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Difference between Society and Community

The world is full of people of various kinds and their beliefs. Some people believe in atheism, some in communalism, some are nationalists, etc. The protests that take place in some countries are because of these beliefs. Now, these religious beliefs can sometimes lead to fights other than protests. There are other kinds of belief systems, but religious belief is the dominant one. People with the same beliefs tend to live together and share their views on various topics. Well, people either live in a society or a community. So, what are the contrasting points between them? What do they mean? These questions might arise in our minds. So, let us begin with the primary meaning of these terms.

Society

A society is defined as the group of individuals that are involved in a large group that shares the same opinions and perspectives. People with common interests come forward and make a society. Well, society can also mean an organized group of people working together for their common interests, perspectives, or beliefs. For instance, the US is a capitalist society. Well, in the animal kingdom, when a particular species of animals live together, that is termed as a society. For instance, honey bee society, etc. In Sociology, there are six significant types of societies, namely pastoral society, horticulture society, industrial society, hunting & gathering society, agricultural society, and post-industrial society. People sharing the same culture also live in societies. Now, what is the importance of a society? Well, in sociology, society is essential for living. Society is a place where one can comfortably live and participate in societal works. A society is essential as it is a home for all people with similar cultures, interests, hobbies, perceptions, opinions, etc. Well, there are many functions of society like it is a large human group, satisfies the needs of the members, has a sense of cooperation and belongingness, etc.

Community

A community is defined as a group of people who follow a social structure in a society. The social structure involves religion, morals, customs, values, etc. The place of a community can be virtual as well as physical (village, towns, countries, etc.). People interacting with each other having common interests, values, etc., live in a community. The basis of a community lies in five fundamental things, i.e., action, place, circumstance, interest, and practice. The community has some major characteristics like:

  • It is a group of people.
  • Community is a definite locality.
  • A community is a permanent group.
  • People with similar interests come together in a community.
  • Social life is organized in a community.
  • A community has no legal state or a particular name.
  • A community depends upon its size. For instance, a village is a small community, while a country is a large community.

Now, let us discuss the significant contrasting points between a society and a community.

S.NO. SOCIETY COMMUNITY
1. A society is defined as a group of people sharing the same culture, interests, opinions, etc. On the other hand, a community is defined as the group of living in a social structure.
2. A society is a physical place. A community can be a physical or virtual place.
3. The concept of society prevails among humans as well as animals. The concept of society prevails only among humans.
4. Society is a web of building social relationships. A community is only a group of individuals.
5. Society does not have a specific geographical area. The community has a specific geographical area.
6. Community sentiments are not present in society. There can be no community without community sentiments.
7. Society is wider, i.e., it includes several small communities. The community is smaller as compared to society.
8. Society is a web of social relationships that cannot be touched. It is abstract. Community is concrete, i.e., it includes a particular area or a particular group of people.
9. Common interests, goals, perceptions, opinions are not necessary among people living in a society. Common interests, goals, perceptions, opinions are necessary among people living in a community.
10. Common and diverse interests are present in society. Particular or specific interests prevail in a community.
11. Communication and interactions are important in a society. This helps in building social relationships. People in a community communicate involuntarily. Therefore, it is not necessary to interact.
12. Society is heterogeneous, i.e., there is diversity among the members. Community is homogenous, i.e., less or no diversity is present among the members.

So, these are some of the contrasting points between a society and a community. Well, there are various types of societies and communities. So, let us take a look at them.

Types of Society

  1. Tribal Society: Hunters and Gathers are a major part of the tribal societies. Rather they are the founders of such societies. The social structure of this community is unified, and these people primarily speak in their language, which is unknown to the common people. In addition, tribal people usually follow magic, totemism, etc.
  2. Agrarian Society: People who do agricultural activities are a part of an agrarian society. Potters, blacksmiths, weavers, artisans, etc., also are a part of an agrarian society. Domestication of plants and animals takes place in this society.
  3. Industrial Society: The organized production and machinery of goods is called an industrial society. People here are laborers who work to make industrial goods. This society came into being after the industrial revolution when people shifted their focus from family businesses to factories.
  4. Post-Industrial Society: This phrase was coined by Daniel Bell. This society included practical application of theoretical knowledge that led to various innovations in science.

Types of Community

  1. Interest: People who share common interests are a part of a community.
  2. Action: People who wish to bring a change in society are a part of a community.
  3. Place: People who come together through geographical boundaries are also a part of a community.
  4. Practice: People who undertake the same activities/ profession come under the practice community.
  5. Circumstance: People who come together through some external situation are a part of a circumstance community.

So, these are some of the types of societies and communities. Society and community are an essential part of an individual's life. It brings a sense of peace and harmony among people. Both society and community are necessary as it helps people in moving towards their common interests. Thus, society and community are essential parts of our lives.


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