Societies are the most inclusive and complex social organisations in today’s world. Most other organizations exist within the confines of a society, all aspects of human social life are encompassed by a society, and to a large extent the way in which a society functions will influence all the patterns of social ordering and cultural ideas that comprise it.
Societies are functionally autonomous in several ways. First, most social relationships occur within the boundaries of a society, with only a few relationships involving actors from different societies. Second, societies attempt to become as self-sufficient as possible by establishing procedures for securing whatever resources they require and satisfying the needs of their members. Third, a society is the ultimate decision-making unit for its members and exercises sovereignty over all decisions concerning them. Cultural autonomy refers to the fact that all the members of a society possess a common and distinctive culture.
Many specific traits of this culture may be shared with other societies, and various parts of the society may display sub-cultures that differ somewhat from the societal culture. The common culture of the total society and especially its basic social values and norms form a distinctive and unified set of ideas unique to that society.