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Social system

In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal structure of role and status that can form in a small, stable group. An individual may belong to multiple social systems at once; examples of social systems include nuclear family units, communities, cities, nations, college campuses, corporations, and industries. The organization and definition of groups within a social system depend on various shared properties such as location, socioeconomic status, race, religion, societal function, or other distinguishable features.


Bela H. Banathy

Bela Heinrich Banathy was an Hungarian-American linguist, and Professor at San Jose State University and UC Berkeley. He is known as founder of the White Stag Leadership Development Program, established the International Systems Institute in 1982, and was co-founder of the General Evolutionary Research Group in 1984. He grew up in largely rural Hungary and served in the Hungarian military during World War II. When Russia invaded Hungary in April 1945, he and his family fled to Allied-occupied Austria and lived in a displaced persons camp for six years. In 1951, they emigrated to Chicago, sponsored by the Presbyterian church. Within the year his former commanding officer suggested to the U.S. government that they hire Banathy as a Hungarian instructor at the Army Language School in Monterey, California. While living in Monterey, he founded the White Stag Leadership Development Program. His program gained national attention, and the Boy Scouts of America conducted research into incorporating leadership training into its programs. The Boy Scouts of Americas Wood Badge and junior leader training programs had until then focused primarily on Scoutcraft skills, not leadership. William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt among others resisted the change. After 20 years, Banathy left the renamed Defense Language Institute and went to work for the Far West Laboratory for Research and Development in Berkeley and later San Francisco. He retired from Far West in 1989 but maintained an active interest in social systems and science, including attending many conferences and advising students and others in those fields. In 1992, he helped restart the Hungarian Scout Association within his native country. In 2003, Banathy and Eva moved to live with their son Tibor in Chico, California. After a brief and unexpected illness, Banathy died on September 4, 2003.


Biased random walk on a graph

In network science, a biased random walk on a graph is a time path process in which an evolving variable jumps from its current state to one of various potential new states; unlike in a pure random walk, the probabilities of the potential new states are unequal. Biased random walks on a graph provide an approach for the structural analysis of undirected graphs in order to extract their symmetries when the network is too complex or when it is not large enough to be analyzed by statistical methods. The concept of biased random walks on a graph has attracted the attention of many researchers and data companies over the past decade especially in the transportation and social networks.


Buddy system

The buddy system is a procedure in which two individuals, the "buddies", operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. As per Merriam-Webster, the first known use of the phrase" buddy system” goes as far back as 1942. Webster goes on to define the buddy system as" an arrangement in which two individuals are paired.” The buddy system is basically working together in pairs in a large group or alone. Both the individuals have to do the job. The job could be to ensure that the work is finished safely or the skill/learning is transferred effectively from one individual to the other.


Consequential strangers

Consequential strangers are personal connections other than family and close friends. Also known as "peripheral" or "weak" ties, they lie in the broad social territory between strangers and intimates. The term was coined by Karen L. Fingerman and further developed by Melinda Blau, who collaborated with the psychologist to explore and popularize the concept. Social life in the 21st century includes a wide array of personal connections, not just intimates - people associated with a particular part of ones life and daily activities, such as co-workers, neighbors, gym buddies, fellow volunteers and congregants, and providers of goods and services. Typically, peripheral ties far outnumber ones close relations. Decades of research have shown the importance of primary relationships in both psychological and physiological well being. Yet an analysis of the broader social landscape suggests that consequential strangers provide many of the same benefits as intimates as well as many distinct and complementary functions. They are not universally beneficial - undesirable consequential strangers who cannot be avoided can be found in the workplace, neighborhoods and organizations. But to thrive in a modern society, research suggests, it is vital to have a variety of connections.


Cooperative breeding

Cooperative breeding is a social system characterized by alloparental care: offspring receive care not only from their parents, but also from additional group members, often called helpers. Cooperative breeding encompasses a wide variety of group structures, from a breeding pair with helpers that are offspring from a previous season, to groups with multiple breeding males and females and helpers that are the adult offspring of some but not all of the breeders in the group, to groups in which helpers sometimes achieve co-breeding status by producing their own offspring as part of the groups brood. Cooperative breeding occurs across taxonomic groups including birds, mammals, fish, and insects. Costs for helpers include a fitness reduction, increased territory defense, offspring guarding and an increased cost of growth. Benefits for helpers include a reduced chance of predation, increased foraging time, territory inheritance, increased environmental conditions and an inclusive fitness. Inclusive fitness is the sum of all direct and indirect fitness, where direct fitness is defined as the amount of fitness gained through producing offspring. Indirect fitness is defined as the amount of fitness gained through aiding related individuals offspring, that is relatives are able to indirectly pass on their genes through increasing the fitness of related offspring. This is also called kin selection. For the breeding pair, costs include increased mate guarding and suppression of subordinate mating. Breeders receive benefits as reductions in offspring care and territory maintenance. Their primary benefit is an increased reproductive rate and survival. Cooperative breeding causes the reproductive success of all sexually mature adults to be skewed towards one mating pair. This means the reproductive fitness of the group is held within a select few breeding members and helpers have little to no reproductive fitness. With this system, breeders gain an increased reproductive fitness, while helpers gain an increased inclusive fitness.

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