Understanding Social Structure

Miss Lynch
6th Grade Social Studies
Three basic needs are: food, clothing, and
What else does a society need to provide its
◦ Protection against outside groups
◦ Maintain cooperation among its members
◦ Raise and educate its young people
Customs are:
◦ A societies pattern of behavior to meet their needs.
◦ The ways that members of a society do things.
Customs include:
What they eat
How they dress
How they build their homes
Holidays they celebrate
◦ Based on rules for the proper behavior of
individuals in particular positions and situations.
Gender Roles
◦ Are roles that are assigned separately to men and
Organizations, known as institutions, are
developed by each society to make social
roles clear and take care of social needs. The
main types are:
◦ Families
◦ Schools
◦ Government
People who shares similar wealth and power are
usually in the same social class.
There are several types of social classes:
◦ Upper-Class: group that often inherits wealth and is in
◦ Middle Class: group is educated and successful
◦ Working Class: group is made up of manual labor
◦ Peasants: farm workers with little education.
◦ Lower Class: group is uneducated and unskilled, often
Social Mobility
◦ The ability to move from one class to the other.
Every society has a set of beliefs, which are
often closely tied to religion
Most religions have 3 common elements:
1. A set of beliefs about the nature of the universe
and the existence of God/gods.
2. A set of practices relating to worship and proper
conduct in life.
3. An organization, such as a church, which
oversees the conduct of religious practices.