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Morphological concept of social structure

The morphological conception of the social structure finds a similarity with the interactionist perspective but it is conceived in a microscopic manner. It rests on the premise that people remain engaged in stable interaction relative to certain specified but highly generalized cultural expectation. Social morphology can be better understood in terms of network of social relationship between social facts. The organismic analogy of the Herbert Spencer serves as a guiding principle for social morphology according to Emile Durkheim. Organismic analogy deals with that social relationship which is patterned and recurrent between individuals and groups thereby resulting into interdependence and integration. The structural functional perspective holds that social structures offer a relatively stable and ordered nature of social relationship. The similar concept of social morphology was given by Radcliffe Brown who analyzed it as a function of social relationship. He outlined the differences in the nature of social relationship in structural pattern. Despite of their differences all these models of structural analysis emphasize regularity and stability. The cultural viewpoint envisages that social structure emerges as an object of orientation. It further holds that such structure primarily has two elements cultural and systematic. These elements guide actions of individual, group and morphological entities. On the other hand the interaction and morphological viewpoint view social structure as the totality of groups and morphological patterns with the group pattern containing the individual patterns. Althusser by criticizing Berger and Luckman analyzed the old age debate of agency with social structures. He criticized them in their view on dialectical processes of human interaction in which the individuals when institutionalized give the meaning. He by giving an alternate perspective argued that human agency is only the bearer or agents of the structures and social relations. Karl Marx analyzed the role of social structures in sustaining inequalities in the society. He used the concept of structure to denote the distribution of resources. He held that structures are symbolic. It is material and political resources that the actors employ in their interactions. He used the concept of dialects by which conflict is produced in interaction process. This conflict in turn changes the very nature of social relationship. All these coupled together changes social structure. Anthony Giddens used the term structuration to express mutual dependency of human agency and social structure. Social structure should be viewed in conjunction with social action.









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