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Social structure

Society has an existence of its own apart from the

people who composite it.
As societies develop, social organizational propertiesstatus and role- emerge.
These properties belong to the group itself.
Properties are stamped on the mind of the people.
These organizational properties are a groups social
The term structure refers to the way the parts of
anything relate to one another.

Social Structure (cont.)

Social structure refers to the way the units of a
group or a society relate to one another.
The members of a group may change time to
time, but the structure remains the same.
Social structure can restrict personal freedom.
By efficiently organizing routine matters, social
structure gives groups and societies a degree of
stability and continuity.

Basic concepts of social structure

Status and role
Status: a persons status is his or her socially
defined position in a group or society.
Achieved status: gained by persons direct effort
Ascribed status: beyond his or her control.
Master Status: a status that dominates others
and thereby determines a persons general social
position in the case of status inconsistency is
called master status.

A role is the behavior expected of someone with a
given status in a group or society.
People may have many statuses and each status may
involve playing several roles.
The whole set of roles associated with a single status
is a role set.
New statuses may be introduced and it takes time to
work out the roles that go with them.

Role (cont.)
Role performance: the way a person actually plays
a role does not always match role expectation.
Role expectation: societys definition of the way
the role ought to be performed.
Role conflict: if opposing demands are made on a
person by two or more roles, the situation is called
role conflict.
Role strain: Personal stress caused by opposing
demands of a single role is known as role strain.

Elements of Social Structure

Functionalist View
Five major tasks (functional prerequisites) a
society or major group must accomplish
Replacing personnel
Teaching new recruits
Producing and
distributing goods and

Preserving order
Providing and
maintaining a
sense of purpose

Elements of Social Structure

Conflict View
Major institutions help maintain
privileges of most powerful individuals
and groups within society
Social institutions have inherently
conservative nature
Social institutions operate in gendered
and racist environments

Elements of Social Structure

Interactionist View
Social institutions affect our everyday

Tnnies Gemeinschaft and

Gemeinschaft or commune. It is the society in
which social relationships are based on personal
ties of friendship or kinship.
small community in which people have similar
backgrounds and life experiences.
Gesellschaft or association. It is a society in
which social relationships are formal, contractual,
impersonal and specialized.
large community in which people are strangers
and feel little in common with other community