Abstraction is generally defined as a conceptual process of complexity reduction that highlights the essential properties or first principles of a given object or idea. 
Benjamin Bratton of the Center for Design and Geopolitics referred to abstraction as a function of intelligence for an organism to “map its own surroundings,” particularly with respect to food, friend, or foe. The formalizing of modes of reasoning is but a projection of this “primordial abstraction.” As we evolve more complex forms of intelligence, ‘abstraction as mapping’ is the general principle of that complexification.
Society is an abstract concept. Abstraction is also a social and material process. Society is also becoming increasingly abstract. These are a few fundamental ways in which abstraction is a vital concept in sociology.