A superstructure is an upward extension of an existing structure above a baseline. This term is applied both to physical structures like buildings, bridges or ships and to conceptual structures as well (e.g., in
social sciences). The word superstructure is a combination of "super" ( Latinfor "above, in addition") with the word "structure" (also from Latin, meaning "to build" or "to heap up"). Engineering
In order to improve
seismic performanceof buildings and bridges, a superstructure may be separated from its basement or footing, called here a substructure, with a system of earthquake protective devices called base isolation. Ships
As stated above, superstructure is material which projects above the main deck. However, the term "superstructure" should be used carefully, as this only applies to structure which stretches for the full breadth of the vessel; otherwise the structure is known as a "deck house." Superstructure can have many implications on ships, as it can greatly alter its structural rigidity and a vessel’s displacement, which can be detrimental to a ship’s performance if considered incorrectly. The superstructure on a vessel also affects the amount of
freeboardthat a vessel requires. Very broadly, the more superstructure a ship has (as a fraction of length), the less freeboardis needed. Mathematics
mathematics, the superstructure over a set "S" is used in one of the approaches to non-standard analysis.huh The notion is also used in the construction of a universal set. Social sciences
social sciences, superstructure is the set of socio-psychological feedback loops that maintain a coherent and meaningful structurein a given society, or part thereof. It can include the culture, institutions, power structures, roles, and rituals of the society. It is that which, through conditioned behaviors (both interpersonal and situational), enforces a set of constraints and guidelines on human activity in a stable and effective fashion, such that it engenders a society's characteristic organization, and it is that characteristic organization itself.
By most sociological schema, superstructure does not refer to the specific materials of an organization, such as a school or a store, but rather to the set of psychological or
semanticconfigurations whereby that structure is rationalized and reproduced in human experience. That is, it is the "invisible force" behind or within the structure, or perhaps, it is the anthropocentric "reason" for the structure.
According to one sociological perspective, superstructure may be revealed by examining the direct interpersonal engagements that take place within canonical (typical) settings or situations, through the hermeneutic of
Marxistsocial theory, superstructure is the particular form through which human subjectivity engages with the material substance of society.
*Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). "Studying Popular Music". Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15275-9.
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