Social Structure refers to a normal pattern of behaviour. This can include the way we respond to our family, work environment, or school setting. Unfortunately, there are some functions of social structure that are largely unrecognized and unintended. This type of structure gives us the ability to form and develop a shape to our lives. This consists of home life, our jobs and, even in our everyday life.
Social Function refers to the different functions of society. The end result is to function in a way that continues to keep society ongoing. The functional part of our social world keeps our society in existence. Our social world is what keeps our society in existence. Our society could be compared to the food chain. The food chain begins with the smaller animals eating bugs and plants. Then larger animals eat all the smaller animals. The larger animals are then be eaten by human beings. These animals work independently to survive, which allows the food chain to be successful and functional. The social world all works together just as we see it working through the food chain, both independently and collectively.
An illustration for the structural-functional paradigm would be an assembly line in a factory. This, in large, seems very complex and complicated, but, yet when it is broken down it is easier to understand. Each part of the assembly line has its own job or place in the line. Without one part being completed in the correct order the item(s) being prepared would not be completed.