Relationship between social structure and system

Social Structure & Social Stratification: GEO 1ST BATCH | Monishankar Sarkar -

relationship between social structure and system

By contrast, social system typically conveys more of a network idea. These networks of relationships become hardened, and can be considered social structures. In the social sciences, social structure is the patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. On the macro scale, social structure is the system of socioeconomic stratification (e.g., the class structure), social institutions, or, other patterned relations between. system. We might think to establish social levels according to other criteria: .. Social structures — systems of relations among social positions — are themselves.

relationship between social structure and system

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.

relationship between social structure and system

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, [5] 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. The study of human lives shows clear evidence of both forms. The study of social structure and personality has its roots in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Scholars whose ideas and research offer inspiration include MarxFreudMeadLewinGerth and MillsInkeles and LevinsonSmelser and Smelserand Turner The focus of scholarship in the s, s, and early s was to define the basic concepts and processes for personality, for social structure, and for the relationship between the two.

This era produced and elaborated developments such as field theory, role theory, and interactionist perspectives on the self, along with concepts such as self, significant other, role taking, socialization, the authoritarian personality, modal personality, and national character.

In the s, the sociological research on social structure and personality focused on macroscopic empirical studies of national character: What was national character? How did it vary?

relationship between social structure and system

Could it be defined in terms of modal personality types? A long tradition of comparative anthropological studies of culture and personality informed these studies. For example, some of these studies considered the relationship between social class and personality, with social class defined as white-collar—blue-collar. Personality referred to some underlying continuum of "adjustment," and the link between social class and personality occurred in socialization, in particular in child-rearing practices.

The s produced major changes in the study of personality and social structure. First, the quantity of research increased significantly, concurrently with the massive growth of sociology and psychology as disciplines and with the growth of higher education. Second, research in the area became more diffuse and more differentiated. What had been a fairly identifiable area of research scattered to subareas of scientific disciplines, such as the sociology of medicine, social stratification, small group dynamics, or attitude-behavior research.

The research problems multiplied; research methods and strategies multiplied; theories and explanations multiplied; and journal outlets and books multiplied.

At the same time, communication, integration, and cross-fertilization across the research fragments declined, although in recent years this may be changing. In short, during this era "social structure and personality" became an umbrella description for many different lines of investigation that were only loosely connected.

The third major change in the s was a refocusing of research on social structure and personality, one that continues into the s. The empirical macroscopic studies of national character, and the emphasis on holistic conceptions of culture and national character, declined.

  • Social structure

On the sociological side, the emphasis shifted to studying "aspects of societies in relation to aspects of individuals" Housep. On the psychological side, a looser, multidimensional approach to personality replaced the earlier Freudian approach, which was based on a coherent dynamic system and on personality types and structures DiRenzo House describes this major refocusing of research in terms of three principles, which also define ideals for the investigation of personality and social structure.

First, the components principle suggests that social structures such as roles, positions, and systems are multidimensional, and theory should specify which dimensions are important for which personality phenomena such as stress, self-esteem, and locus of control.

Second, the proximity principle suggests focusing first on understanding the more proximate stimuli that affect people and then mapping the causal patterns across broader levels of social structure in time and space.

Third, the psychological principle identifies the importance of specifying the psychological processes involved when social structures and processes affect the self, personality, and attitudes. House's three principles nicely summarize many of the recent advances in the study of social structure and personality. They also define the nature of limitations in current knowledge, and identify research frontiers.

The contemporary landscape of research on social structure and personality in sociology is a patchwork of problems and areas. These include social stratification, work, and personality Kohn et al. One of the most substantial and important areas of research involves the study of social stratification, work and personality, and the program of research of Kohn, Schooler, and colleagues ; Kohn and Slomczynski ; Kohn et al.

relationship between social structure and system

The Kohn-Schooler model reflects the dominant approach in this particular area, and illustrates the major sociological approach to the study of social structure and personality.

Spenner a, b, provides detailed review of this research. In comparison, approaches in psychology are more microscopic—in focusing on shorter intervals of time and smaller arenas of social space—and more likely to rely on experiments and lab studies, or field research versus large-scale survey research of people's work lives and personality histories.

The Kohn-Schooler model begins with dimensions of jobs that are defined and measured as objectively as possible versus subjective dimensions and measures of individual's jobs. These structural imperatives of jobs include: The three basic dimensions of personality in this research include intellectual flexibility, self-directedness of orientation, and sense of well-being or distress.

Among the subdimensions of these organizing dimensions are authoritarian conservatism, personally responsible standards of morality, trustfulness, self-confidence, self-deprecation, fatalism, anxiety, and idea conformity.

relationship between social structure and system

The type of analysis used in the Kohn-Schooler research estimates the lagged and contemporaneous reciprocal relationships between conditions of work and dimensions of personality in nonexperimental, panel, survey data.

The major data come from a national sample of over 3, persons, representative of the male, full-time labor force, age 16 and over in About one-third of these men were reinterviewed about ten years later, with measures being taken of work conditions and personality at both points in time.

Most of the studies of women in this tradition refer to wives of men in the sample. In a series of structural equation model analyses that adjust for measurement error in dimensions of jobs and personality, the authors document an intricate pattern of lagged over time and contemporaneous selection and socialization effects.

Selection effects refers to the effects of personality on work and social structure; socialization effects refers to the effects of work social structure on self and personality.

Most of the effects of personality on work are lagged, as workers appear to select jobs of a given type depending on measured aspects of their personality, or to slowly mold jobs to match their personalities.

Conversely, the effects of jobs on personalities appear to be somewhat larger and to involve both contemporaneous and lagged effects. The largest relationships center on components of occupational self-direction, in particular, on substantive complexity of work. For example, substantive complexity of work environments increases intellectual flexibility for men by an amount that is one-fourth as great as the effect of intellectual flexibility a decade earlier, net of controls for other variables and confounding influences.

Social structure - Wikipedia

Kohn, Schooler, and colleagues interpret their findings with a "learning-generalization" explanation. In it, people learn from their jobs and generalize the lessons to spheres of their lives away from the job.

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Rather than using alternate psychological mechanisms such as displacement or compensation, the structural imperatives of jobs affect a worker's values; orientations to self, children, and society; and cognitive functioning.

They do this primarily through a direct process of learning from the job and generalization of what has been learned to off-job realities. The collected research shows that these generalizations appear to hold under a broad range of controls for spuriousness, alternate explanations, and extensions.

The extensions include men's and women's work lives, self-direction in leisure activities, housework, and educational domains, as well as a number of replications of the basic model including careful comparisons with samples from Poland and Japan, and more recently from the Ukraine Kohn et al. Similar summaries exist for many other areas of research in social structure and personality, but this line of research has been one of the most important.

The limitations of the Kohn-Schooler program of research illustrate some of the frontiers facing research on work and personality. First, are these conditions of work the most important dimensions of social structure?

Do they combine and exert their effects in a more complicated recipe? Are there other features of context that should be considered?