Social structure refers to the pattern of social relationships in a society. Such structure regulates the interactions among members of the society, providing guidelines within the cultural norms for achieving the goals defined by cultural values. Generally, social structure maintains societal stability. However, when the social structure and the societal values become incompatible, the structure must embrace social change to allow the society to survive and continue healthy development. While a variety of sociological approaches have sought to describe the development and maintenance of social structure, understanding the relationship between structure and change is necessary for the development of a peaceful world society.
A term used to describe the discrepancy between people who have access to and the resources to use new information and communication tools, such as the Internet, and people who do not have the resources and access to the technology. The term also describes the discrepancy between those who have the skills, knowledge and abilities to use the technologies and those who do not. The digital divide can exist between those living in rural areas and those living in urban areas, between the educated and uneducated, between economic classes, and on a global scale between more and less industrially developed nations.