Difference Between Society and Community

Society vs Community

 

Society and Community are two words that are often confused with words that convey the same meaning, even though there are differences between the two words. The word ‘society’ refers to all classes of people or people at large. This includes not only the people of varied classes but also the cultures that they have created. It is the entity that contributes to a society. On the other hand, the word ‘community’ refers to a particular ‘class’ of people. This is the main difference between the two words, society, and community. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two words while gaining an understanding of each word.

What is Society?

Society can be defined as all classes of people or people at large. It is interesting to note that the word ‘society’ has its adjectival form in the word ‘social’. Society indicates the totality of the human conditions. When speaking of society, it is important to bear in mind that the society contains a number of social institutions. They are family, religion, economy, politics, and education. The functioning of a society with an expected degree of social order which allows the society to function naturally with minimal disturbances depend on the independent as well as interdependent functioning of the social institutions. However, this does not always mean that the society disallows the individuality and conforms to collective actions only. On the contrary, it indicates the independent nature of the human beings in a setup.

The word ‘society’ refers to social community. It indicates the social way of life of human beings as in the expression ‘high-society’. The word ‘society’ refers to the customs and the practices of men and women. The values, norms, mores, folkways all contribute towards the formation of the culture of a society. Since the society is a blend of people coming from various backgrounds, religions and ethnicities, a society can be created through not a single culture but a combination of a number of cultures.   Thus, it can be seen that the word ‘society’ has number of suggested meanings than expressed meanings.

Difference Between Society and Community

What is Community?

Community refers to a particular ‘class’ of people. The word ‘Community’ has its adjectival form in the word ‘communal’. Community refers to ‘all the people living in a specific locality’. It is important to know that the specific locality is inclusive of its inhabitants. Sometimes the word ‘community’ is used to indicate ‘a group of people having the same religion or profession’. This is what is understood by the expressions ‘immigrant community’. It is quite natural that any immigrant community has commonness when it comes to profession, religion or occupation. The word ‘community’ is used in the biological sense too so that it means ‘a group of animals or plants that live or grow in the same area’. The word ‘community’ has varied expressed meanings, but a few suggested meanings. Now let us summarize the difference between the two words in the following manner.

Society vs Community

What is the Difference Between Society and Community?

  • The word ‘society’ refers to all classes of people or people at large whereas the word ‘community’ refers to a particular ‘class’ of people.
  • Society has its adjectival form in the word ‘social’. On the other hand, the word community has its adjectival form in the word ‘communal’.
  • Community is used in the biological sense so that it means ‘a group of animals or plants that live or grow in the same area’. The word ‘society’ on the other hand indicates the totality of the human conditions.
  • The word ‘society’ has number of suggested meanings than expressed meanings. On the other hand, the word ‘community’ has varied expressed meanings but a few suggested meanings.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. “Pedestrian mall in Chongqing downtown” by Chen Hualin – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. US Navy 100813-N-3589B-096 Sailors participate in a community plant schrubs with local children during a community service project at the Village of Hope orphanage in Vietnam by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jessica Bidwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons