Society as a system

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Название документа: Society as a system . MINISTERY OF EDUCATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS Belarus State Economic University REFERAT: «SOCIETY AS A SYSTEM» Minsk 2008 Approaches to understanding the society The concept society has its origin in the Latin societas, or a friendly association with others so it refers to associations of individuals, to group relations. But the definition “the society is a group of interrelated individuals” can not be fully correct because society may be understood as 1) a particular community of people living in a country or region, and having shared customs, laws, and organizations, for instance, English society or American society; 2) people who are fashionable, wealthy, and influential, regarded as a distinct social group, for instance, high society; 3) an organization or club set up for a particular purpose or activity, for instance, a society of fishermen; 4) a situation of being in the company of other people, for instance, I like his company.

Being polysemantic, the word “society” has a number of definitions. Long ago E. Durkheim stated that “every entity of individuals who are involved in continuous contact forms a society”.

Following his tradition, social sciences use the term “society” for the body of institutions and relationships within which a relatively large group of people live. More abstractly, the society is defined as a network of relationships between social entities. But even within sociology itself there exist various definitions of the concept as there are various approaches to understanding the society.

The basic approaches are a narrow sociological and broad philosophic ones. Within a narrow sociological perspective the society is understood as: · a particular group of people who are linked together for communication and a paricular purpose like joint performance of some activities; · a definite stage in historic development of a country, for instance, capitalist society; · a system of interactions between people that has its structure and institutions. It should be noted that a society is not equal to a country or state although they have much in common.

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