Portal:Society
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Ant (formicidae) social ethology

Ant (formicidae) 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, 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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Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. Lesbian, as a concept, is used to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation, and the concept is a 20th-century construct. Throughout history, women have not had the freedom or independence to pursue homosexual relationships where men have. However, they also have not met the same harsh punishment in some societies as homosexual men. In the past, lesbian relationships were sometimes regarded as harmless unless the participants attempted to pursue privileges traditionally enjoyed by their peers. As a result, little in history has been documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality has been expressed. When early sexologists in the late 19th century began to categorize and describe homosexual behavior, hampered by a lack of knowledge about lesbianism or women's sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and designated them mentally ill. Women in homosexual relationships responded to this designation either by hiding their personal lives or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity that developed in Europe and the United States. Women exhibit sexual fluidity; some women who engage in homosexual behavior may reject identifying as lesbian or as bisexual. Greater understanding of women's sexuality has led to three components to identifying lesbians: sexual behavior, sexual desire, or sexual identity.

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Compromise of 1850Credit: Artist: Peter F. Rothermel; Engraver: Robert Whitechurch; Restoration: Lise Broer and Jujutacular

U.S. Senator Henry Clay gives a speech in the Old Senate Chamber calling for compromise on the issues dividing the United States. The result was the Compromise of 1850, a package of five bills, the first two of which were passed on . Ironically, these led to a breakdown in the spirit of compromise in the years preceding the Civil War, particularly after the deaths of Clay and Daniel Webster.

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Daniel Lambert
Daniel Lambert
Daniel Lambert (1770-1809) was a gaol keeper and animal breeder from Leicester, England, famous for his unusually large size. He was a keen sportsman and extremely strong, on one occasion fighting a bear in the streets of Leicester. He was an expert in sporting animals, widely respected for his expertise on dogs, horses and fighting cocks. In 1805 the gaol of which Lambert was keeper closed. By this time he weighed 50 stone (700 lb; 320 kg), and had become the heaviest authenticated person in recorded history up to that time. Unemployed and sensitive about his bulk, he became a recluse. Poverty forced Lambert to put himself on exhibition to raise money, and in he moved to London, charging spectators to enter his apartments to meet him. Visitors were impressed by his intelligence and personality, and visiting him became highly fashionable. After a few months, Lambert returned wealthy to Leicester and soon began making short fundraising tours. In he died suddenly in Stamford. At the time of his death he weighed 52 stone 11 lb (739 lb; 335 kg). It took 20 men almost half an hour to drag his casket into the trench in the burial ground at St Martin's Church. Though no longer the heaviest person in history, Lambert remains a popular character in Leicester. (Full article...)

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  • The sentence uttered by Neil Armstrong upon being the first human to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 moon landing on , 1969
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