Societal Structures

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is social structure?

What do social structures significantly influence?

What is social stratification?

What does social structure determine in a society?

What does social structure pertain to on the macro scale?

What does social structure pertain to on the meso scale?

What does social structure pertain to on the micro scale?

What is the relationship between social norms and social structure?

Who contributed to the development of social structure in the 20th century?


Sociological classification of human societies according to their social characteristics:

  • Social structure is the aggregate of patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of individuals.
  • Society is believed to be grouped into structurally related groups or sets of roles, with different functions, meanings, or purposes.
  • Social structures significantly influence larger systems, such as economic systems, legal systems, political systems, cultural systems, etc.
  • Social structure can be the framework upon which a society is established and it determines the norms and patterns of relations between the various institutions of the society.
  • Social stratification uses the idea of social structure to explain that most societies are separated into different strata (levels), guided (if only partially) by the underlying structures in the social system.
  • On the macro scale, social structure pertains to the system of socioeconomic stratification, social institutions, or other patterned relations between large social groups.
  • On the meso scale, it concerns the structure of social networks between individuals or organizations.
  • On the micro scale, "social structure" includes the ways in which 'norms' shape the behavior of individuals within the social system.
  • Social norms are believed to influence social structure through relations between the majority and the minority.
  • Social structure was extensively developed in the 20th century with key contributions from structuralist perspectives from Claude Lévi-Strauss, feminist, Marxist, functionalist, and a variety of other analytic perspectives.
  • Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration and Pierre Bourdieu's practice theory provide an account of social structure as embedded in, rather than determinative of, individual behavior.
  • Social structures can be naturally developed, caused by larger systemic needs, or by social construction.


Test your knowledge of the sociological classification of human societies with this quiz! Explore the concept of social structure, including its definition, impact on larger systems, and role in social stratification. From macro to micro scales, discover the different ways in which social structure shapes the behavior of individuals and influences social norms. Test your understanding of key contributions from structuralist, feminist, Marxist, and functionalist perspectives, as well as contemporary theories from Anthony Giddens and Pierre Bourdieu. Take this quiz

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