Social System

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Social System


Social order is formed through social interactions and interrelationships. human soul

The concept of social structure becomes more clear from the students. 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 MacIver. And the page has mentioned this feature. Parsons has mentioned institutions, agencies, patterns, situations and roles as units of social structure. None of these units is tangible, but intangible, so the social structure is also intangible. Wright believes that social structure refers to a condition or condition or relationship, hence it is an abstract concept.

Relatively Stable: Social structure is a relatively stable concept. Johnson says that the units out of which the social structure is made up are relatively more stable. Therefore, social structures made up of relatively stable units are relatively stable. In fact, the structure is a model of the permanent elements or organs and therefore the highly variable elements cannot be included in them.

Social Processes: Social processes contribute to the formation of social structure. Co-operation, adjustment, assimilation, competition and conflict are some of the processes without which social structure cannot be formed. As the nature of these processes, a particular social structure is formed accordingly. M. B. Olsen (M. B. Olsen) considered social structure to be the external component of processes.

– Sub-structures: There are many sub-structures of social structure. That is to say that the units from which the social structure is made have their own separate structure. 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: The social structure gives a sense 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 to form a structure. In the same way as the body structure is formed from different parts of the body (hands, feet, 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 the elements of social structure. RM MacIver (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. Social structure is formed by the systematic combination of these two. In the social structure every person gets a fixed position, that is called his status. A person suited to the situation is expected to complete the work, that is his role. The harmony between status and role maintains the structure.

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

Social Institutions: Institutions are important elements of social structure. Institutions mean those rules and procedures which contribute to the maintenance of social relations. The development of such institutions takes place after a long process. They have properties of relatively durability. Institutions determine fair and unfair practices. Through these social relations are established. The system of control is maintained. Thus social structure is made up of multiple elements. These elements are closer to the sociological perspectives.

Person: The first element of the social structure is called the individual. R. Brown (R. Brown) has written, “Humans are part of the social structure.” Individuals continue to develop social relations among themselves. This creates a complex web of relationships. These relationships become defined and regularized by social institutions. It organizes people in a certain way. This systematic form of individuals is the social structure.

Values ​​and Values: The basic element of social structure is social values ​​and norms. R. K. Merton (R. K. Merton) says that the orderliness of the social structure is maintained as long as the individuals of the group continue to behave according to the values ​​and norms. When the balance and orderliness of these rules get disturbed, the condition of Anomie develops.




Social System


Social order is formed through social interactions and interrelationships. human soul

As a result of the interactions and interrelationships between the people, various customs, procedures, committees, institutions, means of control etc. develop. These different elements remain functionally combined. This is the social system. The most detailed analysis of systems analysis in modern sociology has been done by T. Parsons. He has given a detailed explanation of this in his famous book ‘The Social System’ 1951. Parsons defines social system as, “A social system consists of a multiplicity of individual actors interacting with each other in a condition which has at least one physical or environmental aspect, such actors who are are motivated by a tendency to contentment and whose relationship to each other and to their situations is defined and judged by cultural structures and common cooperating symbols. From this definition the following basic facts are known –

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

(2) The process of interaction is found between these actors.

(3) The condition is necessary for the interaction. In this situation both physical and social environment is involved.

(4) have a definite goal and

(5) which shall have a cultural structure.

Loomis believes that (1) social order is formed by the interaction of multiple individual acts; (2) These actors have the quality 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 system is a situation or condition in which the various functional units that make up a society are related in a meaningful way with each other and with the society as a whole.” It turns out that social order is formed as a result of the interaction of many people in a recognized way. Thus, on the basis of the above description, it can be said that social order is formed as a result of the interaction of individuals. These individuals interact with each other with a goal in mind. Also, there must be a place and situation for the interaction.


 Characteristics of Social System 


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

Functional Relation: Functional relations are found between the units of social order. Each of its units has a specific function. It is on the basis of this function that each unit is connected to each other, due to which a related similarity is formed. This is called social system.

Dynamic: The social system is dynamic. Its basis is interactional relationship. Interactional relationships keep on changing. Therefore, change in the social system is natural. This does not mean that it does not have stability. Mobility is observed in its stability itself.

Related with Cultural System: Parsons has mentioned cultural background in the formation of social system. According to him, the basis of social system is interactional relationship. This relationship is determined by religion, custom, law, customs 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: A major feature of a social system is said to be related to the fulfillment of human needs. This system has a definite goal which is human. The basic basis of interactions between two or more actors is the fulfillment of needs. Human needs are the foundation of interdependence. That is why Parsons has also mentioned all the needs of the social system. These are biological pre-requisites. Cultural pre-requisites across functional pre-needs.

Adaptable: The social system has the quality of adaptability. One, society is changing. In this sequence, the system also keeps on adapting to the changing circumstances. Second, human needs keep on 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 wrote, “Social system is essentially a network of interacting relationships. In this, when there are interactional relations between two or more actors, then social order is formed. Parsons called action the building stone for the system. Where is it?


Equilibrium: The system of social system balance

Is . This is not a monolithic system. It has many units and sub-units. These units do not work in isolation, but all the units work together. it keeps the balance



Sociology, which studies ‘society’ as a whole, has two basic concepts – ‘social structure’ and ‘social system’. Early and broadly, it can be said that social structure refers to the structure of the society, whereas social system refers to the functional side of that society. Society is not a monolithic system, it has different parts. These different parts are systematically combined to form a framework or framework, this is called social structure. On the contrary, these constituent parts of the society, elements or units, on the basis of their respective functions, generate the balance, while being related to each other, it is called social system. In this sense, ‘social structure’ refers to the pattern of the external framework of society, while ‘social order’ refers to the internal processes of society.

Some scholars are of the opinion that social structure is a more dynamic or dynamic concept because of its relation to the constructive or paradigmatic side. For example, take an organism only – a special type of body composition or structure is formed by a special combination of different parts of the body. This is what we call the zoological structure or organic structure. But if the skeleton of a dog and the skeleton of a human are placed side by side, it will be clear that they are not the same as they differ in their anatomical structure. Structure presents a specific pattern on the basis of which one can be distinguished from the other. From each other’s point of view, different parts of the animal have certain functions, on the basis of those functions, these organs, while related to each other, give their cooperation in keeping the whole organism active, due to which the existence of the organism would have been possible. Is . This side of the organic is called organic system.

The structure of society may not actually be a real object or a tangible concept because society itself is intangible.


Wright wrote, “In essence it refers to a state or condition, a relation, so it is therefore essentially an abstraction.


“Karl Mannheim considered the social structure to be a web of interacting social forces. Many sociologists consider society to be a web of social relations. Mannheim has called the structure of the same society a network of social forces.




According to him the word ‘net’ itself is indicative of a systematic pattern. In general, there are many wires in a net, these wires are the units of ‘net’, but the mere aggregation of these wires does not make ‘net’ unless they have a sequence, warp or sequence. In the same way, social structure also refers to a sequence, fabric or hierarchy. This fabric of social structure is the social forces. Social forces refer to those regulatory and controlling means which provide stability to social life. These forces do not work separately, but they interact with each other. The ‘web’ that this fabric of interacting social forces creates is what Mannheim called social structure. Mannheim says that the methods of observation and thinking found in society are born only as a result of the interactions of these social forces. From this discussion it is clear that the definition of Mannheim is vague and incomplete. Come

From the definition there is no clear indication of the elements or organs that make up or make up the social structure. In the modern sense, it is not possible to build a structure on the basis of mere ‘powers’ whatever kind they may be. The structure, formative composition or pattern which is understood by the word ‘structure’, cannot be imagined on the basis of power. Ginsberg’s definition is clearer than Mannheim’s. Ginsberg has considered the entire socio-founding structure as social structure and at the same time has not mentioned any clear distinction in social organization and structure. In the main forms of social organization, you have included different types of groups, committees and institutions. Society is formed and social organization flourishes only with these groups, committees and institutions. Social structure is the expression or form of social organization itself. “Group means any collection of human beings

Talcott Parsons
(Social System)

Before Parsons, many scholars had been presenting the concept of social system in their own way. In this regard, Loomis said that social order is an internal condition of society. Somewhat different from this Jones’ statement was that a social system is a situation in which different parts of society function in a meaningful way with each other. Rejecting all such ideas, Talcott Parsons defined the social system in his book ‘The Social System’ published in 1951.

Defining that “Social system is an organized system of social actions which includes the actions performed by many actors.” 1 These activities are influenced by the social norms and cultural values. From this point of view the individual actors, the system of interaction of actors and a cultural system are the three important elements of a social system.

On the basis of these three elements, the concept of social system presented by Parsons can be understood through two aspects: structural aspect and functional aspect. Under the structural side, we mainly study that system of interactions related to the actors which is affected by a particular cultural system, whereas from the functional side Parsons has clarified the characteristic of self-adjustment by the social system. This aspect was presented by Parsons through the ‘Agil Model’.



 Structural Aspect of Social System 


the view that social system is made up of interrelated actions of individuals, so its structure can be traced only in the level of regularity of those actions and their repetition. Thus Parsons gave an important place in the structure of social system to the regularity and repetition of the actions performed by the individuals. It is necessary to note that along with giving importance to the individual in the structure of social system, Parsons also clarified that their roles are more important than the individuals in this structure. This is because the roles of the individual are more permanent than the roles themselves.

In fact, the roles of individuals or actors, their regularity and repetition get perpetuated only by various social norms or norms. Clarifying this, Johnson wrote, “Different roles and sub-groups are different parts of the structure of a social system and the stability, regularity and repetition of social interactions are influenced by those social norms.” Which determine the roles and responsibilities of different sub-groups.” 3 It is clear that the structure of social system is not only formed by the actors or sub-groups but also social norms or social norms have an important place in it. . Persins clarified that in the structure of any social system certain social norms are necessarily found and on the basis of these the members of a sub-group perform their respective roles. In this regard, Parsons mentioned two types of social patterns:





(1) Relational Social Norms and

(2) Regulatory Social Norms.


Relational social patterns determine the nature of relationships to be established between role-holders and their groups. These patterns are positive. From this point of view, the social norms which give the responsibility of establishing a particular type of relationship with the individual to his family, those patterns are not found in any business organization or other groups. This model separates the role of the father from the role of his son, the regulatory social model is permissive. It gives instructions to the role holders and sub-groups as to what should and should not be done within the social system. For example, it is a normative social norm that one should not disrespect the father in the role of son. Similarly for political groups in our society it is a normative social norm that no movement should be carried out by violence.

It thus becomes clear that while relational social patterns guide the actions of actors, regulatory social patterns influence the roles of subgroups and their members. Along with relational and regulatory norms, social values ​​also have an important place in the structure of social system. Defining value Parsons wrote, “Value can be defined as a concept or standard which may be cultural or merely personal and through which things can be compared or can be accepted or rejected. Thus a value, whether of an individual or of a group, is accepted as an emotionally important criterion. Yet it is true that in some, particular situations, social values ​​and There may also be conflicts or conflicts between individual desires. For example, even after acknowledging the value of honesty, if one wishes to become wealthy very quickly, this situation explains such conflict. Told that some activities of a person are sometimes disvalued activities also because they involve spiteful values. Attraction towards adulterous activities is an example of this. This condition is not limited to the individual only. is rather different groups

This conflict of values ​​is often seen even at the level of education. Even after this, it is necessary to keep in mind that the structure of the social system keeps on resolving the situations of conflict of values ​​through its cultural values. This is the reason that stability remains in the structure of the social system. Parsons pointed out that there is such a close relationship between social norms and values. The relationship is that it is often difficult to differentiate between them. In fact, “values ​​are the general norms of society and can be considered as the higher-order models. From this point of view, social norms and social values ​​are the ones that form the structure of the social system on the basis of the above ideas in perpetuating the structure of the social system.” The major units or elements can be understood as follows:


Kinship System – The kinship system is the basis which determines the status of the individual in the family and various sub-groups. This is how it is determined. that family or

What will be the status of the person in the family based groups like gotra lineage and caste etc. and what roles he will be expected to fulfill in the group. Thus, kinship is that important factor in the structure of social system which determines the social status and roles of individuals.


Social Stratification – This is the second major structural element of the social system. Social stratification is the system by which different members of a group are divided into several categories on the basis of their status. All these categories are higher or lower than each other. Parsons clarified that on the basis of this high or low, the interrelationships of various actors in the social system are determined. This social stratification is also based on certain rules. For example, caste is the main basis of social stratification in our social system whereas in many other societies different social categories are formed on the basis of income, sex, wealth or social status. According to the rules on which social stratification is based, the social structure assumes a special form. According to Parsons, this stratification is also useful from the point of view that on the one hand it creates stability in the social system and on the other hand it becomes easier to distribute rewards among different members on its basis.


Power system – Power system is the third structural element of the social system, whose function is to maintain balance in the social system and to establish control over the behavior of different actors and groups. According to the power-system, a society is divided into different power-groups in such a way that each group can control the arbitrary behavior of the other. For example, whenever the ruling group wants to conduct arbitrary behavior due to the power-system getting some power to different political groups, the opposition groups use their power to prevent anarchy from taking place.


Integration of Values ​​- According to Passson, the integration of values ​​in the structure of social system is that important element which binds different actors to each other on moral grounds. Values ​​are the social criterion on the basis of which the attitudes and behaviors of the characters are determined in every social system. Uniformity in the behavior of the members of a society arises due to living in common values.



Functional Aspect of Social System : Agil Model 


While the structural side of a social system explains the stability of another social system, the functional side is concerned with the characteristics that explain the dynamic side of the social system. In other words it can be said that those units which contribute in making the structure of social system dynamic, we call them as functional units of social system. Before elucidating Parsons’s ideas about functions, it is necessary to understand the views expressed by Thomas Hans (T. Hobbes) in the book ‘Labiathan’.

Hobbes said that all individuals want to establish their authority over the rare and limited things found around them. In a natural state (in which there are no social norms) there may be bitter struggle between individuals to establish their superiority over each other. In this stage the life of man will become conflicting, animalistic and short-lived. Parsons says that if the above statement of Thomas Hobbes is accepted as true, then it becomes our social need to end the struggle for power in human society. Clarifying his statement, he told that although the power system has a major role in providing stability to the social system, but the struggles arising out of power also give rise to many problems. When conflicts over power or ownership of property increase in society, the members and various sub-groups of the society

Conditions of tension arise between them. With the increase of conflicts, some such unfavorable conditions also arise which break the unity of the society and generate disruptive tendencies. Any such process of tension, adversity or disintegration can destroy the social order. Therefore, every social system tries to achieve its goal that such situations do not arise. Parsons in his book ‘The Social System’ mentioned four such functions, only by fulfilling which the social system can fulfill this need. These are the functions:






1. Adaptation,

2 . Goal Attainment,

3. Integration,

4. Latency


These four functions described by Parsons are known as ‘Agil Model’, so we will mention these functions in the context of social system under this name. Describing the social system, Parsons said that “the origin and development of social system is the result of the interactions of individuals. then a particular social order is formed.It means that for the maintenance of any social order it is necessary that the desires of the individuals should be fulfilled according to the social norms. According to Parsons maintaining the social order It is in the interest of the individual because by this only those needs of the persons which he desires can be fulfilled.

Parsons clarified that while some mediums and goals are external to the maintenance of any social order, there are many goals and their mediums, medium goals ( Goal ) External adaptation ( Adaptation ) Goal Attainment ( Latency integration is internal by its nature. The format by which Parsons presented this condition is known as ‘Azil format’. Under this, the functional side of the social system, through which the four main elements were presented, can be understood as follows:


(1) External Medium – Every system must have some external medium. For example, if we take the arrangement of a table, then the external medium of the table will be the things from which the table is made. For this arrangement of the table to work smoothly, it is necessary that the adaptation between the different parts of the table should be maintained. This means that if the legs of the table are thin, then very heavy wood should not be placed on it, nor should very thick screws or nails be used in it. Parsons is of the opinion that in the same way for the development of social system, it is necessary to have a process of adaptation among individuals. Thus, according to you, the process of adaptation is the external medium of the social system.

Parsons has mentioned three systems under the process of adaptation as follows: (a) Main Values ​​of Society – In every society some values ​​are of central importance and all the activities performed by individuals are based on these values. are affected by. These values ​​reduce the conflict between the different sub-systems of the society and make them adapt to each other. In this sense the central values ​​act as a mechanism of the process of adaptation. (b) Rationalization – Parsons states that if any contradiction arises in the various values ​​of the society, then on the basis of logic and reason, it is also decided that which value will be more prudent to accept by the society.

Similarly, when a person behaves contrary to social values, then other people try to adapt to that person through conscience without giving rise to conflict. (c) Symbolic Isolation In a social system, symbolic separation is used as a method by which conflicting behaviors can also be recognized. For example, in modern societies secular practices are also recognized along with religious practices. In this situation, due to the symbolic separation between different behaviors in each other, adaptation remains within the social system and the situation of conflict does not arise.


(2) External Goal – According to Parsons, the second functional requirement of a social system is to achieve some external goal. It consists of goals which are concerned with keeping the external structure of the social system in order and keeping it functionally useful. Is . In the social system every person wants to achieve his goals. In this situation it is possible that some contradiction may arise between him and the goals of the society. The social system in this condition provides opportunities to each person to achieve the goal through adaptation by eliminating the opposition. Johnson has now clarified the idea of ​​Passens, considering the system as a sub-system of the social system.

has done. According to you, the economy of the society is that sub-system which produces goods and services for a variety of purposes. In this way, in order to achieve the goal in the social system, the work of economic production is done in different ways. In other words, it can be said that the economy, through its functions, remains the means of achieving the goals of the society.


(3) Internal Goal – According to Parsons, the third function of a social system is to achieve the goals related to its internal structure. This goal is mainly to integrate the persons belonging to the social system or to encourage the process of integration among them. Such integration is done through institutional groups. Clarifying this, Johnson has written that “mental force is needed to achieve the internal goal of the social system. In his daily activities, the person’s thinking is not related to the interest of the whole society, but he pays more attention to the interests of the groups (sub-groups) related to himself. In this situation, many institutional groups help to link the behavior of the individual with the whole social system. It is clear that the internal goal of the social system is to increase the process of integration as much as possible.


(4) Internal Medium – The medium which is used to increase integration as the internal goal of the social system, is called Latency by Parsons. This means that when a situation of tension arises in various units related to the social system, then there is a need to either reduce that tension or eliminate it. This is possible only when the units of the social system, whether they are actors or sub-groups, have respect for their social norms and behave according to them. Through this statement Parsons made it clear that the process of socialization is an internal means of the social system towards the goal of integration.

Socialization is the process by which the cultural patterns of the society are incorporated in the personality of the members belonging to a social system. Some confusion and mistrust also arise in many situations within the social system. It is necessary to remove such delusions and mistrusts because without it the social order can be broken. For example, family is a sub-system and it makes its members worry-free through many functions, praises the members for good deeds and tries to minimize the possibility of stress by solving their problems. . This is the means by which the process of integration within a system becomes more important. It is clear from this model presented by Rail Parsons that Parsons not only tried to give a new direction to the concept of function but also made it clear that social system performs many functions related to external and internal goals and mediums. Because of this, dynamics remains in the social system.



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