The Idea of Social Structure

The Idea of Social Structure

The Idea of Social Structure

The Idea of Social Structure

Excerpt

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1651

The word Person is latine: instead whereof the Greeks have prosopon, which signifies the Face as Persona in latine signifies the disguise , or outward appearance of a man, counterfeited on the Stage; and sometimes more particularly that part of it, which disguiseth the face, as a Mask or Visard: And from the Stage, hath been translated to any Representer of speech and action, as well in Tribunalls, as Theaters. So that a Person , is the same that an Actor is, both on the Stage and in common Conversation.

AN INITIAL ASSUMPTION

The idea of social structure has evolved over the last two or three generations in anthropology and sociology. In one way or another, structural conceptions inform most current analyses of institutions. But the evolution of the ideas has not been without struggle, and controversy is still with us. Ideas about the anatomy of human society underlie our best hopes . . .

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