Social structure is the patterned and relatively stable arrangement of role and social status found within societies and social institutions. The idea of social structure points out the way in which societies, and institutions within them, exhibit predictable patterns of social organization, activity and social interaction. Stability of organization and behavior provides the quality of predictability that people rely on in every day social interaction. Social structures are inseparable from cultural norms and values that also shape social status and social interaction. One of society's major functions is to facilitate the assimilation of its constituents.
Successful assimilation serves two goals: it encourages the maintenance and growth of the social system, and it gives each person a sense of his or her location within the social structure.
In consequence, it is to the advantage of both society and the individual that the latter comes to adopt an understanding of the social system and one's place in it that is shared by all its members; this understanding not only includes a sense of personal identity, but also an appreciation of the roles one will take as a participating member of society. - Professor Gregory Elliott.
Social Institutions, Social Norms, Social Roles, Social Statuses and Social Values are intrinsic to social structure.
Norms are culturally established rules which prescribe appropriate social behavior.
Role is a position within a social structure that is shaped by precise behavioural expectations or norms. The individual who is placed within a status in a social structure performs his role in a way shaped by normative expectations.
A position in a social structure which is regulated by norms and very often ranked according to power and prestige held. It differs from class. It is a measure of a person's social standing or social honour in a community. Sociologists use the concepts of social class and and social status to describe the systems of social stratification.
SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT - Professor Gregory Elliott
This is a course which investigates the relationship between one's place in the social structure and one's own, individual personal growth. The basic premise of this course is that people must learn how to be members of society. In that vein, one of society's major functions is to facilitate the assimilation of its constituents. Successful assimilation serves two goals: it encourages the maintenance and growth of the social system, and it gives each person a sense of his or her location within the social structure. Part of our analysis will focus on this socialization process. Beneath this grand design, however is a gnawing awareness that is disquieting: something is basically wrong. As people experience the life course, they realize (even if they do not admit to others) that they have neither a strong sense of personal identity nor a feeling of involvement in their social roles. Although society seems to be progressing in its development, it appears to do so only at the expense of the well-being of many of its members. We will begin by examining some of the theories of personal growth developed by sociologists, including those pertaining to early socialization in childhood. We will examine the development of the individual from infancy through adulthood, the impact of family, school, occupation, and social class on personal growth and social opportunities for advancement. We will study the social antecedents to alienation.
Social Structures Book by John Levi Martin - John Levi Martin closely examines social structures..
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