Patrimonialism and corporatism are the cultural variables that have a determinant importance in explaining the social structure of Turkey. The relations between the individual and the state, likewise those between the individuals, are shaped by the mold of these cultural variables. Patriarchal family ties, hierarchical expectations, weakness of civil society, and the dominant power of the obedience culture are some examples of the effect of these cultural variables on the social structure. Besides, the patrimonialist and corporatist cultural elements have been nourished by the economic and class variables throughout the history in Turkey. Starting from the Gokturk state, the central authority and the despotic state tradition which did not allow the capital accumulation have nurtured the patrimonial culture. On the other hand, the Ottoman state tradition that attaches importance to the concept of "nizam” (order) or the protection of the order even more than the concept of state, has been influential in the development of the codes of the corporatist culture in Turkey. At the beginning of the 20th century, Kemalists took over the political power and supported the view of "corporatist society" as a function of securing their power against the lower classes. Therefore, it is an obvious necessity to use the concepts of corporatism and patrimonialism in explaining the social structure of today's Turkey.
Keywords: social structure, social change, Turkish Modernization, Historical Materialism, Patrimonialism, Corporatism