The points of difference between society and associations are given below:-
1) Society is a system of social relationships whereas an association is a group of people.
2) Society is abstract. It cannot be seen or touched. But association is concrete.
3) Society is natural, but associations are artificial. It is deliberately formed by the people for achievements of some definite interests.
4) Society may be organised or unorganised but association must be organised.
5) Membership of society is compulsory. Man cannot live without society. On the other hand, membership of an association is voluntary. Man many live without being a member of any association at all.
6) Society is marked by both co-operation and conflict whereas association is based on co-operation alone.
7) Society is almost permanent. It will exist as long as man exists. But association may be transitory.
8) Society comprehends all conscious and unconscious relations. But the basis of association consists of conscious feeling and thought.
9) The aim of society is general. It comes into existence for the general well being of the individuals. But the aim of association is particular. An association is formed for the pursuit of some particular purpose or purposes.
10) Society is older than association. It comes to existence since men appeared on the earth. But association arose of a later stage when people learnt to organise themselves for the pursuit of some particular purpose.
11) Society is an end in itself. Association, on the other hand, is merely a means to an end.