Robert J. England II
HON 212 Section 007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
What is a society?
A society is a collection of people with some similarity that
brings them together.
Societies consist of a number of interactions among a number of
people, whether large or small.
It is important to study such interactions for better
understanding of major fields such as psychology, politics, and history.
As such, we now
have the social science known as sociology, the study of social interactions in human
As it is a science, sociology has a set of facts, called social facts, to govern the
discipline and define its boundaries and laws.
Social facts can be discovered by strong
research of a society, and can lead to better discoveries about the nature of the human
Such pioneers as Émile Durkheim, Maximilian Weber, and Philip Zimbardo have
worked hard to discover new social facts, and we are indebted to their important work in
Émile Durkheim, one of the primary founders of modern sociology, created and
promoted the idea of the “social fact” in his studies.
By Durkheim's definition, a social
fact is a social norm or institution, created by the society as constraints upon the
A group of people with some similarity make a society, and the
similarity serves to define that society.
As new people enter the society through methods
such as birth, marriage, and immigration, they must conform to that similarity or face
expulsion from the society.
As such, this similarity perpetuates itself over time, gradually
becoming stronger, to the point which it begins to influence other aspects of the societal
Eventually, the similarities that exist within a society become an intertwined web,