I am looking for a summary term for a collective of groups. Specifically, I would like to make a general statement that people are nested in groups, which in turn are nested in (?).
Some examples to illustrate:
- Students are nested within classes (groups), which in turn are nested within a school (?).
- Students are nested in sorority chapters (groups), which in turn are nested within a sorority (?).
- Employees are nested in departments (groups), which in turn are nested within an organization (?).
I can summarize classes, departments, and sorority chapters with the summary term "group".
I have tried summarizing schools, sororities, and organizations with the summary terms "collective" and "society", yet I am not satisfied with either.
"Collective" appears to imply a common goal. While departments in an organization likely pursue a common goal (e.g., improve company performance), I feel the term "collective" draws away attention from the fact that departments may also have competing interests. I am thus looking for a more neutral term than "collective".
"Society" seems unsuitable because its meaning is already defined: "A society is a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations." All people I talked to therefore found it confusing to refer to an organization as society.
Edit 1. I am hoping to find a term that is intuitive and descriptive. For example, I find that collective has an intuitive meaning (collection of items/people). While I like super-group, I feel the term does not convey the same intuitively graspable description for people who never encountered this term in mathematics.
Edit 2. Subgroup appears more intuitively graspable. However, I would like to start at the group level and find an overarching term from there (rather than going from group to subgroup).