Human Society: Conformation, Characteristics And Types

The human society is the group of individuals who work together and are governed by a set of rules and behaviors; in animal societies instinct may take precedence, and in human societies, cultural factors.

For thinkers like Theodor W. Adorno, society is more of a process than a fixed concept, which involves approaching it in a dynamic way, studying its evolution. Examples of human society can be ancient Roman, Chinese, Japanese, or American society.

Human society is a set of individuals who are governed by cultural norms and behaviors

The human species emerged around 300,000 years ago, but it is likely that primates organized in small groups already existed, in species that preceded Homo sapiens much earlier, with a history that dates back more than two million years.

Human society would come to be a group of organized individuals, united by social and kinship ties, with geographic and cultural elements in common (language, beliefs, technology, history), willing to cooperate with each other and share a common destiny.

Article index

  • one

    Shaping of human society

  • two

    Characteristics of human society

    • 2.1

      Collective

    • 2.2

      Geography

    • 23

      Cooperation

    • 2.4

      Culture

    • 2.5

      Political structure

    • 2.6

      Family

    • 2.7

      Economy

    • 2.8

      Social relationships

    • 2.9

      Socialization spaces

    • 2.10

      Individual and human society

  • 3

    Types of human societies

    • 3.1

      Hunting and gathering societies

    • 3.2

      Pastoral Societies

    • 3.3

      Horticultural societies

    • 3.4

      Agricultural societies

    • 3.5

      Industrial Societies

    • 3.6

      Post-industrial societies

  • 4

    References

Shaping of human society

It is likely that humans more than 70,000 years ago were closer to chimpanzee and gorilla societies than to today’s highly culturally complex societies, although they did enjoy a number of evolutionary advantages, such as a larger brain, complex language and ability. to make tools, and to use fire.

Human society has undergone various changes in its history

Small groups of hunters and gatherers, linked by blood ties, may have related to other groups to plan hunting and fishing activities, or to confront other human groups that competed for the same resources.

These alliances would be strengthened over time by exchanging products, developing a common language, sharing beliefs, and establishing alliances through marriages or other types of agreements.

With the emergence of agriculture, the emergence of the first cities and the emergence of religions, societies would become increasingly complex, as they are today, throughout the world.

Characteristics of human society

All human societies share a number of characteristics in common.

Collective

Societies are groups of human beings, which can range from a few tens to hundreds of millions of people. They are groupings that go beyond kinship ties.

Geography

Initially, human societies can be contained and determined by a geographical space, a territory that can go from a valley to an entire country.

Cooperation

Humans unite and create partnerships to achieve goals that would be unattainable if they acted alone. Raising children, distributing food, farming, and other activities are only possible when members of a society cooperate with each other.

Culture

Culture encompasses the material and immaterial manifestations of a society

It is a term that tends to be confused with society, due to its breadth and all that it encompasses. Its language, customs, beliefs, traditions, history, objects, technologies, etc. are part of the culture of a society.

Culture implies intangible values ​​that unite societies: a shared history, myths and beliefs, cultural expressions such as music, literature, plastic arts, cinema, etc.

Political structure

In societies, there are usually power relations, individuals or groups that determine where a certain human group is heading.

Political structures can be very simple, such as the presence of a tribal leader, or as complex as today’s democracies.

Family

As has been said ad nauseam, without ceasing to be true, the family is usually the minimum fundamental unit of a society. The individual begins the process of socialization by relating to their parents, siblings and other relatives.

Economy

All societies have some kind of economic system, which can be defined as the way in which the members of a society exchange products and values. Economic models can range from barter to high finance.

The way a society subsists is part of the economy: hunting and fishing, agriculture, mining, technological production, etc.

Social relationships

Societies share codes and conventions to facilitate relationships between their members: protocols and ways of establishing contact in the different spaces of public and private interaction.

In turn, these societies may be stratified into classes, castes, or other privileged systems, based on cultural, political, or economic values.

Socialization spaces

Almost all societies create conditions and spaces for social interaction and socialization, such as educational institutions, places of recreation, games and sports.

Other ways to strengthen social ties usually occur through military training, churches and political groups.

Individual and human society

For some psychologists, sociologists and philosophers, individual human consciousness is only possible thanks to social interaction. For the development of the self, the individual needs to be part of a community.

Types of human societies

Humans have developed various types of societies throughout history. Sociologists have classified the different classes into six categories:

Hunting and gathering societies

They are groups of people who depend mainly on wild foods for their livelihood. Until about 12,000 to 11,000 years ago, when agriculture and the domestication of animals emerged in Southwest Asia and Mesoamerica, all peoples were hunters and gatherers.

Until humans began domesticating plants and animals around 10,000 years ago, all human societies were hunter-gatherers. Today, only a small fraction of the world’s population survive in this way and they are found in isolated and inhospitable areas such as deserts, frozen tundra, and dense rain forests.

Prehistoric hunter-gatherers often lived in groups of a few dozen people, made up of various family units. They developed tools and depended on the abundance of food in the area, if they couldn’t find food, they moved to another area. It is probable that, in general, the men hunted while the women ate.

Pastoral Societies

A pastoral society is a social group of shepherds, whose way of life is based on herding and is usually nomadic. Daily life focuses on caring for the herds.

Desert areas or climates where it is difficult to cultivate are pastoral societies that have been around for hundreds of years. Since they couldn’t farm, they relied on meat and dairy from their herds.

Horticultural societies

Horticultural societies developed around 7000 BC in the Middle East and gradually spread west, through Europe and Africa, and east through Asia.

In a horticultural society people subsist by growing plants for food consumption, without the use of mechanized tools or the use of animals.

Agricultural societies

In an agricultural society the economy is based on producing and maintaining crops and agricultural land, using mechanized tools and animals. People lead a more sedentary lifestyle than nomadic hunter-gatherer or semi-nomadic herder societies, because they live permanently close to cultivated land.

The first civilizations based on complex and productive agriculture developed in the floods of the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile rivers.

Industrial Societies

In an industrial society, mass production technologies are used to manufacture large quantities of products in factories.

Industrial society used external energy sources, such as fossil fuels, to increase the speed and scale of production, decreasing the human labor required.

Post-industrial societies

Post-industrial society is the stage of development of society in which the service sector generates more wealth than the manufacturing sector of the economy.

This society is marked by the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy, a transition that is also connected with social restructuring.

The American sociologist Daniel Bell coined the term post-industrial in 1973 in his book The Advent of Post-Industrial Society , which describes several characteristics of a post-industrial society:

  • A transition from the production of goods to the production of services.
  • The replacement of blue-collar workers with technical and professional workers, such as computer engineers, doctors, and bankers.
  • The substitution of practical knowledge for theoretical knowledge.
  • The development of new scientific disciplines, such as those involving new forms of information technology, cybernetics, or artificial intelligence.
  • A greater emphasis on the university and polytechnics, which educate graduates who create and guide the new technologies crucial to a post-industrial society.

References

  1. Adorno, T. (1971). The society. Taken from academia.edu.
  2. Donald, M (2004). The definition of human nature. Taken from books.google.com.
  3. Gómez Portillo, I. (2013). The evolution of cooperation and the origin of human society. Taken from uab.cat.
  4. Harari, YN (2014). From Animals to Gods: A Brief History of Humanity. Taken from espafdf.com.
  5. Society (2020). Taken from es.wikipedia.org.

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