In social science, a social organization is an informal social network typified by norms, processes, and outcomes. In this sense, social organizations are not unlike coalitions or political parties. We can make a social organization out of many social entities, like schools, families, work teams, friendship groups, religious groups, civic organizations, labor unions, political clubs, fraternal organizations, and voluntary organizations. It forms most social organizations to address some common social issues, like helping the poor, homeless, children, the handicapped, or women.
A social organization has its own language, customs, norms, rules, and ways of doing things. It also has a social memory, an enduring human memory of the ways of life of the members of the social organization. All these social aspects bind in determining the meaning and purpose of an organized body. The social organization makes up an integrated whole, a complex comprising various parts whose interaction and association produce a dynamic social whole. Social organizations are thus an organizing force that shapes and forms the human body.
In social organizations, the members interact among themselves according to some general purposes, like the common cause of social justice, the promotion of social welfare, or the improvement of the conditions of the poor. The social organization thus provides a particular role in the larger context of social interaction among people. Within the social organization, the members cooperate in accord with each other to attain the common ends. These social relationships provide the basis for social capital, which is the substance that enables social organizations to organize, grow, and survive. Social capital is the actual set of inter-personal relations that exist between individuals within a social organization.
The elements of social capital comprise the social relationships that individuals have with one another, the social institutions that they share, and the institutions and practices that they observe and practice in their day-to-day interactions among themselves. A social system is a complex body of reciprocal relationships that links people through various social institutions and enables them to interact among themselves and with other individuals. Thus, a social system is an organized body of interaction among human beings designed to ensure the existence and sustenance of each individual. Social systems are highly organized, having a central organization, membership, and a hierarchy that ensures the control and defense of the social body.
A social organization also has various levels of the organization, each contributing to the maintenance and furtherance of the social body. The levels of organization comprise the family, the group, the organization, the community, the nation, and the international level. Within any social organization, the different levels of an organization ensure and promote the maintenance and furtherance of the social body. It is in the classically social relationship that we can discern the essence of social relationship.
Social institutions enable and encourage social interaction among human beings. The various social relationships built on mutual understanding and respect provide a platform for the flourishing of social organization among human beings and help them understand their place in the world and the manner best to serve the social body. As social organizations are highly organized, they find it quite natural to organize among themselves because of such understanding and respect for one another.