The structure of a society is a set of relatively interconnected and in constant motion various elements: social communities and ethnic groups, social institutions, social statuses, and relations.
Concept and Structure Elements
Having familiarized ourselves with the peculiarities of modern communities and the people who participate in them, we can come to an understanding of larger structures, namely, modern societies. At the same time, we can also understand the reasons for the complexity and uncertainty of many structures, systems, and institutions that arise and operate in modern social groups as we may read at https://artscolumbia.org/free-essays/society/ where there are many essay examples that look into the topic from a different point of view. These papers help to understand the topic deeply.
Sociology defines society as a historically established set of relations, systems, and institutions, functioning in a certain territory.
Thus, society consists of:
★ from a multitude of individuals, citizens, united at the place of residence (cities, towns, villages), at the place of work (enterprises, government agencies), at the place of study (school, institute, university);
★ a multitude of social positions, or statuses that people occupy, as well as social functions (citizens, leaders, deputies of different levels, figures of political and public organizations);
★ a variety of different norms and values that determine, to one degree or another, the features and content of the activities of people, social institutions, and systems.
From the above definition, it is clear that society has a very complex structure, and all its elements are in a state of continuous and indefinite movement.
At the same time, society is a relatively holistic (although not free from contradictions) organism. It consists of many people, but it is not a simple sum of people. A social group is a large entity characterized by stable forms of interaction and interdependence of its constituent parts – people, social institutions, social communities (groups), and norms. In this sense, the concept of society can be considered the same as the concept of the state.
Social structure is a network of stable and ordered connections between elements of the social system, conditioned by the relations between classes and other groups, the division of labor, and the nature of institutions. Distinguish between the social structure as a whole, covering the totality of all social relations, and the structure of individual subsystems and spheres of a given state – production, politics, science, culture, etc.
Basic Elements of Society
Sometimes, speaking about the structure of this concept, sociologists mean only one side: either institutions, or government bodies, or communities, etc. Such a limited view of society does not make it possible to understand its real complexity and predict its further development.
Society is characterized by a relative unity of productive forces and administrative structures, as well as economic, legal, and political relations. Between these elements, performing some functions, in each group, specific relationships and interactions are established. These features determine the specificity of modern societies, even, one might say, the uniqueness of each.
Each element, in turn, is also a complex and dynamic system.
Thus, the economy is represented by various industries, including agriculture, mining, processing industries, etc. There are also different types of property – individual, group, state. The legal area includes constitutional, civil, criminal, administrative, international, customs branches. Political space includes parties, ideology, political governance, political and legal culture.
It is important to emphasize that in every society there are the most significant processes and trends that have a particular impact on dependent processes. However, quite often secondary (or considered to be such) processes are very influential.