In sociology, social structure…
In sociology, social structure is classifiable, stable order of institutions where in human beings in a society enables them to interact and live together. Social structure is usually treated together with the idea of social change, that correspond with the forces that change the social structure and the organization of society.StructurationStructuration Theory is a social theory of the creation and reproduction of social systems that is based in the analysis of both structure and agents, without giving primacy to either. In structuration theory, it is either focused on micro- nor macro- analysis alone are sufficient. The theory was introduced by a sociologist named Anthony Giddens, most importantly in The Constitution of Society, which examines phenomenology, hermeneutics, and social practices at the inseparable intersection of structures and agents. Its proponents have adopted and expanded this balanced position.
Though the theory has received much criticism, it remains a pillar of contemporary sociological theory. (https://www.definitions.net/definition/Structuration)To begin with, Giddens’ approach starts from recognizing the daily routines that everyone actively does and remake the structure in their daily life basis. Structuration is a useful concept in analyzing process of the active making and remaking of social structure. (Giddens and Sutton 2017) pp 89Giddens theory of structuration notes the social life is more random individual acts but is not merely determined by social forsive. For him, human agency, social structure and the relationship with each other and it is the repetitive of the acts of individual agent which reproduces the structure.
Agency as Giddens calls it human action. To be an agent, it is either critical to both reproduction and the transformation of the society. Agency as a micro perspective wherein individuals has the ability to make choices and make decisions– “Free will”On the other hand, structure as a macro perspective wherein social forces that exist outside the individuals can have impact in decision making and it plays a big role in one’s choice.Social Institutions provide people the paths and roads in each life. They are the deeper positions that already been created. They established institution of culture, politics, and economy that enable us to go further, faster, easier to do more that enable us, but they also constrain us, and they are the framework through which power can be exercise. When we take these pathways, we give over our agency and choices to travel along roads that have already created by someone else, someone else is defining our choices along these paths and so allowing them to have power over us.
The pattern of social arrangement in the society that are both emergent from and determinant of such actions and relationship between agents is a social structure. Structure are designed to facilitate order while social change requires some forms of individuals initiative, so if we ask “How do we as individual change the social structure around us?Here we see the interdependency between the two. We need structure that often constrain individuals, but we need individuals to test and change the structure, so they can develop. We need orders, rules, obedience and the structure that they bring but we also need individuals who sometimes break and test those rules to make them manifest and progress. By people giving over their agency, they allow the organization to take over in their behalf. Submit to follow orders and obedience to the agenda, without this submission and coordination we have no form of structure. For it is only by police officers following orders that can arrest unlawful people.
It is only by people choosing to go to work everyday that we get business organization and so on.As a Sociologist, Giddens was looking at on how people interact with each other and how those actions then create rules and structure by which people engage their behavior. And because it’s a sociological theory and our communication theory, it often still applies to a vast array of social situations, but before we get to that, let us look on the basics of this theory. First, it is a cybernetic theory, he is interested in the system and the structures that are created within any group of people, from a small group of three to a large organization, even to nations and countries on how they interact.One of the terms that is famous from Giddens theory is the duality of structure. The duality of structure. Giddens recasts the two independent sets of phenomena (dualism) of structure and agency as a ‘duality’ – two concepts which are dependent upon each other and recursively related.
‘The structural properties of social systems are both medium and outcome of the practices they recursively organize’ (Giddens 1984 pp 25). Social structure and human interaction are broken down into three dimensions (for analysis) and the recursive character of these dimensions is illustrated by the linking modalities. Thus, as human actors communicate, they draw on interpretative schemes to help make sense of interactions; at the same time those interactions reproduce and modify those interpretative schemes which are embedded in social structure as meaning or signification. Similarly, the facility to allocate resources is enacted in the wielding of power, and produces and reproduces social structures of domination, and moral codes (norms) help determine what can be sanctioned in human interaction, which iteratively produce structures of legitimation. (duality of structure, Giddens 1984)Structuration theory in relationship to digital worldSocial phenomena are behavior which influences or is influenced by others to respond to one another. This includes influences from past generations up to the present. And as we live in this modern age, its either it helps us influence or we are being influenced by such phenomena in this modern age.
How this digital world affects us? We now spend more time online each day than we do sleeping. But how does that affect our everyday lives? What effect does it have on how we communicate and interact, how we work and engage with the rest of the world?