Social Structures

Social structures refers to macro-level social processes like social institutions and institutionalized connections. These institutions produce patterns of social relations.
Social Structures Sociology Definition


British social anthropologist Alfred Reginald Radcliffe Brown defines social structure as “An arrangement of persons in institutionally controlled and defined relationships such as the relationship of king and subject, or that of husband and wife.”

Talcott Parsons describes social structures as a “Particular arrangement of the inter-related institutions, agencies and social patterns, as well as the statuses and roles which each person assumes in the group.”

Anthony Giddens states, “Patterns of interaction between individuals or groups are known as social structure.”

British sociologist Morris Ginsberg refers to it as a “Study concerned with the principal form of social organization that is types of groups, associations and institutions and the complex of these that constitute societies.”

Karl Mannheim considers social structure “The web of interacting social forces from which have arisen the various modes of observing and thinking.”

According to Harry Morton Johnson, “The social structure of anything consists of the relatively stable inter-relationships among its parts. The term 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.”

S.F. Nadel defines social structures as a “Network of social relationships which is created among the human being when they interact with each other according to their status and according with the patterns of society.”

Sociological Explanation

The social fabric and behavioral guidelines that form the foundation of society make up its social structure.

“Social structure” refers to macro-level social processes like social institutions and institutionalized connections. When considered at a broad scale, these institutions structure human social ties with others and produce patterns of social relations.

The structured system of institutionalized interactions and social institutions collectively make up society and is known as the social structure. Social contact both produces and defines it. Social structures aren’t always accessible for an untrained observer to see, but they are always there and affect everything people do in society.

The notion and phrase “social structure” is used to describe the collective traits that social entities show and the characteristics of and interactions among the pieces that make up those components.

Social structure refers to the internal institutionalized connections developed by individuals living within a group, such as a family or community, concerning the hierarchical arrangement of rank and the norms and principles governing conduct.

The social structure of a group or a society refers to the relationship between its members. Sociologists define social structure as the affiliated institutions, agencies, and social patterns, as well as the positions and duties of each group member. Social structure is generated through human interrelationships and organizations to pursue shared goals.


Family and religion are examples of social structures.


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