Despite the importance of the concept of social structure, sociologists have not agreed on how to define it and discussions have been plagued by confusion. In this concise and enlightening text, Jos L pez and John Scott argue that analysing the conceptual frameworks in which different concepts of social structure are embedded can help to clarify their meanings and reshape debates. They show that competing conceptions of social structure can be seen as capturing significant and different aspects of the reality of social organization. This volume is organized around a discussion of "institutional structure", "relational structure" and "embodied structure". It argues that these conceptions of social structure can be fruitfully combined in order to provide a more powerful overview, incorporating the work of principal contributors from Marx and Durkheim, through Parsons and Simmel, to Giddens, Foucault and Bourdieu.