is a group
of people involved in persistent social interaction
, or a large social grouping
sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations
) between individuals who share a distinctive culture
; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent members. In the social sciences
, a larger society often evinces stratification
patterns in subgroups.