We the People: Socius

Work your way through these lists focused on Greek and Latin roots representing people and the social units they form: genus, ethnos, demos, populus, socius, civis, anthropos

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. society
    an extended group having a distinctive cultural organization
    As a society, we ignore such hate at our peril.Washington Post (Oct 8, 2015)
    socius (companion)
    The word used to refer simply to being with someone (two people could enjoy each other's society). Nowadays, it refers to groups (often for a specific purpose). The example sentence's use of the noun and pronoun "we" could refer to all humans, whom hate would endanger.
  2. association
    the state of being connected together as in memory
    It recalls the profession’s association with Florence Nightingale, who is credited as the founder of modern nursing.Washington Times (Sep 25, 2015)
    ad (prefix meaning "to") + socius (companion) + ation (suffix forming nouns)
    Here are some examples of nursing associations: Alliance for Psychosocial Nursing ("alligare" means "bind to"); Royal College of Nursing ("collegium" means "community"); American Assembly for Men in Nursing ("assimulare" means "to gather together").
  3. social
    marked by friendly companionship with others
    Researchers gathered 235 million tweets sent over six weeks and analyzed the frequency and ratio of words typically associated with certain social and behavioral characteristics.US News (Oct 1, 2015)
    socius (companion) + al (suffix forming adjectives)
    Nowadays, the word is not often seen as a stand-alone adjective to describe a person, but as part of a phrase to describe the focus of studies, media, policies, and other aspects of our interconnected lives. Its use as a noun to refer to "a party of people assembled to promote communal activity" is less frequent, because of its association with high society.
  4. socialization
    the adoption of the behavior of the surrounding culture
    The word kindergarten means “children’s garden,” and it was originally conceived of as a time of play, discovery, and socialization.Slate (Oct 1, 2014)
    socius (companion) + al (suffix forming adjectives) + ization (suffix forming nouns)
    The noun also means "the act of meeting for friendly purposes" and this could be argued by the writer of the example sentence as the opposite of meeting for academic purposes that young kids are not ready for. But the chosen definition is a better fit since many kindergarteners need opportunities to learn how to be friendly members of a larger society.
  5. sociable
    inclined to or conducive to companionship with others
    Tapas are sociable nibbles whose small size, a Spanish writer once put it, conveys “the respect shown the meal awaiting at home.”New York Times (Aug 28, 2015)
    socius (companion) + able (suffix forming adjectives)
    Although the adjectives are synonymous, a social person is often described as sociable. In the example sentence, the noun being modified does not refer to a person, but to snacks. Tapas were originally used by innkeepers to give their guests (who could not read menus) a taste of their offerings. Nowadays, they are designed to encourage less eating and more socializing.
  6. socialite
    one who is well known or prominent in fashionable circles
    Edward, who abdicated to marry the American socialite Wallis Simpson, faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser.The Guardian (Jul 18, 2015)
    socius (companion) + ite (suffix meaning "connected with or belonging to")
    The word might have been coined as a pun on "social light" and on the suffix that is normally used to refer to a person from a specific group or place (examples: a Shiite is a member of the Shia sect of Islam, and a Harlemite is a resident of Harlem).
  7. socialist
    a political advocate of state control of industry
    Commander of the Army, General Pinochet, had seized control and immediately ordered his opponents, principally communists and socialists, to be rounded up.The Guardian (Sep 9, 2015)
    socius (companion) + al (suffix forming adjectives) + ist (suffix forming nouns)
    The Latin adjective "communis" means "shared by all or many." In practice, "communist" and "socialist" have taken on negative tones, since many leaders claiming those political positions have abused their power for selfish gains. This however was not the reason Pinochet rounded up his opponents; instead, he set up a military regime that ordered violations of human rights (for which he was later arrested).
  8. sociology
    the study and classification of human societies
    To resolve conflicts, Gottman says we can learn from game theory—the study of conflict and decision making used in political science, sociology and economics.Scientific American (Mar 25, 2015)
    socius (companion) + logy (suffix forming names of sciences)
    Game theory used to apply only to zero-sum situations, where if one player wins, the other loses. Nowadays, as the example sentence suggests, it has expanded to include more complex mathematical models that can be used to study, predict, or advise interactions between any logical participants (humans, animals, or computers).
  9. sociopath
    a person with an antisocial personality disorder
    It is believed that sociopaths make up just 1% of any given population; the rest of us have an enormous potential capacity for empathy.The Guardian (Jul 20, 2014)
    socius (companion) + path (suffix meaning "one suffering from")
    As the example sentence suggests, the opposite of a sociopath could be an empath. But "empath" has a supernatural overtone that is rarely used for ordinary people who are capable of empathy ("understanding and entering into another's feelings"); instead 99% of us would just be described as "empathic" or "empathetic."
  10. antisocial
    hostile to or disruptive of normal standards of behavior
    The longer we cling to strong beliefs about the existence of pure evil, the more aggressive and antisocial we become. Scientific American (Oct 29, 2013)
    anti (prefix meaning "against, opposite of") + socius (companion) + al (suffix forming adjectives)
    The adjective also means "shunning contact with others." Both definitions can fit the example sentence, but the adjective "aggressive" supports the chosen definition. The larger article also suggests that the belief in the existence of pure evil makes societies more aggressive and antisocial towards criminals (that is, we would support harsher punishments).

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