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Levels of Social Structure

The word structure comes from the Latin verb struo, to join together, build, arrange, or order. Struo is related to the Greek verb stornymi, to spread smooth or level (Rosen 1980: 32). Etymologically, structures are constructed unities that exhibit an internal architecture by virtue of having their component parts smoothed out into levels by the reticulating operations of analysis and synthesis. When these operations are performed over the domain of social relationships, intergroup relations, and social institutions, the result is an analytical model of the levels of social structure. By levels of social structure one means the layered demarcation of the elemental and supervening components of a complex association (however defined analytically) into a series of units of increasing scale and complexity. The differentiated and/or ...

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