Black Freedom and Social Class in St.
Innovative thinking about a global world Thursday, November 22, What is a social structure? Are there such things as "social structures"?
In what do they consist? What sorts of social powers do they exercise? But it is worth taking up here as well. Here are a few books that have made useful contributions to the current understanding of the causal powers of social structures.
Consider a few candidates for social structures: Are these items examples of "social structures"? What are the central assumptions we make in designating something as a social structure?
Note that the term "social structure" can be used in at least two important senses: Here I will focus on the first sense of the term. Several ideas appear to be core features in our ordinary understanding of this concept.
A social structure consists of rules, institutions, and practices. A social structure is socially embodied in the actions, thoughts, beliefs, and durable dispositions of individual human beings. A social structure is effective in organizing behavior of large numbers of actors.
A structure is coercive of individual and group behavior. A social structure assigns roles and powers to individual actors. A social structure often has distributive consequences for individuals and groups. A social structure is geographically dispersed. Social structures can cause social outcomes involving both persistence and change.
We might try to reduce these intuitions to a definition: Now back to our original question: Before proceeding to a answer, a few points are evident. Any social entity must possess microfoundations in human mentalities and actions.
There is no such thing as a social entity that lacks human embodiment--any more than there are works of art that lacks material embodiment.
Social entities "supervene" upon human individuals. This point also applies to any statements we might make about the putative causal powers of a social entity. So claims about the causal properties of social structures must be supplemented by a theory of the microfoundations of those powers.
How does an extended social structure exert influence over the actions of located individuals? And there is a final parallel point about claims about the geographical scope and coherence of a social entity.
If we want to maintain that an entity exercises influence as a coherent and extended entity, we need to be able to specify the mechanisms through which this takes place. How does the Federal state exert its control and influence over the vast scope of the United States and its population?
So, with these qualifications about the unavoidable need for providing microfoundations--are there social structures? Several of the instances offered above fit the terms of our provisional definition.
They are large complexes of rules and practices that influence behavior and outcomes. And it is straightforward to begin to provide a description of the microfoundations upon which they exist: The US Federal Government functions as a system of branches of government, each with its own departments governed by formal and informal rules.
And the "reach" of the state down to the local and individual level is secured by the socially implemented forms of power that are locally expressed bank inspectors, law enforcement agencies, tax auditors, This is an example of a large social structure that operates through a high degree of formal institutionalization.
But some of the examples mentioned above depend primarily on informal mechanisms -- the workings of widespread beliefs and attitudes, along with a diffused willingness of individuals to "enforce" the requirements of the structure. Structures relying primarily on informal mechanisms include the Indian marriage system or the English class system.
Is "race" a structure in American society? Plainly it possesses some of the key elements identified above.The ’s: Backwards Planning Activities Project #1: A News Panel Show on the Impact of family structure in the s?
• How did government economic policies during the s lead to the Great Depression? 2. S3 the s Essential questions.
Social Classes of the 's Lower Class -A majority of farmers became lower class during the great depression. Farmers had man struggles with money flow and gain. They had more then enough food to go around but no one would buy it.
Some people got so depressed that they thought that this was the.
Daniel Little said. On the question of sources -- I am a philosopher of social science. I have reflected on questions like these for a long time and have written on them in a variety of academic forums.
Social structure refers to the enduring relationships or bonds between individuals or groups of individuals.. In a general sense, the term can refer to: entities or groups in definite relation to each other, relatively enduring patterns of behavior and relationship within a society, or.
Jul 06, · By , social class in the United States was apparent however was not a real topic of conversation until the Great Depression. However, between and America’s economy and social system would become even more socially stratified. Relations of Class in the Great Depression. Despite the fact that nearly everyone in the country was hurt to some degree by onset of the Depression, the 's was a period of exacerbted class conflict.