Innovative thinking about a global world Sunday, August 24, Power and social class What does social class have to do with power?
Overview[ edit ] The notion of social structure as relationship between different entities or groups or as enduring and An analysis of economic structure in society stable patterns of relationship  emphasises the idea that society is grouped into structurally related groups or sets of roleswith different functions, meanings or purposes.
One example of social structure is the idea of " social stratification ", which refers to the idea that most societies are separated into different strata levelsguided if only partially by the underlying structures in the social system.
This approach has been important in the academic literature with the rise of various forms of structuralism. It is important in the modern study of organizations, because an organization's structure may determine its flexibility, capacity to change, and many other factors.
Therefore, structure is an important issue for management. Social structure may be seen to influence important social systems including the economic systemlegal systempolitical systemcultural systemand others. Familyreligionlaweconomyand class are all social structures. The "social system" is the parent system of those various systems that are embedded in it.
History[ edit ] The early study of social structures has informed the study of institutions, culture and agency, social interaction, and history. Weber investigated and analyzed the institutions of modern society: One of the earliest and most comprehensive accounts of social structure was provided by Karl Marx, who related political, cultural, and religious life to the mode of production an underlying economic structure.
Marx argued that the economic base substantially determined the cultural and political superstructure of a society. Subsequent Marxist accounts, such as that by Louis Althusserproposed a more complex relationship that asserted the relative autonomy of cultural and political institutions, and a general determination by economic factors only "in the last instance".
A,  arguing that only the constitution of a multitude into a unity creates a "social structure" basing this approach on his concept of social will. In this context, Durkheim distinguished two forms of structural relationship: The former describes structures that unite similar parts through a shared culture; the latter describes differentiated parts united through social exchange and material interdependence.
Some follow Marx in trying to identify the basic dimensions of society that explain the other dimensions, most emphasizing either economic production or political power. Still others, notably Peter Blaufollow Simmel in attempting to base a formal theory of social structure on numerical patterns in relationships—analyzing, for example, the ways in which factors like group size shape intergroup relations.
The most influential attempts to combine the concept of social structure with agency are Anthony Giddens ' theory of structuration and Pierre Bourdieu 's practice theory.
Giddens emphasizes the duality of structure and agency, in the sense that structures and agency cannot be conceived apart from one another. This permits him to argue that structures are neither independent of actors nor determining of their behavior, but rather sets of rules and competencies on which actors draw, and which, in the aggregate, they reproduce.
Bourdieu's practice theory also seeks a more supple account of social structure as embedded in, rather than determinative of, individual behavior. Burns and collaborators actor-system dynamics theory and social rule system theoryand Immanuel Wallerstein World Systems Theory provided elaborations and applications of the sociological classics in structural sociology.
Definitions and concepts[ edit ] As noted above, social structure has been identified as the relationship of definite entities or groups to each other, enduring patterns of behaviour by participants in a social system in relation to each other, and institutionalised norms or cognitive frameworks that structure the actions of actors in the social system.
Lopez and Scott distinguish between institutional structure and relational structure, where in the former: Microstructure is the pattern of relations between most basic elements of social life, that cannot be further divided and have no social structure of their own for example, pattern of relations between individuals in a group composed of individuals - where individuals have no social structure, or a structure of organizations as a pattern of relations between social positions or social roleswhere those positions and roles have no structure by themselves.
Macrostructure is thus a kind of 'second level' structure, a pattern of relations between objects that have their own structure for example, a political social structure between political parties, as political parties have their own social structure.
Some types of social structures that modern sociologist differentiate are relation structures in family or larger family-like clan structurescommunication structures how information is passed in organizations and sociometric structures structures of sympathy, antipathy and indifference in organisations - this was studied by Jacob L.
Social rule system theory reduces the structures of 3 to particular rule system arrangements, that is, the types of basic structures of 1 and 2. It shares with role theoryorganizational and institutional sociologyand network analysis the concern with structural properties and developments and at the same time provides detailed conceptual tools needed to generate interesting, fruitful propositions and models and analyses.
Sociologists also distinguish between: It may be caused by larger system needs, such as the need for labourmanagementprofessional and military classes, or by conflicts between groups, such as competition among political parties or among elites and masses.
Others believe that this structuring is not a result of natural processes, but is socially constructed. It may be created by the power of elites who seek to retain their power, or by economic systems that place emphasis upon competition or cooperation.
Ethnography has contributed to understandings about social structure by revealing local practices and customs that differ from Western practices of hierarchy and economic power in its construction.
Critical implications[ edit ] The notion of social structure may mask systematic biases, as it involves many identifiable subvariables, for example, gender. Some argue that men and women who have otherwise equal qualifications receive different treatment in the workplace because of their gender, which would be termed a "social structural" bias, but other variables such as time on the job or hours worked might be masked.Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.
To Marx, a class is a group with intrinsic tendencies and interests that differ from those of other groups within society, the basis of a fundamental antagonism between such groups.
They convert from a society with autocratic structure to a society with democratic character. This change enlarges the gap between the poor and the rich people in the society.
Even there is no obvious classification structure in society, the stratification is judged by wealth. Social class, also called class, a group of people within a society who possess the same socioeconomic status. Besides being important in social theory, the concept of class as a collection of individuals sharing similar economic circumstances has been widely used in censuses and in studies of social mobility.
Social structure, in sociology, the distinctive, stable arrangement of institutions whereby human beings in a society interact and live together.
Social structure is often treated together with the concept of social change, which deals with the forces that change the social structure and the organization of society. The goal of economic market structure analysis is to isolate these effects in an attempt to explain and predict market outcomes [McNulty ; Broaddus, ].
MSA is concerned with the effects of competition upon economic behavior. political-economic integration increase the likelihood of revolutionary conflicts.
when state policies have polarized the society.. The integration of political-economic structures make the state vulnerable to attack by collectivities sufficiently consolidated to seize state power and effect fundamental change.