When you mention the term social, I think of the way people interact and live together. With that in mind, I have a couple of thoughts:
in reply to Perl as Culture........
The Perl community is very important in development of perl. There are many individuals that make bug fixes to the Perl code, or develop modules for CPAN. Without a group of people beyond the masters, as you mentioned, Perl would not be as good and complete as it is.
Secondly, you mentioned the furthering of everyones coding endeavors which goes along with what I think the ultimate purpose of PerlMonks is. The PM community allows people to learn Perl and improve their skills like few other places. The fact that this is a social environment where people discuss Perl and support eachother greatly contributes to the expansion of the greater Perl community.
So ultimately, I feel that what you are saying has merit. I just pointed out a couple of examples, but I sure there are several, if not many, other examples that can go along with that.
Zenon Zabinski | zdog | email@example.com