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A social system basically consists of two or more individuals interacting directly or indirectly in a bounded situation.

Social systems are open systems exchanging information with, and frequently acting with refrain to other systems. Examples of social system are political parties and whole society. Modern conceptions of the term ‘social system’ can be traced to the leading sociologists such as Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim.

But the most valuable explanations have been those of T. Parsons in his book The Structure of Social Action,’ 1937. Parsons defines a social system as consisting in ‘a plurality of individual actors interacting with each other in a situation which has at-least a physical or environmental aspect.


It is generally recognised that, it is necessary to distinguish social from cultural and personality system – although the term social system is sometimes used to include all these three.

While personality system refers to those aspects of the human personality which affect the individual’s social functioning and cultural system covers actual beliefs, concrete system of values and symbolic means of communication, social system in this context refers to forms and modes of interaction and organisation, such as the authority structure of an organization or the division of functions in a family.

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