3

Defining Society

If one were to ask anyone about the subject matter of Sociology, the most likely response would be that it is the study of society. The more sophisticated respondents may further generalize and say that it studies the ‘social’ or the ‘social sphere’, or the Sociosphere, contrasting it with the Biosphere or the Atmosphere.1 However, not many people are clear as to what society is, or what social or sociosphere are. There are others who define sociology as a study of groups—society is also a group, according to them, covered by this broad definition.

Due to its various connotations, there is a need for a systematic definition of the three key words relative to sociology, namely social, society and group.

In this chapter, we shall ...

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