Company referred to in the sociology generally a by different characteristics summarized and accrued number of people as social agents ( actors ) live interlinked and directly or indirectly interact socially . Society refers both to humanity as a whole (in relation to animals and plants) and to certain groups of people, for example a people or a nation . Society can also refer to a spatially delimited and structured relationship between people, to collectives or to a knot ( cluster ) in the social network of humanity, which can be delimited by the network density and multiplexity of the interactions. In current social sciences , the term is often used with imprecise meaning.
“Society literally means the epitome of spatially united people living or temporarily united in one space. So it follows from the etymological derivation of the word from ahd . sal = space, ahd. selida = dwelling; still preserved today in: nhd. 'hall', Scand. sal = floor, Russian ssjelo = courtyard, country residence (perhaps related to the Latin solum = land). Journeyman, ahd. Gisellio , is the 'hall mate'. "
The term is probably derived directly from journeyman or from society . Society was the union of journeymen to enforce demands to change the working conditions determined by the guild masters (the "championship"). In today's linguistic usage, expressions such as “ socialize ” (cf. equal and like like to join . ) Or “sociable” (“ sociability ”) indicate a spatial and temporal context of people. The conflict between society and mastery of the medieval guild is alien to both terms in today's parlance. In modern legal developments, legal language has established itself as a non-judgmental group term. In Schleiermacher's distinction between society and community that right thinking sounds to.
The ideas of the Enlightenment of a rational government were made known to the general public through the French Revolution . In the 19th century "Society" was then used to translate English. society and French société . The concept of civil society or " bourgeois society " served the emerging bourgeoisie as an antithesis to the absolutist princely state . From then on, the dualism of the terms state and society became fundamental to the political philosophy of liberalism .
From a bio-sociological point of view, humans are by nature in society. In (already) Aristotle 's words he is a ζώον πολιτικόν ( zóon politikón ), a being based on “state (community, pole-ice ) formation”.
The term “society” is controversial as a central basic term in sociology. In 2011 Thomas Schwinn wrote an overview of 'strong and weak social terms'. He described these as 'decay of a traditional concept'. He describes the theoretical history of the term and distinguishes among other things. a. systems-theoretical approaches (inter alia Talcott Parsons , Niklas Luhmann ), action-theoretical foundation attempts ( Anthony Giddens , Hartmut Esser ) or combinations of systems and action theory ( Jürgen Habermas , Uwe Schimank ).
In today's sociology, too, the use of the term society is controversial. For example, For example, the British sociologist John Urry turned away from the analysis of societies for a sociology of the 21st century ( Sociology Beyond Societies , London 2000).
According to Karl Marx , society is the totality of relationships between people, that is, the sum of relationships and relationships among individuals, and not individuals as such. Society is analyzed here according to the historical level of development of the economic conditions, whereby Marx first describes three basic social formations :
- the original primary or archaic formation (primordial society) based on common property and social homogeneity, which at its last and highest stage of development with the division of work, with individually used common property, gradually becomes socially differentiated and begins to grow into the secondary formation.
- the secondary formation of socially heterogeneous societies based on large private property (Asian mode of production, slave-holding society, feudalism and bourgeois - capitalist society)
- the communist social formation with socialism as a preliminary stage or transition phase to a classless society
Community and Society (Tönnies)
According to Ferdinand Tönnies , society is a precisely defined grouping of people. He understands "society" as the opposite of "community". The technical term society was introduced analytically in the emerging sociology by Tönnies in 1887 in his work Community and Society . According to this, community is characterized by mutual trust, emotional connection and homogeneity. Tönnies contrasts the concept of community with the concept of society . According to Tönnies, the community is used by actors with individual goals. This leads to a loose connection between the individuals in society. For him, both community and society are a common object of sociology. His concept of society in the narrower sense is therefore axiomatically supported and obtained strictly deductively . In this sense, the term is rarely used in sociology. At Tönnies, society is a special form of mutual, willful affirmation by people who use this form as a means to achieve their individual goals (see above).
In 1890 Georg Simmel introduced the term differentiation (also known as social differentiation or social differentiation ) into sociology . Differentiation describes long-term changes in a society. These changes can be connected with the emergence or breakdown of social positions , life situations and / or lifestyles . Differentiation is also used to describe the result of such processes, namely 'social differentiation'.
Structural functionalism (Parsons)
According to structural functionalism , a society is formed from actors when they are able to satisfy human needs by means of certain social functions (compare Talcott Parsons , as well as functionalism ). Functionally oriented towards this, institutions are formed , and without the development of appropriate structures, permanent satisfaction of needs is not possible. Even a Robinson Crusoe only survives because he has internalized the methods for coping with the world ( norms , values , skills ), because he carries society within himself - for example when he becomes pious on his deserted island . Actor (or disputed: individual ) and society are interdependent. Societies can only stabilize in the long term if they reproduce through socialization , structures and values. The nuclear family is the original instance here through biological determination , but even this is controversial.
Systems theory (Luhmann)
In Luhmann's conception of communication theory, society is described as “all events that are communicatively accessible to one another”. Society in terms of systems theory is therefore the most comprehensive social system - that unit that no longer has a social environment and includes all other social systems, including organizations, as well as relationships and facts . In other words, society is everything that is accessible to one another through communication .
Practice and Theory of Practice (Bourdieu)
For Pierre Bourdieu , society cannot be fully explained. There are, however, two levels to be distinguished: the level of social practice, in which life takes place according to regularities, the course of which the actors have incorporated largely unconsciously , and the level of theory of practice, where it has to be examined, the unconscious, to uncover in their entirety hardly perceived power relations in social practice, and to do so where they largely break with the habits of action, perception and judgment. Bourdieu's very influential work thus contains a component that is critical of society.
- Karl Marx - pervasive exploitation mechanism in capitalism ;
- Ludwig Gumplovicz - war between groups ;
- Ferdinand Tönnies - long-distance trade ;
- Niklas Luhmann - global distribution of media communication and a ( global ) social functional system
- Social structure - community
- leveled medium-sized company
- Social order
- Social models:
- Norbert Elias : What is sociology? Juventa, Munich 1970.
- Johannes Heinrichs : Logic of the social. What society arises from. Steno, Munich 2005.
- Karl-Heinz Hillmann : Society. In: ders .: Dictionary of Sociology (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 410). 4th, revised and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-520-41004-4 .
- Peter Koslowski : Evolution and Society. An examination of sociobiology. 2nd Edition. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1984.
- Jörn Lamla , Henning Laux , Hartmut Rosa , David Strecker (eds.): Handbuch der Soziologie , UVK, Konstanz 2014, ISBN 978-3-8252-8601-9 .
- Niklas Luhmann : The Society of Society. 1997, ISBN 3-518-28960-8 .
- Hartmut Rosa , Jörg Oberthür u. a .: social theory . UVK, Munich 2020, ISBN 9783825252441 .
- Peter Ruben : Community and society - considered again . In Dittmar Schorkovitz (Hrsg.): Ethnohistorical ways and apprenticeship years of a philosopher . Frankfurt 1995.
- Gunter Runkel: General Sociology. Social theory, social structure and semantics. Oldenbourg, Munich / Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-486-57708-5 (especially chapter 2: Sociological classics and their theories ).
- Ferdinand Tönnies : Community and Society . 1887; Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2005.
- Bernard Willms : System and Subject or the Political Antinomy of Social Theory. In: Franz Maciejewski (Ed.): Theory of Society or Social Technology. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1973, ISBN 3-518-06101-1 , pp. 43-77.
- Link catalog on society at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )
- Georg Simmel: Sociology . Studies on the forms of socialization. ( Memento from February 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Sociology creates society , Armin Nassehi on the sociological discourse of modernity. Deutschlandfunk.
- Weltgesellschaft Conference intro of the Institute for World Society of the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University and the journal for sociology .
- Federal Agency for Civic Education The discomfort in society by Martin Hartmann , Institute for Social Research at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.
- Robert Hettlage : Farmer Societies. The rural world as a sociological exotic icon? In: Robert Hettlage: The post-traditional world of farmers. Campus, Frankfurt a. M. 1989, ISBN 3-593-34007-0 . P. 12.
- Theodor Geiger : Society. In: Alfred Vierkandt (Ed.): Concise dictionary of sociology. Foreword by René König . Introduction by Paul Hochstim. (= Enke social sciences. ) Abridged study edition. Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-432-91551-9 , pp. 38–48 (the unabridged edition, in connection with […] G. Briefs […] F. Eulenburg […] F. Oppenheimer […] W. Sombart […] F. Tönnies […] A. Weber […] L. v. Wiese […], published in 1931, , LCCN 32-019286 , OCLC 753128534 and others; their reprinted unchanged [supplemented by a preface von H. Schelsky ] 1959, , OCLC 67599443 et al., pp. 201-211, respectively); here: Chapter I sense of the word and history of general linguistic usage , p. 39 (unabridged edition: p. 202).
- Theodor Geiger : Ideology and Truth. A Sociological Critique of Thought. [With an afterword by Frank Benseler .] (= Sociological essays. ) 2nd edition. Hermann Luchterhand Verlag, Neuwied / Berlin 1968, , LCCN 73-371605 , OCLC 912098460 u. a., (the 1st edition [without afterword] (= Die Universität collection . Volume 41) was published by Humboldt-Verlag, Stuttgart / Vienna 1953, , LCCN ltf90-010286 , OCLC 644700442 and others, , one year after Theodor Geiger's death on June 16, 1952); Chapter Ⅵ Original Strata of Ideology , pp. 93–96 (1st edition: pp. 107–111).
- In: Jens Greve, Clemens Kroneberg, Thomas Schwinn: Social Differentiation: Knowledge Gains of Action and System Theory Approaches. VS-Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17388-7 , pp. 27-44.
- Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Critique of Political Economy . 1857.
- Niklas Luhmann : Interaction, Organization and Society. In: Same: Sociological Enlightenment. Volume 2: Essays on the theory of society. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1975, pp. ??.