Different types of societies

Society has many faces. Even inside a particular society there are numerous different ideas of what the society consists of, depending on e.g. the personal education, background and influences. The ideas also vary between different discourses.

It could be thought that the “average” of these ideas is what the single society (such as the Finnish or American society) is. However, the nature of a society is never fixed, but the society is always fluctuating and changing its shape. Therefore a lot of this discussion has to do with mental images, currently dominating ideas in the mainstream media and personal interests. We see society as we view our own lives, and vice versa.

Here I have tried to build four categories into which the societies could be put.

Focus on Civil Society
– adopted by educators, volunteers and government innovators

Focus on Market
– adopted by entrepreneurs, CEOs, economists and contemporary government officials

Focus on Government
– adopted by government bureaucracies and nationalists

Focus on Family
– adopted by children, housewives and the politically indifferent

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4 thoughts on “Different types of societies

  1. The point is: we can never escape ourselves and our own society when defining different (modern) societies. While antropologists classify societies based on the historical phase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society#Types_of_societies), this kind of description can’t escape the “grand modernization story” ethos behind it, and thus it renders all modern societies the same.

    Here the classification is based on subjectivity: society is an image/structure in the individual and collective mind, according to which the social system functions. No two individuals share exactly the same idea of it. However, the ideas must have something in common to actually form social coherence, create trust towards institutions etc.

  2. Pingback: Four Dimensions of Self | To learn something

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