‘Social structure’ is one of the central and basic concepts of sociology. After World War II, the concept of social structure became popular in social anthropological studies and since then, it is applied to almost any ordered arrangement of social phenomena. Social structure is a pattern or arrangement of elements of a society in an organized and collec­tive way. The interactions and behaviour of the members of a society are stable and pat­terned. These stable patterns of interaction are called ‘social structures’.

Social structure is the framework of society that sets limits and establishes standards for our behaviour. It is, thus, defined simply as any recurring pattern of social behaviour. A social structure includes or is made-up of elements of society, such as institutions, statuses, roles, groups and social classes. Sociologists study social structure by examining the elements or parts that comprise it.

The study of social structure with the principal form of social organization, that is, types of groups, associations and institutions and the complex of these which constitutes societies. – Ginsberg.

The term ‘social structure’ applies to the particular arrangement of inter-related institutions, agencies and social patterns as well as the statuses and roles, which each person assumes in the group. – Talcott Parsons.

As now we have discussed about the concept of social structure, let us now proceed with the rural social structure of Indian villages that is unique and maintains a separate culture of their own, away from urban societies. Though the influence of urban areas is felt on rural areas, there are some specific aspects, which occupy a significant place in the rural society.

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