in the protection of wilderness areas. In 1935 he became one of the eight founding members of The Wilderness Society and acted as its first president from 1937 until his death eight years later. Yard is now considered an important figure in the modern wilderness movement. (Full article...)

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  • La marcha real (The Royal March), the National Anthem of Spain, performed by the United States Navy Band. It is one of the oldest national anthems in the world as it was adopted in 1770, though, due to its age, the composer is unknown. It is also one of the few national anthems without words.
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