6 TYPES OF SOCIETY

A society is a group of people who shared a common culture and have geographically defined territory.

Society is a large group of people that differ according to their economic and technological development.

Sociologist tends to classify society according to their technological, and economic development as well as their unequal access to advantages such as resources, prestige, and power.

In this respect, we classify society into six types, namely: 
1. Hunting and gathering society

2. Pastoral society

3. Horticultural society

4. Agricultural society

5. Industrial society

6. Post-industrial society

Hunting and gathering society

As the name seems to suggest, this depends entirely on hunting for food and gathering vegetables for their survival.

Hunting and gathering society represents the oldest form of society that is entirely dependent on their environment for their sustenance. 

And as a way of ensuring mutual survival, everyone in the hunting and gathering society is expected to find food and shared the food they found. 

Therefore, social inequality is less in hunting and gathering societies. 

Furthermore, the division of labour in hunting and gathering societies was based on age and gender. Indeed, hunting for food was done by men while women gather vegetables.

Hunting and gathering societies are also called foraging societies.

However, the hunting and gathering society is gradually going into extinction, partly, because of massive industrialization.

Inuit who hunt for walrus on the ice of artics represent the best-known example of hunting and gathering society in our world today.

Pastoral society

This was developed 12,000 years ago. In pastoral society, people depend on the rearing of domesticated animals for food and clothes.

In addition to this, pastoral societies used animals for their transportation.

Pastoral society tends to be nomadic as they go from one place to another in search of better grazing grounds for their animals.

Indeed, the migratory pattern of pastoralists is dictated by their animal's needs for food and water.

Pastoral society mainly exists in north Africa and Somalia where horticulture is nearly impossible.

Horticultural society

This society emerges almost immediately as a pastoral society. Horticultural society depends on the cultivation of crops and plants for their sustenance.

Horticultural societies grow and cultivate plants with simple farm tools like hoe, and cutlass. 

The activities of horticultural societies are largely affected by weather and environmental conditions.

For example, depletion of water supplies will negatively affect horticulture and therefore, forced the people to leave.

Another important thing you should note about horticultural societies is that they are relatively larger and wealthier than hunting and gathering societies. 

Hence, social inequality exists in horticultural societies than in hunting and gathering societies.

Also, horticultural societies are less nomadic than their pastoral counterpart.

This is because they can grow the plant in the same location, which means there don't have to move from one place to another as pastoral society does.

Horticulturalists usually build their permanent settlement beside their croplands.

Samoans, the indigenous people of the south pacific, are a common example of a horticultural society that still exists in our world. 

Agricultural society

Agricultural societies rely on permanent tools like tractors for the production of their food.

This is, in contrast, to horticultural and pastoral societies that rely on small tools like hoe and cutlass.

Agricultural society was developed some 5000 years ago. In this society, farmers learned to rotate the plant and reuse waste products like fertilizer. 

Furthermore, permanent tools like ploughs were created in this society. As a result, farming became profitable and practicable thanks to the invention of permanent tools like the plough.

Likewise, food surplus became even greater so that there was enough for the rapidly growing population.

Farmers, realizing this food surplus, decided to engage in extensive trading, both within and outside the society. 

Thus, towns became the centre of trade supporting various individuals like craftsmen, merchants, educators, and even religious leaders, who did not have to worry about food sustenance.

This plentifulness of food, however, created a particular problem: Social equality.
Individuals who had lots of resources and can afford better living developed into a class of nobility.

This class of nobility managed to extract resources from people of lower classes.

Industrial society 

Industry society emerges in the 18th century as a result of the industrial revolution experienced in Europe.

Industry society is one in which goods are produced by machined powered by fuel rather than by animal and human energy.

As a result of technological innovation that accompanies the industrial revolution, the world experience increased productivity.

Moreover, the industrial revolution meant that industries replaced agriculture so that there was large-scale urbanization 

It is a society that uses machines and fuel to greatly increase the supply of foods and finished goods

Urbanization led to a large number of rural-urban migrations.

This rural-urban migration caused two consequences: Firstly, people became less concerned with maintaining family land and tradition.

Rather, they focus on amassing wealth and achieving upward social mobility. Hence, social inequality was greatly reduced compared to agricultural societies.

Secondly, urban areas became overcrowded and people are now faced with terrible conditions such as poverty and filth.

The pollution we faced in our world today can be largely attributed to industrialization.

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Post-industrial society

This is an emerging society. Post-industrial society relies on the provision of information, knowledge, and service rather than farming and manufacturing.

Post-industrial society is a society where most or large numbers of workers are in the service sector

The steam power of this emerging society is digital technology, not factories. Knowledge, not material goods, is the mainstay of this society. 

Individuals involved in creating, storing, and distributing information will possess the means of economic success.

Further, the social class will be based on access to education, since higher education is very important for economic success in post-industrial society.

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