Association vs. Society: What's the Difference?
"Association" refers to a group of people organized for a common purpose, while "Society" is a community or group with shared customs, laws, or interests.
"Association" and "Society" both refer to gatherings or collectives of individuals, but they differ in the context and implications. An "Association" primarily denotes an organized body of people who come together due to shared interests or purposes. For instance, professional associations unite members of the same profession.
"Society," on the other hand, has a broader context. It can denote a large group of people who share a cultural, economic, or social environment. It often represents a more complex, structured, and multifaceted group than an association. Societies can be as broad as entire nations or as narrow as specific communities within a city.
Another distinction lies in the nature of their formation. While both can be voluntary, an "Association" is often formed for specific, sometimes temporary, objectives. Conversely, "Society" implies a more enduring entity, often with its set of norms and traditions.
Lastly, while "Association" frequently has a more formal or official connotation, such as groups with membership fees and specific rules, "Society" can be more informal, encompassing the general population or a subset based on cultural or social lines.
Organized group with a common purpose
Community with shared customs, laws, or interests
Broader, can denote large groups
Can be temporary or permanent
Often more formal
Can be both formal and informal
Professional associations like the AMA
Societies based on culture, like Western society
Association and Society Definitions
The act of associating or being connected.
The association of these brands boosted their market presence.
A community of people living together.
Modern society faces numerous challenges.
Connection or cooperation between ideas or events.
There's a strong association between sleep and health.
Persons of fashionable or high social standing.
He was introduced to high society at a young age.
A mental connection of ideas.
He has an association of rain with sadness.
An organization of persons with a common interest.
She's a member of the Historical Society.
Organized body with a common purpose.
She joined the Association of Medical Professionals.
The totality of people regarded as forming a community of interdependent individuals
Working for the benefit of society.
The act of associating or being connected with
My parents disapproved of my association with my friends from across town.
A group of people broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture
An organized body of people who have an interest, activity, or purpose in common; a society.
An organization or association of persons engaged in a common profession, activity, or interest
A folklore society.
A society of bird watchers.
A mental connection or relation between thoughts, feelings, ideas, or sensations
My therapist helped me examine my association of food with comfort.
The wealthy, socially dominant members of a community. Also called high society.
The act of expressing a link or connection between two things
"The media's association of visa overstayers with illegality is so strong and common as to shape public attitudes towards them" (Junya Morooka).
Enjoys the society of friends and family members.
A correlation or causal connection
There is a definite association of exercise with improved health.
(Biology) A colony or community of organisms, usually of the same species
An insect society.
(Chemistry) Any of various processes of combination, such as hydration, solvation, or complex-ion formation, depending on relatively weak chemical bonding.
(countable) A long-standing group of people sharing cultural aspects such as language, dress, norms of behavior and artistic forms.
This society has been known for centuries for its colorful clothing and tight-knit family structure.
(Ecology) A large number of organisms in a specific geographic area constituting a community with one or two dominant species.
(countable) A group of people who meet from time to time to engage in a common interest; an association or organization.
It was then that they decided to found a society of didgeridoo-playing unicyclists.
(uncountable) The act of associating.
(countable) The sum total of all voluntary interrelations between individuals.
The gap between Western and Eastern societies seems to be narrowing.
(countable) The state of being associated; a connection to or an affiliation with something.
(uncountable) The people of one’s country or community taken as a whole.
Our global society develops in fits and starts.
(statistics) Any relationship between two measured quantities that renders them statistically dependent (but not necessarily causal or a correlation).
(uncountable) High society.
Smith was first introduced into society at the Duchess of Grand Fenwick's annual rose garden party.
A group of persons associated for a common purpose; an organization; society.
A number of people joined by mutual consent to deliberate, determine and act toward a common goal.
(object-oriented programming) Relationship between classes of objects that allows one object instance to cause another to perform an action on its behalf.
The relationship of men to one another when associated in any way; companionship; fellowship; company.
There is society where none intrudesBy the deep sea, and music in its roar.
A benevolent overseas Chinese organization of popular origin for overseas Chinese individuals with the same surname or trade or business.
Connection; participation; partnership.
The meanest of the people and such as have the least society with the acts and crimes of kings.
The act of associating, or state of being associated; union; connection, whether of persons of things.
Self-denial is a kind of holy association with God.
A number of persons associated for any temporary or permanent object; an association for mutual or joint usefulness, pleasure, or profit; a social union; a partnership; as, a missionary society.
Mental connection, or that which is mentally linked or associated with a thing.
Words . . . must owe their powers association.
Why should . . . the holiest words, with all their venerable associations, be profaned?
The persons, collectively considered, who live in any region or at any period; any community of individuals who are united together by a common bond of nearness or intercourse; those who recognize each other as associates, friends, and acquaintances.
Union of persons in a company or society for some particular purpose; as, the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a benevolent association. Specifically, as among the Congregationalists, a society, consisting of a number of ministers, generally the pastors of neighboring churches, united for promoting the interests of religion and the harmony of the churches.
Specifically, the more cultivated portion of any community in its social relations and influences; those who mutually give receive formal entertainments.
A formal organization of people or groups of people;
He joined the Modern Language Association
An extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization
The act of consorting with or joining with others;
You cannot be convicted of criminal guilt by association
A formal association of people with similar interests;
He joined a golf club
They formed a small lunch society
Men from the fraternal order will staff the soup kitchen today
The state of being connected together as in memory or imagination;
His association of his father with being beaten was too strong to break
The state of being with someone;
He missed their company
He enjoyed the society of his friends
A social or business relationship;
A valuable financial affiliation
He was sorry he had to sever his ties with other members of the team
Many close associations with England
The fashionable elite
The process of bringing ideas or events together in memory or imagination;
Conditioning is a form of learning by association
The aggregate of people in a community.
Society's views on certain topics have evolved.
A relation resulting from interaction or dependence;
Flints were found in association with the prehistoric remains of the bear
The host is not always injured by association with a parasite
The welfare of the public.
Acts done for the good of society.
(chemistry) any process of combination (especially in solution) that depends on relatively weak chemical bonding
(ecology) a group of organisms (plants and animals) that live together in a certain geographical region and constitute a community with a few dominant species
A group of people united in a joint action.
They formed an association to preserve the historic site.
Do all associations have membership fees?
Not necessarily, though many formal associations do.
Can the word society represent an organization like an association?
Yes, e.g., "The Historical Society."
Can an association be informal?
Yes, but they're often more structured with specific objectives.
Can an association be temporary?
Yes, associations can be formed for short-term purposes.
Is a society always a large group of people?
No, a society can represent both large populations and smaller communities.
Is a society necessarily organized?
Not always formally, but societies have structures, norms, and traditions.
What's a primary goal of many associations?
Often, to support and promote shared professional or personal interests.
Can association refer to a mental connection?
Yes, e.g., "He has an association of rain with sadness."
Are the terms society and culture synonymous?
No, but societies have cultures reflecting shared customs and values.
Does society encompass a nation's entire population?
It can, but the term can also refer to specific communities or groups within a nation.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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