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Wikipedia:Contents/Society and social sciences/Intro

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A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

A society is a group of people who form a semi-closed system. At its simplest, the term society refers to a large group of people sharing their own culture and institutions. A society is a network of relationships between people. The English word society is derived from the French société, which had its origin in the Latin societas, a "friendly association with others," from socius meaning "companion, associate, comrade or business partner." Thus, the meaning of society is closely related to what is considered to be social. Implicit in the meaning of society is that its members may share some mutual concern or interest, a common objective or common characteristics. The social sciences generally use the term society to mean a group of people who form a semi-closed social system, in which most interactions are with other individuals belonging to the group. More abstractly, a society is defined as a network of relationships between social entities. A society is also sometimes defined as an interdependent community, but the sociologist Tönnies sought to draw a contrast between society and community. An important feature of society is social structure, aspects of which include roles and social ranking.

The social science are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. They differ from the arts and the humanities, in that the social science tend to emphasize the use of the scientific method in the study of humanity, including quantitative and qualitative methods.