social system


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social system

  1. any, especially a relatively persistent, ‘patterning of social relations across “time-space", understood as reproduced practices’ (GIDDENS, 1984). Thus in this general sense, a SOCIETY, or any ORGANIZATION or GROUP constitutes a social system. For Giddens, however, social systems are highly variable in the degree to which they manifest a 'systematic pattern’. They ‘rarely have the sort of internal unity’ true of biological systems, or of the kind usually assumed by FUNCTIONALISM (see also SYSTEM, SYSTEMS THEORY). Compare also SOCIAL STRUCTURE, STRUCTURE.
  2. (more specifically, as in FUNCTIONALISM) any persistent system of interaction between two or more social actors up to and including a unitary SOCIETY, especially where this is associated with a tendency of the system to boundary maintenance, i.e. to preserve its position vis-a-vis its external environment, whether this be other social systems or the physical world. In PARSONS’ thinking (1951), and in most modern forms of functionalist and STRUCTURAL-FUNCTIONALIST sociology, such a conception of social system has been particularly associated with conceptions of FUNCTIONAL PREREQUISITES of societies and of societies as self-maintaining systems, etc. (see also SYSTEMS THEORY, SUBSYSTEMS MODEL).
References in periodicals archive ?
Washington, Jan 12 (ANI): A thesis from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) has shown that leaders in the Bronze Age knew how to use power effectively in order to create notably stable social systems.
Thus, using Italy to discover new freedoms of social discourse enabled Shakespeare to create "urban centers in which the privileges of rank and the rigidity of the social system are softened, if not entirely forgotten," so that he had "the potential for a reshaping, if not a transformation, of society" (9).
The fact that he dealt so delicately with how people relate within the context of the most extreme and brutal social system may have drawn me to that.
That institution, which had died out in the North, was now the foundation of the South's plantation economy--and the legal backbone of a social system for keeping blacks in submission.
Above all, buildings must engage the enthusiasm and creativity of their occupants -- in many cases those at the bottom of South Africa's monstrously skewed social system, the marginalised and dispossessed township populations.
But racial segregation was a social system, codified and impersonalized by law.
It does not do away with hierarchy, but replaces the megamachine with a humanistic social system.
It makes sense that the total activity in a social system would be non-linear, because in a social system, the more people there are, the more things there are to do," said Mike Thelwall, of the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
LONDON, May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Manfred Davidmann has shown that underlying Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the Pentateuch's benevolent and egalitarian social laws and social system which include laws protecting the people by restraining the behavior of their rulers.
Rather than approaching Kateryn Parr narrowly as an individual, James places her within the context of her family social system, the kinship group with which she identified and remained close throughout her life.
He also quoted a viewer who asked whether our entire social system will be "washed away in a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal.
Social Identity also seeks to explain both the longevity of the tsarist social system, and its breakdown in revolution.

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