Society vs Community: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Society is a web of connections and human interactions that binds individuals into a collective entity.
  2. Community is the heartbeat of human connection, where individuals find belonging, support and shared purpose.
  3. Societies are highly complex and structured, with numerous institutions and systems governing various aspects of life, while communities tend to be less complicated in structure.

What is a Society?

Society is a web of connections and human interactions that binds individuals into a collective entity. It is a product of our inherent social nature, a fundamental aspect of human existence. The society represents the organized structure through which people coexist, cooperate and contend.

At its core, society is built upon shared norms, values, and institutions. These provide the framework within which individuals operate. The organization also exhibits stratification, with varying degrees of social hierarchy. This stratification is based on factors like wealth, power, and education, leading to the emergence of social classes.

Communication is the lifeblood of society. Language, in particular, is a powerful tool that enables the transmission of ideas, culture and knowledge. Society is a dynamic and evolving entity for addressing its complexities and promoting the well-being of its members.

What is a Community?

Community is the heartbeat of human connection, a space where individuals find belonging, support and shared purpose. It represents a smaller, more intimate subset within the broader framework of society. Communities come in various forms, each with its unique characteristics and significance.

Communities can be based on shared interests, values, or identities. These communities transcend geographical boundaries, connecting people with similar patterns or beliefs regardless of location. Such communities offer a sense of belonging and a platform for individuals to express themselves and find like-minded people.

Communities are also vital for social support. They provide a safety net during times of crisis, offering emotional, financial and practical assistance. Communities also foster a sense of belonging and purpose.

Communities are the building blocks of a society, where human connections are formed and nurtured. They offer belonging, support, and a sense of purpose that enriches the lives of individuals and contributes to the well-being of society as a whole.

Difference Between Society and Community

  1. Society is a broad and encompassing term that refers to a large, organized group of people living together within a defined geographical area. At the same time, a community is a smaller, more localized group of people who share common values, interests, or a sense of belonging.
  2. Society is a complex and overarching concept encompassing a wide range of activities, institutions, and interactions, while a community is more specific in their purpose and focus.
  3. Social membership is automatic and defined by factors like birthplace or citizenship, while membership in a community is voluntary.
  4. Societies are highly complex and structured, with numerous institutions and systems governing various aspects of life, while communities tend to be less complicated in structure.
  5. Societies encompass diverse cultures, beliefs, and norms, leading to a wide range of societal perspectives and practices. At the same time, communities are more homogeneous regarding shared values and standards.

Comparison Between Society and Community

ParametersSocietyCommunity
ScopeBroad and encompassing group of people living togetherSmaller and more localized groups of people having common interests and goals
Purpose and focusComplex and overarching conceptspecific
MembershipGenerally automaticTypically voluntary
Complexity and structureHighly complex and structuredLess complex in structure
Culture DifferencesDiverse cultures, beliefs and norms lead to a wide range of perspectivesMore homogeneous in terms of shared values and norms
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References
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/16258312.2006.11517156
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02686164

Last Updated : 23 January, 2024

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