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Social Structure (chapter 5 contd.)

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Phillip S

on 17 February 2017

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Transcript of Social Structure (chapter 5 contd.)

Social Structure
Social Institution
A set of organized beliefs and rules that establish how a society will attempt to meet its basic social needs
Functionalist view of social institutions
Social institutions exist because they perform 5 essential tasks:
Replacing Members
Teaching New Members
Producing, distributing and consuming goods and services
Preserving Order
Providing and maintaining a sense of purpose
Societies, Technology, and Sociocultural Change
Sociologists typically discuss 5 types of societies based on various levels of "subsistence technology"
Historically, these basic needs have been met through five major social institutions:
Family, Religion, Education, the Economy, and Government
What institutions would you say have been added to how we meet basic social needs?
Conflict theorists would argue these tasks don't work for the common good
Subsistence technology
-the methods and tools that are available for acquiring the basic needs of life
Hunting and Gathering Societies
These societies use simple technology for hunting animals and gathering vegetation
-Relatively egalitarian
-Today, these societies are very isolated
Horticultural and Pastoral Societies
These societies use technology that supports the domestication of large animals

Horticultural-technology supports the cultivation of plants to provide food
-Has more division of labor than Hunter/Gatherer societies
-When food is no longer in short supply, more infants are born and children survive more.
Agrarian Societies
These societies use the technology of large-scale farming to produce their food supply
Industrial Societies
Societies based on technology that mechanizes production
-Inequality is higher than the other pre-industrial societies (Hunter/Gatherer, and Horticultural)
-Gender roles become increasingly different in Agrarian Societies, due to men typically being involved in food production
-Applying technology to production
-Machines typically doing work previously done by humans or animals
-In Industrialized societies, a large percentage of people live in cities
Post-Industrial Societies
Societies where technology supports a service and information based economy
-Agricultural production does not disappear, it is simply more streamlined and fewer engage in it
-"Information Explosion" has occured, where large amounts of people provide or apply information or are employed in service jobs
Knowledge becomes a commodity
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