In the field, it refers to the organization of many interconnected parts of a society. Social order exists when individuals agree on a common social contract that states that certain rules and laws must be respected and certain norms, values and norms must be respected. Social structure, in sociology, the distinctive and stable arrangement of institutions through which people interact and live together in a society. Social structure is often treated in conjunction with the concept of social change, which deals with the forces that alter the social structure and organization of society. Social order can be observed within national societies, geographical regions, institutions and organizations, communities, formal and informal groups, and even at the level of global society. A true understanding of how the social order is constructed must take into account all these contradictory aspects. Thomas Hobbes is considered the first to articulate the problem clearly, for the response to which he conceived the concept of social contract. Social theorists (such as Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Jürgen Habermas) have offered various explanations of what a social order is and its real basis. For Marx, the relations of production or the economic structure are the basis of the social order. For Durkheim, it is a set of common social norms. For Parsons, it is a set of social institutions that regulate the model of action orientation, which in turn is based on a framework of cultural values.
For Habermas, it is all this as well as communicative action. Another key factor in the social order is the principle of extensivity. The more norms there are, and the more important they are to a society, the better these norms bind and hold the group together as a whole. The question of how social order is achieved and maintained is the question that produced the field of sociology. Durkheim theorized that through the culture shared by a group, community, or society, a sense of social connection – what he called solidarity – arose between and between people, and it worked to connect them into a collective. The German philosopher Karl Marx had a different view of the social order. Focusing on the transition from pre-capitalist to capitalist economies and their impact on society, he developed a theory of social order focused on the economic structure of society and the social relations associated with the production of goods. Marx believed that these aspects of society were responsible for establishing social order, while others, including social institutions and the state, were responsible for maintaining it. He described these two components of society as basic and superstructure. Studies of social structure attempt to explain problems such as integration and trends towards inequality. When studying these phenomena, sociologists analyze organizations, social categories (e.g., age groups), or rates (e.g., crime or birth).
This approach, sometimes called formal sociology, is not directly related to individual behavior or interpersonal interaction. Therefore, the study of social structure is not considered a behavioural science; At this level, the analysis is too abstract. This is a step far from looking at concrete human behavior, although the phenomena studied in the social structure are due to the fact that people react to each other and their environment. However, those who study social structure follow an empirical (observational) approach in research, methodology, and epistemology. Values can be defined as “internal evaluation criteria”. Values are also divided into two categories, there are individual values that relate to something we think is worthwhile, and then there are social values. Social values are our desires that are modified according to ethical principles or according to the group with which we connect: friends, family or colleagues. Standards tell us what people should do in a given situation. Unlike values, norms are applied externally – or outside of themselves. A society as a whole determines the norms, and they can be passed down from generation to generation. Social order is a necessary feature of any society and it is deeply important for building a sense of belonging and connection with others.
At the same time, the social order is also responsible for producing and maintaining oppression. While some sociologists agree with Durkheim`s or Marx`s view of social order, most recognize that both theories have their validity. A differentiated understanding of the social order must recognize that it is the product of multiple and sometimes contradictory processes. According to Hobbes, modern states were created to ensure social order. People agree to give the state the power to enforce the rule of law and, in return, they give up some of the individual power. This is the essence of the social contract that underlies Hobbes` theory of social order. Before these different theoretical conceptions can be discussed, however, some remarks must be made on the general aspects of the social structure of a society. Social life is structured according to the dimensions of time and space. Some social activities take place at certain times, and time is divided into periods associated with the rhythms of social life – the routines of the day, month and year. Specific social activities are also organized in some places; Some places are intended, for example, for activities such as working, praying, eating and sleeping. The territorial boundaries delimit these places and are defined by property rules that govern the use and possession of scarce goods. In addition, there is a more or less regular division of labour in each society.
Another universal structural feature of human societies is the regulation of violence. All violence is a potentially disruptive force; At the same time, it is a means of coercion and coordination of activities. People have formed political entities such as nations in which the use of force is strictly regulated and which are at the same time organized for the use of violence against outside groups. Practices, behaviors, values and beliefs that contradict those of the social order are generally portrayed as deviant and/or dangerous and limited by the application of laws, rules, norms and taboos. Through his study of the role of religion in primitive and traditional societies, French sociologist Émile Durkheim came to believe that social order arose from the shared beliefs, values, norms, and practices of a particular group of people.