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Running Head: Social Structure

Unit 2 Assignment 4: Social Structure

Sociology 1010 D02

Social structure is aimed at classifying people based on their social classes in the society.
According to Henslin (2009), social structure refers to the patterns or characteristics of a group,
for example the relationships between men and women or teachers and students. There are
various levels of sociological analysis; macro-sociology and micro-sociology.

Social Structure

Macro-sociology refers the analysis that focuses on the broad features of the society. This
approach is used by conflict theorists and functionalists to analyze things like social class and the
relationships between different groups. It classifies people according to social structures or
classes which are categorized based on what someone possesses. It classifies people in lower
class, middle and high class systems. People with low status are closed from opportunities and
such people are at the bottom in the social class system (Henslin, 2009). Most of their men have
little or no education and thus have nothing to offer to any promising employer.
Micro-sociology on the other hand, refers to an approach whose focus in on social
interaction. It helps in the analysis of the rules and codes of people for getting along together
well and for their survival in their daily living. It narrows its analysis to symbolic interactions
such as how men would strategize their on how to live or how they would spend their time
(Henslin, 2009). To understand the social life of a person or group, it is essential to use both
macro and micro-sociology. Classifying men, for instance, in social class will need microsociology analysis in order to understand what they do on daily basis and how they interact with
one another.
In sociological analysis, people are given positions in which they occupy known as
status. This position either brings more prestige or less prestige. The status somebody is in
determines how he/she is supposed to act and feel (Henslin, 2009). Statuses determine what
someone can do and what he/she cannot do. In order to recognize what status someone occupies,
there are status symbols which, by definition, refer to the signs that identify a given status
(Henslin, 2009). Status symbols are important in our lives. They identify who we are and how
we should act and conduct ourselves. There are positive and negative statuses which are also

Social Structure

characterized by positive and negative status symbols respectively. They help us recognize what
status somebody occupies and thus enabling smooth interaction in our daily life (Henslin, 2009).
Society has been evolving with time and it is still evolving up to now due to
technological changes. The first society was hunting and gathering societies. Members in these
societies had few social divisions and they almost equal. They depended on hunting wild animals
and gathering fruits and plants for their survival.
The first society to evolve was the pastoral and horticultural societies. This society
decided to settle in homesteads and domesticate plants and animals. This happened about ten
thousand years ago. They branched based on the means in which they obtained food. Pastoral
societies, which mainly kept livestock such as sheep, goats and cattle, settled in low rainfall areas
and they normally led a nomadic life. On the other hand, horticultural societies depend on plants
cultivation by use of hand tools. They developed permanent settlements and did horticulture as a
means of obtaining food.
The second social revolution is agriculture. Agricultural societies used better and more
efficient tools to do agriculture. It was characterized by the use of animals to pull plows and thus
more food was produced. The availability of more food enabled people to engage themselves in
other activities other than farming. There were also inventions wheel, writings and numbers,
which was sometimes called the dawn of civilization (Henslin, 2009).
Another yet social revolution was industrial revolution. Industrial societies enjoyed more
advanced machines. More food was produced. This led to the emergence of wealthy individuals
and thus leading to the increase in social inequality. Homeless people went to cities to survive
and ended up engaging in acts such as stealing and working for low wages in order to sustain

Social Structure

The fourth sociological revolution is the post industrial revolution or information period.
Information societies had more advanced technology. The basic component of this society is
information. Different professionals share their specialized knowledge to different people.
People in this society do not necessarily produce something; rather they transmit or use
information they have to offer services in line with their area of specialization to other who are
willing to pay for them.
Lastly, the fifth sociological revolution is biotech. Biotech society is mainly
characterized by alteration of genetic structures of organisms. There are many genetically
modified products in this new society. Plants are modified to suit certain environmental
conditions. Animals and plants have been made to produce food in abundant more than what
they could produce in the usual way.
In conclusion, our society set standards which we are supposed to live with based on our
statuses. The society itself establishes values and believes that we are to adhere to. It determines
the level of social inequality in the society (Henslin, 2009).


Social Structure

Henslin, J.M. (2009). Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-earth Approach with Mysoclab Access
Card. S.l.: Pearson,