State vs Society
Students of social sciences, especially political science and sociology, often come across terms like state and society to refer to a grouping of human beings in a particular territory or piece of land. Both a state and a society are comprised of people, and human beings remain the integral parts of both groupings. There are many similarities between a state and a society to confuse students. Both are intertwined as a society is dependent upon the state and both influence each other in such a manner that they define each other. However, there are many differences between the two concepts that will be highlighted in this article for the readers.
Society is a collection of human beings in a territory where people live being regulated by certain norms and customs. The relations between individuals are governed by societal noms, and the social conduct of the people in a society is always dependent upon the shared view of the society about what is god and what is bad. The norms and customs of a society are expected to be followed by individuals living in it, and any violation of these rules is looked down upon to make a person behave in the desired manner. The feeling of belongingness is what makes people co-operate in a society.
Society is not restricted by geography in the modern era as Hindus living in America may be following the same customs and norms as are prevalent in their society in India and the same goes for Jews living in India even though their homeland may be Israel. India is one country where there are a number of societies within the large Indian society because of different religions. Thus, we have Hindu society, Muslim society, Sikh society, and even Christian society. However, the feeling of being Indian supersedes all these societies with the result that all these societies merge into one Indian society. Thus, a foreigner talks about Indian culture, art and tradition rather than narrowing down on smaller societies.
State is a part of a society like many other associations and institutions. In fact, state is the most important grouping inside a society as it has the power to make rules and regulations that the members of the society have to follow as it has coercive power to punish the members. It is a political association with machinery in place to run administration, and judicial system. It is clear that the rule of law is maintained in a society with the help of state only. However, this rule remains confined to a particular territory as where this territory ends, the rule of another state begins.
A state has a structure in place and government performs as its head. The formation of a state is necessary in any society for its protection as also to further the common interests of the people that make up the society. The state has the power to make laws and also the power to punish people for violation of these laws. Membership to a state is limited and has to be earned.
What is the difference between State and Society?
• Society is a collection of human beings living together with common interests and following norms and customs of the grouping. On the other hand, state is a political association inside a society meant to protect and govern the people
• State is a part of the society but very important for the existence of the society
• State has the power of coercion, whereas society only has the power of persuasion
• State is limited to a geographical piece of land, whereas members of a society, wherever they go in the world follow the same norms and traditions
• Society has a social system in place, whereas State has a political system in place
• Society is permanent, whereas a state is temporary as when a state is occupied by another state
• Society is natural, whereas a state is created inside a society