What is Social structure?

Social structure is the pattern of social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. On the macro scale, It is 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 is the structure of social network ties between individuals or organizations. On the micro scale, it can be the way norms shape the behavior of individuals within the social system.

Social norms influence social structure through relations between the majority and the minority. Because those who align with the majority are considered normal while those who align with the minority are considered abnormal, majority-minority relations create a hierarchical stratification within social structures that favors the majority in all aspects of society.

According to Ginsberg___” The study of social structure is concerned with the principal form of social organization that is types of groups, associations and institutions and the complex of these that constitute societies.

According to Radcliff-Brown__” It is a part of the social structure of all social relations of person to person. In the study of social structure the concrete reality with which we are concerned is the set of actually existing relations at a given moment of time that link together certain human beings.

According to Johnson___” The structure of anything consists of the relatively stable inter-relationships among its parts; the term part itself implies a certain degree of stability. Since a social system is composed of the inter-related acts of people, its structure must be sought in some degree of regularity or recurrence in these acts”.

It can be divided into Micro structure and Macro structure.

Micro-structure 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.

Macro-structure is 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 structures).