According to Radcliff-Brown social structure is a part of the social structure of all social relations of person to person. In the study of social structure the concrete reality with which we are concerned is the set of actually existing relations at a given moment of time which link together certain human beings.
A more general definition of social structure is that social structure refers to the enduring orderly and patterned relationships between the elements of a society. According to Raymond Firth it makes no distinction between the ephemeral and the most enduring elements in social activity and it makes it almost impossible to distinguish the idea of the structure of society from that of the totality of the society itself.
According to S.F Nadal structure refers to a definable articulation and ordered arrangement of parts. It is related to the outer aspect or the framework of society and is totally unconcerned with the functional aspect of society. So he has emphasized that the social structure refers to the network of social relationship which is created among the human beings when they interact with each other according to their statuses in accordance with the patterns of society. He has emphasized that the social structure refers to the network of social relationship which is created among the human beings when they interact with each other according to their statuses in accordance with the patterns of society.
According to Ginsberg the study of social structure is concerned with the principal form of social organization that is types of groups, associations and institutions and the complex of these which constitute societies.
According to Karl Mannheim social structure refers to the web of interacting social forces from which have arisen the various modes of observing and thinking. Social structure is an abstract and intangible phenomenon Individuals are the units of association and institutions are the units of social structure. These institutions and associations are inter-related in a particular arrangement and thus create the pattern of social structure. It refers to the external aspect of society which is relatively stable as compared to the functional or internal aspect of society. Social structure is a living structure which is created, maintained for a time and changes.