Structuralism of Brown and Nadel 

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Brown’s Structural – Functional Theory 

According to Brown, “We call a complex web of social relations by the name of social structure. “Brown has tried to understand his concept of social structure separately from the concept of ‘social function’. In this way, instead of understanding the social structure in the context of the whole society, he has conceived a social structure, which is that structure or The function of a particular social structure of social relations can be known if it contributes to maintaining the structural continuity of the whole system. In fact, Brown has considered social structure as a branch of natural science. It is based on the fact that social phenomena are studied by the methods used in the natural and biological sciences, but since society is a network of social relationships, the study of social structure in sociology is actually the study of the complexities of social relations. It’s the same study.


Brown tried to define social structure in institutional form.

has done. Individual is an important part of society, which is surrounded by institutions. Individuals are linked to other people in the society through institutions. The importance of these institutions can be seen in the fact that certain patterns of social relations of individuals are developed in the society. Thus the formation of individuals in a definite and orderly form through institutions, the development of certain patterns and a cohesive “form of all this together” is called ‘social structure’. Brown later developed his own concept of social structure. He made some changes in this concept. In 1952 he published the book ‘Structure and Function in a Primitive Society’. In this, Brown personified his revised concept about social structure in the following words. “Structure in the Concept of Function”



The concept of interconnectedness, in which we take the arrangement of relationships found between different units and whose continuity depends on the functioning of these units. “Thus, according to Brown, social structure is a dynamic continuum. In other words, social structure is not like the structure of a house, but a dynamic continuum like the structure of the body of a living human being. What is meant here is that the structure itself is It is permanent, but can change in many of its elements, gets and will be the same, but the permanence of the structure remains.

New members come in the society, new institutions are developed, new societies are formed, new needs are born and according to them new changes take place, but not all changes have the same effect on the social structure. Had to Brown has also considered the local aspect of social structure. He states that every social structure also has a local aspect. In his own words, “If we make a comparative study of the social structure of two societies, it is necessary that we consider the local aspect of both the structures. Thus it is not possible to study any structure entirely outside that geographical area.” Where its members are settled – because that geographical area also affects the behavior and personality of those members. Similarly, we cannot study social structure without local basis.” According to Brown, in the study of social structure, we In particular, consider three things:


(1) Social activists,

(2) Social Physics,

(3) Processes of social change.


(1) Social Morphology – Under Brown’s normative structure, we consider how the typical external structure of a society maintains its stability by incorporating internal changes. He told that morality, law, rituals, religion, rites, education etc. are important parts of the structure, through which social structure exists and remains present. Brown has also tried to explain the importance of language in social structure. Continuity is maintained between different individuals of society and different units of society through language. Similarly, Brown has also considered the division of labor important in the social structure. In any society we see different persons performing different activities at different times, but their diversity does not disturb their unity, because they are also part of definite social structure.

Brown has also given the example of ‘reference group’ to make the social structure more clear, because the behavior of individuals and their social relations can be understood only in the context of the individuals and their relations of the group of which they are members. There are. Brown has also described social interests, social values ​​and social institutions as important for understanding the external pattern of social structure, as they all prove to be important in maintaining the continuity of social structure.


(2) Social Physiology – In the study of social structure, we should keep in mind that social structure is almost like physical structure, as there are different parts in our body. Similarly, there are social relations in the society. The relationship is found in different parts of the society in the same way as it is found in different parts of the body, just as there is continuity even after changes in the physical structure, in the same way there is continuity in the social structure. It is worth mentioning here that in the social structure we do not study ‘individuals’, but ‘social men’.


Brown says that the development of new forms of structure has happened through the process of evolution. There are two important aspects of this process of evolution-


(1) There has been a continuous process in history by which many forms of social structure have been born in a few forms. And

(2) It was through this process that the simple forms of society evolved into complex forms.




 Structuralism of Nadel 


 According to Nadal, the word ‘structure’ refers to the arrangement and arrangement of various organs.

There is a sense of systematic yoga. From this there is no sense of the nature, nature or importance of its parts or the content contained in it. When we use the word ‘structure’, we take everything out of it, which is not related to order or arrangement. For example, if we refer to the structure of a box, we do not consider whether the box is of wood, tin, or iron, whether the box contains papers or clothes, or whether it is empty, or filled. Let us describe the structure of the box. This means that we can express and modify the structure, regardless of the tangible material that expresses the structure. In other words, we can also say that we can bring about a change in the embodied nature of its tangible parts by not changing the structure. In Nandal’s own words, the word ‘structure’ denotes an orderly sequence of phases, which can be considered to be transferable and in which relatively immutable is found, although its parts themselves are variable. When we use the word “structuring” in the context of society, we use the phrase ‘social structure’. This means that in order to understand the social structure, we have to be clear about what we mean by society. According to Nadal, we have understood society as such a group of human beings, in which its individuals are related to each other on the basis of any such institutionalized or general rules, which direct, regularize and control their actions, That is, four interrelated elements can be seen in the market of society. “


( 1 ) Person

( 2 ) Determinate ways of acting toward or in regard to one another

(3) Various forms of ‘social relations’ arising out of them and their manifestations.

(4) Consistency and stability are found to some extent in these relationships.


With respect to Nandal’s concept of ‘Society’, it is noteworthy that neither excessive irregularity is found among human beings nor incidental immutability among the people who act. The main reason for this is that there are some institutional rules for performing actions, which automatically create regularity among individuals. Thus, after explaining society, Nadel defined social structure. “We will call the structure of a society the pattern, order and orderliness and regularity of the relations found between the person doing the action in relation to the other people out of the concrete population and its behavior.”


In the field of functionalism where great importance is given to the ideas of Ek Pore Brown and Malinowski , in the modern period S . F . Nadel’s ideas are considered very important. This is because scholars like Brown, Malinowski and Durkheim have explained functionalism with the term function and these people have focused their attention on the interdependence found between the various elements found in culture and how human beings are perceived by certain elements of culture. Emphasis is placed on the fulfillment of any requirements. In contrast, Nandal has explained functionalism in terms of structure. Nadal does not see society as a culture or as a system, but as a system and order.


According to Nandal, to understand a society it is necessary that we understand its structure. Changes may take place in different parts of the society, but there is continuity, regularity and variability in the structure of the society. Therefore, when we talk about the functions within the social structure, we should not only talk about the interdependence of different parts of the society or culture, but we should also consider that the regularity and continuity of the structure of the society is also maintained or No . Thus, in Nadal’s view, functionalism refers to the system or continuity in the society that persists even after changes are made in different parts of the society.


Another example is given by Nadel with the harmonium. Nadal says that we can understand the structure of harmonium without coming out of its vocals. The reason for this is that the end object or function is not included in the discussion of the structure. It is clear that without the tangible material expressing the structure, the tangible nature of the parts that make up the structure can change drastically. In other words, “construction represents an orderly sequence of parts, which may be considered to be transferable and which are relatively immutable, while the parts themselves are variable.”


According to Nadel, we can understand the social structure and the functions inherent in it in terms of continuity and regularity of relations. It may be that there may be a change in the relations found between different members of the society. It may also happen that changes may be found in the expressions of these relations, but the regularity and orderliness of the relations do not change easily, because individuals act on the basis of certain social and institutional rules. Hence this rule of relations

Mitigation and continuity serve to maintain the regularity and continuity of the social structure. Therefore, according to Nadal, social structure is not formed by mere combination or summation of existing or existing social relations. This is not possible unless some sort of systematic orderliness and continuity is found in them.




Structuralism of Levi Strauss


A detailed description of Levi Strom’s ideas of social structure is found in the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of his important work Structural Anthropology. The fifteenth chapter first appeared in Anthropology Today in 1948. The answer to its criticisms, which Strauss gave, is presented in Chapter Sixteen. NASA has already been mentioned that according to Levi Strauss, the concept of ‘social structure’ is not related to any empirical reality, but to those models, which are developed on its basis, but what types are these models ? What is the shape of a structure according to Levi Strauss? He fulfills many important things


(1) Structure represents the characteristics of an arrangement. It is made by mixing many elements. Change in any one characteristic without changing the other elements. Can’t get change.

(2) It should be possible for any particular model to produce a sequence of changes, resulting in the formation of a group of other models of the same type.

(3) On the basis of both the above characteristics, it will be possible to predict how any form will react to any change in one or more of its elements.

(4) The format should be such that it can be helpful in understanding all the observed facts without delay. The above features are not the characteristics of social structure, but they give important indications to the salient features of structural studies and the problems associated with them.


In structural studies, first of all we have to decide which facts we will study and by what method we will get them by observation or experiment because, although many forms can be used to describe and explain any phenomenon However, it is clear that the best form would be the one which is real, that is, the simplest form possible, which, when constructed from the facts to be studied, is capable of explaining all the facts. Second, it is necessary for us to distinguish between the conscious and the conscious nature of forms, since any structural model can be of both types. Thirdly, it is also to be remembered that there is an essential relationship between structure and measurement.


Structural studies among social scholars can be said to be an indirect result of the modern development in the field of mathematics. Fourth, we must also clearly understand the difference between the scale of our structural design and the scale of phenomena. Thus there will be two types of formats – mechanical and statistical. It is necessary to distinguish between the two types of structural forms. It is to be remembered here that the fact that gives importance to social structural studies is that structures are such forms whose morphological characteristics can be compared independently of their elements.


Thus Levi Strauss has highlighted the dual importance of structural studies. On the one hand, such studies are helpful in separating some important levels, and on the other hand it is possible to construct such models, whose characteristic adjectives can be compared with the characteristics of other forms, which are different from other levels. But be important.


Under this, the following topics are considered-

(1) Social physiology or group structure,

(2) social status or communication structures,

(3) Social dynamics i.e. subordinate structures.


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