Last edited 18 Dec 2020



In broad terms, a society is a group of individuals who are engaged in social interaction or who share the same territory. Members of society are often subject to the same political, economic, institutional and cultural environment, conditions and expectations.

According to structuralist thought, a society is an economic, social, industrial, etc. structure that is comprised of individuals yet can be viewed in isolation from them as a ‘material’ thing.

Societies are often structured in a political way, with varying types and levels of governance, accountability, taxation, and so on.

The built environment is often the setting within which a society exists. The term ‘built environment’ refers to aspects of our surroundings that are built by humans, that is, distinguished from the natural environment. It includes not only buildings, but the human-made spaces between buildings, such as parks, and the infrastructure that supports the activity of societies such as transportation networks, utilities networks, flood defences, telecommunications, and so on.

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