Discourse about society is both easy and difficult at the same time. On the one hand, this concept has been familiar to every person practically since childhood, on the other hand, it is very difficult to understand for oneself what this most complex system is, how it functions and what tasks it solves. To begin with, it should be remembered that scientists share the concepts of society in the broad sense of the word and in the narrow one.
The second definition is quite simple. In this case, society is understood as a dynamically developing system, the main elements of which are people, social groups and social institutions linking them. It is with this concept that sociologists mainly work.
Society in a broad sense is a category, first of all, a philosophical one. People began to turn to it since ancient times, when such philosophers as Plato and Aristotle first declared that it was the ability to self-organize in society that is the most important signdifferences between man and animal.
However, society in the broadest sense became a truly political and philosophical problem in the Age of Enlightenment. It was during this period that it began to be regarded as a certain mediating mechanism between a single person and the state, as the most important social institution that guides the overall development of each individual. In addition, it was in France of the 18th century that the idea was first voiced that society in the broad sense is all of humanity as a whole, representing a special part of the material world.
Russian scientists also made a significant contribution to the study of this problem. First of all, this concerns such philosophers as N. Berdyaev, V. Solovyov, S. Frank. In their works, they focused on the spiritual essence of a person, his constantly emerging desire to find himself in this world and self-improvement.
Each philosophical direction in one way or another raised the problem of society, sought to interpret it in line with its own concept. At the same time, the further, the more the deterministic tendency began to slip: some scientists put the economic essence of this mechanism at the forefront, others - the spiritual one. At present, society in a broad sense is regarded as, on the one hand, the driving force behind the development of human civilization, and, on the other hand, as an inevitable result of this process. This approach unwittingly emphasizes the dynamic nature of this system, which does not remainunchanged, but develops along with human development.
Considering society in a broad sense, scientists recognize that its direct impact on each individual is much less noticeable than, for example, in the case of a social group, and the bonds within it are noticeably less strong. At the same time, it is at the level of all mankind that the necessary spiritual and material components are preserved that allow each individual person to realize himself, allow him to feel that he is that part of the surrounding world, which this very world can noticeably change and use in its own interests.