Karl Marx defined the basis of society as all the material, economic, and social relations of a society. He claimed that the way a society thinks, the kinds of political institutions there are, the laws it has, religion, morals, art, philosphy and science are the society's superstructure which is caused by the basis of society. Marx divided the basis of society into three levels, society's conditions of production, society's means of production, and society's production relations. Society's conditions of production refer to the natural conditions or resources that are available to society, and determines the type of production in the society. Thats is why it can be said that this level determines the nature and culture of a society. Society's means of production means the various kinds of equipment, tools, machinery, and raw materials that are available to society. Society's production relations, the last level, refers to the division of labor, or the distribution of work and ownership.
This is a picture of a little village in the middle of the desert which shows society's conditions of production because these people have to rely on other sources to get their food supply due to the fact that it must be very hard to grow their own food in that unfertile soil.
This is an image of a construction site in India, that shows that they do not have access to modern and high quality materials to build their buildings, which makes us guess that they do not have very big buildings and actually live ina poor neighborhood. This picture shows the second level in the basis of society, society's means of production.
This picture shows the final level of the basis of society, society's production relations. It is very clear in this picture who works for who, it can be assumed that the guy in the suit is the owner of whatever they are building and the short guy is his worker.
The basis of society can be related to the area of ethics. Before people did not consider slavery or the abuse of workers as something bad, because they had no other means for production, and until machines subtituted these workers they continued to exploit them.
The basis of society can also be related to the area of human sciences, more specific to the branch of economics. It takes money to own any means of production and to be able to distrubute it aswell. To be able to buy all the equipment, tools, and machinery needed to produce and to be able to provide good conditions for production.