Social Structure

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Social Structure

Social structure is one of the important concepts of sociology. The concept of social structure was first used by Herbert Spencer in his book “Principles of Sociology”. Durkheim used it in ‘The Rules of Sociological Methods’. but unfortunately it

Could not explain it clearly. Lewis Henry Morgan’s book ‘Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family’ is considered to be the first anthropological study of social structure. It may be noted that the word structure was first used in the perspective of the structure of the house. After that it was used in biology in the form of body structure and it was taken from biology itself in sociology. The way a body or a material object is structured, in the same way the society is also structured. The structure of society is also made up of several units such as family, institutions, associations, normative relations, values and positions etc. All these units are related to each other systematically and are relatively stable in their respective places. With the combination of all these, an external form of society appears which we call social structure. Society is not a monolithic system. It has different parts. These different parts are systematically combined to form a structure. This structure is called social structure. In the words of Talcott Parsons, “Social structure refers to the interrelated institutions, actors and social patterns and the specific ordering of the statuses and roles performed by each individual in the group. It is clear from this definition that –

, Creation of social structure Social institutions, agencies. social norms and the statuses and roles of the individual.

  , In this sense the social structure is abstract, because the units of its construction are abstract.

  These units are related to each other.

There is a specific orderliness found in the social structure.


  In the view of Karl Manheim, ‘social structure is a network of interacting social forces from which different modes of observation and thinking have emerged. This statement shows that –

  Social structure is a web of social forces.

  Here social forces mean the means of social control.

, These social forces keep interacting with each other.

  Along with this, these powers give rise to methods of observation and thinking.

According to H. M. Johnson, “The structure of an object is formed by the relatively permanent interrelationships existing in its parts.” A certain amount of permanence is found in the word anga itself. Since a social system is made up of the unrelated actions of people, its structure must be sought in the degree of regularity or repetition of these actions. It is clear from this definition that social mobility is associated with social change. This definition shows that –

There are many units of construction of social structure.

Interrelationships are found in these units.

  – These relations have the qualities of permanence and the activities related to individuals contribute to the formation of social structure.

  RK Merton has told the basis of social structure is the status and role of the individuals of the society. He says that a person gets many statuses in the society and there are roles related to each status. The social structure is formed from these statuses and roles. In the light of the above definitions, it can be said that the social structure is made up of many units (social groups, institutions, status and role of individuals, etc.). These units are interrelated. It is considered to be relatively stable.




Characteristics Of Social Structure


Particular Arrangement: Social structure is a particular arrangement. Any social structure is not formed by mere sum of units, but they have to be combined in a specific order. In the absence of order, there cannot be a structure. In the same way, if brick, stone, cement, iron, sand etc are mixed and kept at one place, then the building does not get built. The structure of the building is formed properly only when these things are combined in a systematic manner.

Effect of Local Characteristics: Social structure has local characteristics. This is the reason why the structure of one society is different from another society. Actually the society is influenced by the geographical, economic, cultural and political conditions of that place. It is natural that there should be a mark of locality in the structure of the society.

Interrelated: The quality of interrelation is found in the units of social structure. Each record is related to other units. Family, School. College, hospital, police station, court, etc. are units of social structure. They have their own special work in the society, which makes its importance clear, but all these units are not independent, but are related to each other in one way or the other. This is the specialty of social structure. From these above mentioned characteristics the concept of social structure becomes more clear. In this form it can be said to be the result of the interactions of the lines.

Abstract Concept: Social structure is an abstract concept. Parsons and McIver. And the page has mentioned this feature. Parsons mentioned institutions, agencies, norms, situations and roles as units of social structure.

. None of these units is concrete, but abstract, hence the social structure is also abstract. Wright believes that social structure refers to a state or condition or relationship, that is why it is an abstract concept.

Relatively Stable: Social structure is a relatively stable concept. Johnson says that the units from which the social structure is built are relatively more permanent. That is why social structures made up of relatively stable units are relatively stable. Actually the structure is a pattern of permanent elements or parts and for this reason highly variable elements cannot be included in them.

Social Processes: Social processes contribute in the formation of social structure. Cooperation, adjustment, assimilation, competition and conflict etc. are some of the processes without which social structure cannot be formed. A special social structure is created according to the nature of these processes. M. B. Olsen (M. B. Olsen) has considered the social structure as external to the processes.

Sub-Structures: There are many sub-structures of a social structure. It means to say that the units from which the social structure is formed have a separate structure of their own. For example, social structure is formed by family, school, college, hospital, caste etc. In this way social structure is made up of many sub-structures.



Outer Form: Social structure gives an idea of the outer form of the society. It is made up of various units (groups, institutions, committees, status and role of individuals, etc.). These units are related to each other and form a structure. Just like the body structure is formed from different parts of the body (hands, legs, ears, eyes etc.).


Elements Of Social Structure


  There is a lack of consensus among social scientists regarding the elements of social structure. H.M. Johnson has considered various groups, sub-groups and the social relations found among them as elements of social structure. RM McIver (R. M. Maclver) has seen family, community, caste, class, town, village etc. as elements. The basic elements of social structure can be understood as follows

Statuses and Roles: The basic elements of social structure are the statuses and roles of individuals. The systematic combination of these two creates a social structure. Every person gets a certain position in the social structure, that is called his status. The person suited to the position is expected to complete the task, that is his role. The harmony in status and role maintains the structure.

Social Interactions: Social interactions are an important element of social structure. Individuals in every society interact with each other to satisfy their various needs. does. In the course of this interaction, the division of labor is associated with the maximum benefit and satisfaction of the individual. the structure of society rests on

Social Institutions: Institutions are important elements of social structure. Institutions refer to those rules and procedures which contribute to the maintenance of social relations. The development of such institutions takes place after a long process. These have the qualities of relative stability. Institutions determine appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Social relations are established through them. The system of control is maintained. Thus the social structure is made up of multiple elements. These elements are closer to sociological approaches.

Person: The first element of the social structure is called the person. R. Brown has written, “Human beings are the parts of the social structure.” Individuals keep on developing mutual social relations. This creates a complex web of relationships. These relationships are defined and regulated by social institutions. It organizes people in a certain way. This systematic form of individuals is the social structure.

Norms and Values: The basic element of social structure is social value and norm. R. K. Merton says that the orderliness of the social structure remains as long as the individuals of the group behave according to the values and norms. When the balance and orderliness of these rules gets disturbed, the situation of anomie flourishes.










Social System


Social order is created through social interactions and interrelationships. As a result of the interactions and inter-relationships between human beings, various customs, work-systems, committees, institutions, means of control etc. develop. These different elements remain functionally combined. This is the social system. T. Parsons has done the most detailed discussion of system analysis in modern sociology. He has given a detailed explanation of this in his famous book.

Till ‘The Social System’ in 1951 (The Social System). Parsons has defined social system as, ‘A social system is made up of a plurality of individual actors interacting in a situation that has at least one physical or environmental aspect, such actors as optimal are driven by the desire to satisfy and whose relationships with each other and with their situations are defined and decided by cultural structures and common associative symbols. This definition reveals the following basic facts –

(1) There has to be more than one actor for a social system.

(2) There is a process of interaction between these agents.

(3) The condition is necessary for the interaction. This situation includes both physical and social environment.

(4) have a definite objective and

(5) Which will have a cultural structure.

Loomis holds that (1) a social system is created by the interaction of multiple individual acts; (2) These actors have the properties of interdependence. (3) The doer has a goal. In the desire to achieve that goal, the actors are related to each other and interact.

M-E. According to Jones (M. E. Jones), “Social order is a state or condition in which the various functional units constituting the society are related in a meaningful way with each other and with the society as a whole.” This statement shows It goes on to show that a social system is formed as a result of the interaction of many individuals related in a recognized manner. Thus, on the basis of the above description, it can be said that the social system is formed as a result of the interaction of individuals. These people interact with each other keeping one goal in mind. Along with this, it is necessary to have a place and situation for interaction.


Characteristics of Social System

Meaningful Interaction: Social system is a system of meaningful interactions. Meaningless or purposeless interactions do not constitute social order. The origin and development of customs, methods of work, groups, institutions, means of control, etc. found in the society is the result of meaningful interactions.

Functional Relation: Functional relations are found between the units of formation of social system. Each of its units has a certain function. It is on the basis of this function that each unit is connected to each other, due to which an associated equality is created. This is called social system.

Dynamic: Social system is dynamic. Its basis is interactive relationship. Changes keep coming in the interactive relationships. That’s why change in social system is natural. This does not mean that there is no stability in it. Mobility is observed only in its stability.

Related to Cultural System: Parsons has mentioned the cultural background in the formation of social system. According to him, the basis of social order is the interactional relationship. This relationship is determined by religion, custom, law, public custom etc. All these are the units of the cultural system, in this form it is natural for the social system to be related to the cultural system.

Fulfillment of Human Needs: One of the main features of the social system is called the relationship with the fulfillment of human needs. This system has a definite goal which is humane. The basic basis of the reactions found between two or more agents is the fulfillment of needs. Human needs are the foundation of interdependence. That is why Parsons has also mentioned social system as all the needs. These are the biological pre-requisites. Cultural pre-requisites rather than functional pre-requisites.

Adaptability: Social system has the quality of adaptability. One, society is changing. In this sequence, the system also keeps on adapting to the changed circumstances. Second, human needs keep changing. In this sequence, the social system also changes and adapts to the changed circumstances.

Social Interaction: Social system is based on the process of interaction. Parsons has written, “Social order is essentially a network of interacting relations. In this, when there are interactive relations between two or more actors, then social order is created.” Parsons considered action as the building stone for the system Where is it?


Equilibrium: Social system is a system of balance. This is not a monolithic system. It has many units and sub-units. These units do not work in isolation, rather all the units work together. it maintains balance











Structural Theory


Claude Levi Strauss


1) Claude Lévi-Strauss is an anthropologist known for his development of structural anthropology. He was born in Brussels and studied law and philosophy at the University of Paris in Paris.

Or was He first studied law and philosophy and then found his true vocation in anthropology. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. He has many functions; He is a Foreign Fellow of the American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Science, Royal Academy of Netherlands, Norwegian Academy of Science etc. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities including Yale, Oxford etc. He lived in Brazil. 1931 to 1939. It was during that time that he conducted his first ethnographic fieldwork, conducting periodical research in Mato Grosso and the Amazon Rainforest.



2) The theories of Lévi-Strauss are presented in Structural Anthropology (1958). In short, he considers culture to be a system of symbolic communication, which is investigated in ways that others have used more narrowly in discussions of novels, political speeches, sports, and films.

3) According to structural theory in anthropology and social anthropology, meaning is produced and reproduced within a culture through various practices, events, and activities that function as systems of significance. Structuralism studies activities as diverse as food preparation and serving rituals, religious rites, games, literary and non-literary texts, and other forms of entertainment in order to discover the deeper structures by which meaning is made within a culture. Generates and regenerates.

4) An early and prominent practitioner of structuralism, anthropologist and ethnographer Claude Lévi-Strauss in the 1950s analyzed cultural phenomena including mythology, kinship (alliance theory and the incest taboo), and food preparation, in addition to these studies , he produced more linguistically-orientated writings where he applied Saussure’s distinction between langue and parole in his exploration of the fundamental mental structures of the human mind, arguing that those structures constitute the “deep grammar” of society. They originate in the mind and work in us unconsciously. Lévi-Strauss was inspired by information theory and mathematics.

5) Like any other systematic branch of knowledge, anthropology has a tradition of revolutionizing the search for principles governing society and culture. Thomas Kuhn called the general laws ‘paradigms’, which are accepted and shared by a scientific society at a given point in time. For a considerable period of the long history of anthropology, several paradigms have successively dominated, competing with each other and eventually overcoming each other.

6) In the beginning of anthropology, theorists believed in the universality of cultural states arising from the psychic unity of mankind. When anthropology developed as an empirical science, evolutionism was replaced by functionalism, rejecting the preconceptions. Later in the middle of the twentieth century, the French anthropologist and philosopher Lévi-Strauss introduced a new and different theoretical model in the study of culture called ‘structuralism’.

7) Lévi-Strauss’ contribution to structuralist thought is that he provides a scientific account that shows the world as a world of meanings; He believes that structuralism can be used to reveal the unity of all cultures. Two of his works are considered classic: Anthropologie structurale (1958) and the earlier Elementary Pstructure of Kinship (1949). He considers himself one of the few “purely structuralist thinkers”. He has applied structural theory to the study of myth, ritual, and kinship.

8) The most frequently cited area of Lévi-Strauss’s work is his study of mythology.





9) Lévi-Strauss analyzes cultural phenomena such as languages, myths and kinship systems to discover what patterns or structures they exhibit. He suggested that these may reveal the structure of the human mind. He argued that behind s

10) On the surface of different cultures there must exist natural properties (universals) common to all of us. Lévi-Strauss focused his attention on the patterns or structures underlying the customs and beliefs of all cultures.

11) Lévi-Strauss is interested in the structural pattern that gives myth its meaning. Through his examination of myths from around the world, he has identified that myths are organized into binary oppositions (eg, good/bad) like basic linguistic units. Myths can be broken down into individual units (“mythemes”) that acquire meaning in the same way as the basic sound units of language (“phonemes”) when combined together in particular ways. Lévi-Strauss then becomes interested in the structural pattern that gives myth its meaning. He believes that this linguistic model will reveal the basic structure of the human mind, that is, the structure that governs the way humans shape all their institutions, artifacts, and forms of their knowledge. The rules governing these combinations can be seen as a kind of grammar, a set of relations beneath the surface of the narrative that constitute the true “meaning” of the myth.


12) In addition, the mood of the story

Nick structuralist analysis (known as narratology) began with Lévi-Strauss’s pioneering work on myth.

13) The new school emphasized mental structure as a replacement for social structure and retreated sharply from the tradition of extensive empirical fieldwork and cultural relativism. This theoretical orientation discovered the universality and physical unity of mankind which is also innate in human life and indeed brought about a revolutionary change which can be termed as the ‘Scientific Revolution’ in the human sciences (Kuhn. 1970).

14) Although structuralism searches for universal laws of the human mind, its investigation and analysis are fundamentally distinctive from an evolutionary perspective. He believed in mental structure as the basis of universal mental thought process, emphasizing the notion, ‘the mental thought process is universal and innate’.

15) From the study of oral traditions, myths, kinship system, he forcefully reveals the dichotomous opposition of human mental structure, which he calls ‘binary opposition’. Such mental states are in fact active in all human societies—death/life, wild/civilized, raw/cultivated, human/animal, culture/nature, love/hate, etc. Lévi-Straussian interpretation gave a new impetus to the understanding of human beings. mind as well as the cultural world that extends beyond the limits of contemporary anthropology. It is important to remember that Lévi-Strauss and his structuralism made significant contributions to the debate over the nature of “meaning”.





  1. Radcliffe Brown


1) Although functionalism and structuralism have been said to be “both looking at the same data” (Firth: 1951; Richards: 957 etc.), sometimes the structuralists, whose leaders were

2) A.R. Radcliffe Brown (1881–1955), went beyond the methodology, interpretations, and interpretations of social phenomena, which eventually constituted a major school of thought in anthropology.

3) The term social structure had already appeared in the works of Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) “Principles of Sociology” (1885, Volume I) and Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) “The Division of Labour” (1893).

4) (-AR. Radcliffe Brown, champion of this school of thought, “The constituents of social structure are human beings; the structure itself is the arrangement of individuals in institutionally defined and regulated relationships” (1952).

5) Initial training of AR. Radcliffe Brown

6) Alfred Reginald Radcliffe Brown was born in 1881. He started his earning as a student

7) W.H.R. Rivers in psychology but became his first student in social anthropology at Cambridge in the year 1904.

8) Redchuff Brown was a true social anthropologist, as he read social anthropology, wrote social anthropology and taught social anthropology alone in several universities. Sydney, Cape Town, Chicago and Oxford. In Chicago he taught social anthropology from 1931 to 1937, and then at Oxford from 1937 to July 1946, guiding the fortunes of many distinguished British anthropologists there.

9) Radcliffe Brown not only fought for the independent status and existence of social anthropology; But they also developed a number of theoretical concepts and ideas, which eventually formed an independent school of thought in anthropology. His theoretical concepts in the broad perspective of social structure, interpretation of socio-economic religious institutions are the most outstanding contribution which he made for the development of this science at the global level.

10) Social Structure Theory of Radcliffe Brown

11) Radcliffe Brown first used the concept of social structure while lecturing on “Social Anthropology” at Birmingham in 1914 (Forte: 1956). However, the concept of social structure was expounded in detail in his presidential address to the Royal Anthropological Inns in 1940.

12) Title of Great Britain. On this occasion he also pointed out that “there is no functionalist theory; functionalism was a myth invented by Professor Malinowski” (1940). However, when Radcliffe-Brown’s works were analyzed and interpreted by his colleagues, it was found that Radcliffe-Brown was a different type of functionalist, what might be called a “structural-functionalist” (Maffitz: 1974).



13) According to Radcliffe Brown the concept of structure refers to the arrangement of interrelated parts or components into some kind of larger unity. For example, we can talk about the structure of a house, m ji: as an arrangement of walls, roofs, rooms, passageways, etc., and finally as an arrangement of bricks, stone, wood, etc. Similarly we can talk about composition. A piece of music as an arrangement of successive sounds and hence, we can say that the structure of a song is either good or bad? Thus there is a structure of the human body – like the number of organs, bones, tissues etc.

14) The ultimate component in a social structure is the individual human being or individuals and “the structure consists of the arrangement of individuals in relation to one another” (Radcliffe Brown: 952). For example, in a village we find the arrangement of individuals in families or households, which is again a structural feature. The structure in the family consists of the relationship between father, mother and children.

15) Thus, in search of the structural features of social life we first

It also looks at the existence of various types of social groups and also examines the internal structural system of those groups. In addition to the arrangement of individuals in groups and within those groups, we also find arrangements in social classes and categories. Social distinctions between men and women, between brahmins and shudras or untouchables, are important structural features.

16) While structure refers to the arrangement of individuals, organization refers to. To arrange activities. According to Radfi Brown, social organization is the arrangement of activities of two or more individuals, which are adjusted to give a common joint activity.


17) Radcliffe Browne illustrated the concept of social structure by giving examples from the tribes of Western Australia. He held that tribes were divided into several regions and the men thus formed a distinct social group attached to a particular region, which we may speak of as a clan, a unit of fundamental importance in the social structure. In Australian tribes, the clan is known as a horde.


18) The internal structure of the crowd was a division into families, each composed of a man _ with his wife or wives and their young children. A mob has a continuous existence, as mob members are replaced from time to time by the death of old and newborn members entering the mob. Thus, the continuity of the social group is an important factor for the survival of the social structure.

19) Radcliffe Brown further suggested that individuals from different gangs and different tribes are linked together through the kinship system. Therefore, the inter-tribal kinship structure also plays an important role for the maintenance of the total social structure.

20) Radcliffe-Brown held that since social structure is an arrangement of individuals in institutionalized roles and relationships, structural continuity is the continuity of such an arrangement. Structural continuity in human societies is dynamic in this sense. According to Radcliffe Brown, social structure is, therefore, to be defined as a continuous arrangement of individuals in relationships defined or controlled by institutions, i.e. socially established norms or patterns of behaviour.



21) Social structure consists of a web of relationships but those webs of relationships are governed by norms, rules or norms. Thus, in any relationship within the social structure a person knows that he is expected to behave within the prescribed manner and norms.

Social Anthropology and Social Structure


1) Radcliffe-Brown first explained that social anthropology is the theoretical natural science of society, that is, the investigation of social phenomena by methods similar to those used in the physical and biological sciences. However, he remarked that he did not mind if one called it “comparative sociology” and that it was in fact a discipline unto itself.


2) In other words it is the study of human society, but Radcliffe Brown did not approve of the term “culture” which is generally used by anthropologists for the study of human society as a whole. He explained that the inhabitants of a particular society live in certain natural environments. We observe their behavioral acts and direct observation tells us that these human beings are connected to each other by a complex network of social relationships and that Radcliffe-Brown has actually used this network of social relationships to function. used the term structure. Social Ph.D.

3) Anomena forms a separate class of natural phenomena. They are all, in one way or another, linked to the existence of social structure, either implicit in it or resulting from it. Thus, the social structure is as real as the individual organism. The social phenomena that we observe in any society are not the immediate result of the nature of individual human beings, but the result of the social structure by which they are united.

4) According to Radcliffe-Brown there are two important factors in social structure: first, the social relationship of individuals to individuals and second, the differentiation of individuals and classes by their social role. Regarding the first factor, he said that the kinship structure of any society consists of many such pairwise (set of two) relations, such as between a father and himself, or between a brother and son of another, or a mother’s son. He stated that the entire social structure in an Australian tribe is based on a network of relationships of individuals that is established through genealogical ties. Regarding the second factor, which is social role,


5) Radcliffe-Brown suggested that the different social statuses of men and women, chiefs and commoners, employers and servants, belonging to different clans or different nations are determinants of social relations.



Radcliffe-Brown divided models of social structure into two categories: first, actual social structure; and second, the general social structure. Regarding actual social structure, Radcliffe-Brown suggested that the actual social relations of individuals and groups of individuals changed from year to year or continue to change today. New members come into a community by birth or immigration while others come by death or immigration.

Goes out of the community through death. In addition, there are also marriages and divorces in which members change several times. Thus, according to Radcliffe-Brown, while actual social structure changes at times, general social structure may remain relatively stable over long periods of time.



Spatial Aspects of Social Structure

1) Regarding the spatial aspect of social structure, Radcliffe-Brown suggested that there is hardly any society which is truly isolated or which has no contact with the outside world. In this way, the web of social relations is spread over a vast area and a person of a particular village or society remains connected with different bonds by connecting with the person of another village located far away.


2) Here again a wide range of kinship relations prevailed among the primitive society and kinship relations on this basis. Radcliffe-Brown suggested that residents of a village also interact with, or relate to, residents of other areas. It may also be mentioned in this connection that Radcliffe-Brown did not suggest that the social structure of only one village or locality should be studied, rather he insisted that sociologists or social anthropologists should study the social structures of many areas. should be studied. Observe, describe and compare the systems of social structure of different regions {He said that from this point of view many scholars of America and Great Britain have studied the social structure of a Japanese village, French village, Mexican village etc.

3) Social structure and social personality?

4) Social Physiology and Social Structure

5) When Radcliffe Brown suggested that anthropologists should study the varieties and variations of structural systems, he used two terms namely social morphology and social physiology. By the term social morphology he meant the comparative morphology of societies in which some sort of classification or type of structural systems is made. In other words, according to Radcliffe-Brown, social morphology consists of the definition, comparison and classification of various structural systems.

6) Apart from this morphological study, there is also a physical study of society in which a wide range of questions are studied by social scientists.

7) Social physiology according to Radcliffe Brown includes all kinds of social phenomena, such as morality, law, etiquette, religion, government, education, etc., which are part of the complex mechanism by which a social structure exists and is maintained.


8) According to Radcliffe Brown we study these things not in abstraction or isolation but in their direct and indirect relation to the social structure. In short, it can be said that these social phenomena are studied with reference to the way in which they depend on or affect social relations between individuals and groups of individuals.



9) Social Structure and Economic Institutions

10) Radcliffe Brown says that economic institutions of human society can be studied from two angles. First, economic systems can be viewed as mechanisms



11) in which goods of different types and in different quantities are produced, transported or transferred and used; and secondly, economic s

12) System can also be considered as a set of relations between individuals and group, which maintains and survives this exchange or circulation of goods and from this point of view, the study of economic life of societies Can be done as part of general studies. social structure.



13) Concept of Social Relations and Religion in Social Structure

14) According to Radcliffe Brown “a social relationship occurs between two or more organisms when there is some adjustment of their respective interests” (1940). Radcliffe-Brown used the term “interest” in the broadest possible sense, and he referred to all behavior that we consider to be purposive.


15) According to him, the word “interest” means to express or denote a subject and an object and especially the relation between them. Talking in terms of grammatical relations, Radfie Brown suggested that a subject has an interest in something. In other words, an object has definite value to the subject and hence, according to him, “interest” and “value” are correlative terms. He also talked about the deterioration of social relations. He pointed out that interests or values are determinants of social relations, as the study of social structure leads immediately to the study of social determinants.



16) Concept of social change in social structure


17) Radcliffe Brown suggested that there are important aspects of social structure which have not been studied in detail and these are the methods and processes of social change. Although few studies have been done on social change in uneducated societies, but

18) It is confined to a particular type of process of change which remains under the influence or dominance of some invaders or conquerors. Radcliffe-Brown pointed out that this type of change is being designated by some anthropologists as culture contact and criticized that by this term we can understand one-way or two-way effects of interaction in ‘societies’.


19) But what interested him in the study of social change societies?

was, he called the Samagra Samaj or Plural Samaj. Elaborating on the concept of a plural society, Radcliffe-Brown suggested that a composite society could be represented by classes of people with different languages, different customs and ways of life, as well as different sets of ideas and values.



20) Radcliffe-Brown’s view is that the concept of social progress is best explained as the steady material and moral improvement of mankind from crude stone tools and sexual promiscuity to modern sophisticated weapons and monogamous marriage. Hence the word progress can be used to designate ‘such a process’



21) By which man has learned or increased the knowledge of scientific developments by inventions and discoveries. According to Radcliffe-Brown, evolution specifically refers to the process of emergence of new forms of structure. Again this new form of structure can be explained in two ways i.e. biological evolution and social evolution.


22) There are certain characteristics of organic evolution in which a small number of organisms have evolved into a large number of organisms and more complex forms of organic structure have come into existence from simpler forms. Similarly, social development in social structure can be defined with the help of two important characteristics according to Radcliffe Brown. In the first place there has been a process by which in the course of history various forms of social structure have evolved from certain forms. In other words, there has been a process of diversification in the society in which the developed forms of social structure have made the social system more complex. Secondly, in the long process of social evolution simple forms of social structure have been largely replaced by complex forms of social structure.


23) Radcliffe Brown said that in this sense social evolution is a reality which social anthropologists must study and recognize. He acknowledged that it is difficult for the investigator to classify a structural system in terms of its simplicity or complexity, but he suggested that the detail could be known by studying the extent of social relations. For example, in a primitive social structure we usually find a narrow social sphere consisting of a simple linguistic community, a simple and short political relationship, as well as an economic relationship on the average, bringing the majority of individuals into direct or indirect relations. goes. very narrow range. Thus, in such a society there is greater uniformity in the social roles performed by the members of the society, while there is greater heterogeneity in the more complex forms of social structure.


24) Thus, according to Radcliffe-Brown the process of social history is very close to the concept of social evolution and according to him it can be defined as the process by which a wide range system of social structure has evolved from a narrow range system or changed.

25) Stems. He further suggested that the concept of social development needs to be examined, explained and described only in terms of social structure.

26) Radcliffe Brown was a true social anthropologist and a good theorist. He described the theory of social structure from various angles and explained in particular the context of the web of social relations, and emphasized the continuity of social institutions. He also explained the difference between social structure and social organization. He also described the types of social structure; highlights the spatial aspect of social structure; Distinguished between social morphology and social physiology. Finally, he emphasized the importance of language dissemination and the role of economic institutions where members of society are linked at various stages. While discussing the social structure, he also gave his views on the concept of religion, social change, social development etc.








cultural process

All cultures are naturally predisposed to change as well as to resist change. There are dynamic processes going on that encourage the acceptance of new ideas and things while there are others that encourage unchanging stability. It is likely that social and psychological chaos will result if conservative forces do not resist change.

There are three general sources of influence or pressure that are responsible for both its change and resistance:

  • Forces operating within a society
  • Changes in the natural environment
  • Contact between societies



The term ‘development’ describes a process of qualitative change. evolution is

The scholarly activity of describing, understanding, and explaining this process.

For a systematic discussion of the ideas and contributions of evolutionists, they have been classified from two angles. First, the classical evolutionists and the neo-evolutionists; And second, on the basis of their nationality like British, American, German etc. This classification can also be shown through the following table:

Classical Evolutionists                                                                                                             Neo-evolutionists








American            Continental









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