It is very common for people to enter into working and owning partnerships. Sociedade is the term used and it basically means partnership. I found it to be most common in cattle raising, though it could include the ownership of resources, including tools, land, boats to a jute crop. Partners (sócios) are invariably men. Sociedade is based on the equal share of a product for all partners. If two people are partners then their product is split half/ half. For example, Toto planted a jute crop, inviting others to help clear land, but actually planting himself. He paid a daily rate for this work. When it came to reaping the jute, he had other things to do, so he invited three men to enter into partnership with him. When the jute is cut - each man agrees on an area to cut - and it is taken to be dried at the house of the cutter. He then sells it and a receipt is taken to house of the main partner, i.e. Toto, on whose land it was planted and money is divided equally. So the one partner earns his half by having planted it on his land, the other earns his by having reaped prepared and sold the crop.
Another example comes from cattle raising. If X has land on the floodplain and cattle, then d who may have land too, but too many cattle for it to hold and Y does not want to sell (or Y may not have land to put cattle on, but may not want to deal with them) then d will ask X if X will enter into sociedade with X. This entails that b gives an original herd, known as a casca, to Y and then X will look after them along side his own cattle. And take them to the uplands is land is there (more likely then building a morumba for 200 heads). Sociedade with cows last for 3 years and then it is reviewed. Whatever is born, from start of contract, is shared out equally between sócios, this is known as the loucra, literally the profit. It is this that is shared equally between socios. But casca stays same, until the review after 3 years. After these 3 years socios face choice of continuing or stopping, since most of these arrangements are informal, not written on paper and noone to check up on and taken place between friends and relatives, there are rarely disputes about raising, or so I am told. If a cow dies then it is responsibility of the partner who is taking care of them, since it happened in his hands. The partner who takes care of them is known as capitalista, by the other party because basically he gets a good deal for what he does. The capitalista may have many socios, ie many people for whom he is looking after cattle.
Sociedade expresses the informality of relations in economic interactions and the ideology of sharing equally.