The society consists of a large number of individuals, families, group and institutions. The early political thinkers considered both state and society as one. State is a part of society but is not a form of society.
Prof. Earnest Barker in his book entitled 'Principles of Social and Political Theory' clearly brings out the difference between state and society under three headings. They are,
1. Purpose or function
2. Organisation and structure
From the point of view of purpose the state is a legal association, which acts for the single purpose of making and
enforcing a permanent system of law and order.
But society comprising of a plurality of associations, acts for a variety of purposes other than legal.
These purposes are
5. Aesthetic and
The membership of the state and society are the same. But they differ as regards purpose. The state exists for one great but single, purpose; society exists for a number of purposes some great and some small, but all in their aggregate deep as well as broad.
From the point of view of organization the state is a single organization - legal, whereas society comprises within itself many organizations.
As regards method as pointed out before the state employs the method of coercion or compulsion, society employs method of voluntary action.
The purposes for which society exists makes the persuasive methods necessary and the multiplicity of its organization give ample opportunity to the members to relinquish one association and join another in case coercion is ever attempted.