Social Structure

Social structure is a term used in the social sciences to refer to patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. The usage of the term "social structure" has changed over time and may reflect the various levels of analysis within differing sub-fields of sociology. On the macro scale, it can refer to the system of socioeconomic stratification (e.g., the class structure), social institutions, or, other patterned relations between large social groups. On the meso scale, it can refer to the structure of social network ties between individuals or organizations. On the micro scale, it can refer to the way norms shape the behavior of actors within the social system.

These meanings are not always kept separate. For example, recent scholarship by John Levi Martin has theorized that certain macro-scale structures are the emergent properties of micro-scale cultural institutions (this meaning of "structure" resembles that used by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss). Marxist sociology also has a history of mixing different meanings of social structure, though it has done so by simply treating the cultural aspects of social structure as epiphenomena of its economic ones.

Since the 1930s, the term has been in general use in social science, especially as a variable whose sub-components needed to be distinguished in relationship to other sociological variables.

Read more about Social Structure:  Overview, History, Definitions and Concepts, Origins and Development, Critical Implications

Other articles related to "social structure, social":

Social Structure - Critical Implications
... The notion of social structure may mask systematic biases, as it involves many identifiable subvariables, for example, gender ... different treatment in the workplace because of their gender, which would be termed a "social structural" bias, but other variables (such as time on ... Modern social structural analysis takes this into account through multivariate analysis and other techniques, but the analytic problem of how to combine various ...
Classic Veracruz Culture - Social Structure
... Like the Epi-Olmec and Olmec cultures before it, Classic Veracruz culture was based on swidden, or slash-and-burn, agriculture, with maize an important component of the diet, supplemented with domestic dog, wild deer and other mammals, and fish and shellfish ... Cotton was also an important crop ...
Principalía - History and Evolution - Pre-colonial Principalities - Pre-colonial Principalities in The Tagalog Region
... prevalent in Luzon gave a less stable and more complex social structure to the pre‑colonial Tagalog barangays of Manila, Pampanga and Laguna ... The more complex social structure of the Tagalogs was less stable during the arrival of the Spaniards because it was still in a process of differentiating ... comparison of it with the Visayan social structure in the middle of the seventeenth century ...
Network Society - Interaction With New Media
... The network society is a social structure based on networks operated by information and communication technologies based on microelectronics and digital computer networks that generate ... The network society can be defined as a social formation with an infrastructure of social and media networks enabling its prime mode of organization at all levels (individual ... by its logic and by the power relationships that interact in the global networks of social organization ...
Barangay (pre-colonial) - Social Organization and Stratification - Social Organization and Stratification of Pre-colonial Principalities in The Tagalog Region
... type of culture prevalent in Luzon gave a less stable and more complex social structure to the pre-colonial Tagalog barangays of Manila, Pampanga and Laguna ... The more complex social structure of the Tagalogs was less stable during the arrival of the Spaniards because it was still in a process of differentiating ... Colin made an attempt to give an approximate comparison of it with the Visayan social structure in the middle of the 17th century ...

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