Day: May 16, 2020

Types of Societies | Introduction to Sociology

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between preindustrial, industrial, and postindustrial societies
  • Understand the role of environment on preindustrial societies
  • Understand how technology impacts societal development
This photo is a police officer looking down at his phone and texting while on duty

How does technology influence a society’s daily occupations? (Photo courtesy of Mo Riza/flickr)

Hunting and gathering tribes, industrialized Japan, Americans—each is a society. But what does this mean? Exactly what is a society? In sociological terms, society refers to a group of people who live in a definable community and share the same culture. On a broader scale, society consists of the people and institutions around us, our shared beliefs, and our cultural ideas. Typically, more-advanced societies also share a political authority.

Sociologist Gerhard Lenski (1924–) defined societies in terms of their technological sophistication. As a society advances, so does its use of technology. Societies with rudimentary technology depend on the fluctuations of their

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