Social Institution

Major structural entitities in sociocultural systems that address a basic need of the system. Institutions involve fixed modes of behavior backed by strong norms and sanctions that tend to be followed by most members of a society. It may also, be defined as an organizational system which functions to satisfy basic social needs by providing an ordered framework linking the individual to the larger culture. A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value. Obviously, the sociologist does not define institutions in the same way as does the person on the street.

Lay persons are likely to use the term “institution” very loosely, for churches, hospitals, jails, and many other things as institutions. Commonly, experts officially recognize five major social institutions that have been evident in some way in every civilization in history. GENERAL FUCTIONS OF SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS 1. Institution Satisfy the Basic Needs of Society. 2. Institution Define Dominant Social Values. “Bill of Rights” 3. Institutions Establish Permanent Patterns of Social Behavior Monogamy 4. Institutions Support Other Institutions. “Adultery”. 5. Institutions Provide Roles for Individuals .

Husband and Wife. TYPES OF SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS * FAMILY * RELIGION * EDUCATION * GOVERNMENT * ECONOMICS FAMILY AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION Family as a Social Institution The word family originally meant A Band Of Slaves. (Coontz 1999) It is worth noting this when looking at the origins of Families. For even when the word came to apply to persons affiliated by blood and marriage this was more in relation to the notion of families as authority relations rather than our modern terminology being of families as groups of loved ones.

It is also important to note that marriage in those other than the elite in most white Christian societies was not a ceremony performed until the last 250 years or so. This was because of the way in which land and other things of value were to be divided and as only the rich had to worry about disbursement of assets after their deaths they were the only ones that needed in essence to be legally married. But regardless of the Religious and or legal ceremonies surrounding the union of marriage past or present the concept of family has remained very strong. The family has always been a fundamental building block……

To be seen as a family or part of a family is something that will be important to our society for a very long time to come. So as stated throughout this paper it is not so much a question of is family important but of the fact that it is very important and to what extent we will now as a society go to in the future in order to define our families, just so that we can all no matter if we are, gay, straight, childless, have 2 dogs, live with step parents foster parents etc call ourselves part of a family. THE SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS OF THE FAMILY 1. The control and regulation of sexual behavior. 2. To provide for new members of society (children). 3.

To provide for the economic and emotional maintenace of individuals. 4. To provide for primary socialization of children. RELIGION AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION The view in the title is a functionalist’s view. Durkheim claims thatreligion is to do with the sacred and certain things, people and places are perceived to be sacred for example Jesus Christ, totem and the Tajmahal. He claims that what people perceive to be sacred are actually symbols of a collective consciousness. By worshipping these sacred things etc. they are actually reinforcing the beliefs, values, norms and tradition which make social life possible.

He says religion reinforces and strengthens social solidarity. Malinowski says that religion meets the psychological needs of people; there are two situations that religion is characteristically involved. The first of these is life crises such as birth and death, these events may lead to uncertainty and religion provides valuable mental attitudes. The second is where the out come is uncertain but important for example the Trobriand islanders and their fishing. In this way according to Malinowski religion reinforces social solidarity. Wisdom and arts and in Hinduism goddesses are important.

Although feminists claim that religion does not have that many female professional’s many women have developed leadership roles through religion for example Ellen white founded the Seventh Day Adventist church and thousands of women around the world have leadership roles in the Christian Pentecostal movement. Feminist’s views of religion provide insight into gender inequality in religion but ignore other aspects of religion and therefore are of limited use. THE SPECIFIC FUNCTION OF RELIGION 1. Providing solutions for unexplained natural, phenomena. 2. Supplying a means for controlling the natural world. 3.

Religion tends to support the normative structure of the society. 4. Furnishing a psychological diversion from unwanted life situations. 5. Sustaining the existing class structure. 6. Religion serves as an instrument of socialization.

7. Religion may both promote and retard social change. 8. Religion may both reduce and encourage conflict in groups. GOVERNMENT AS A SOCIAL INSTTIUTION A government is an institution entrusted with making and enforcing the rules of a society as well as with regulating relations with other societies. In order to be considered a government, a ruling body must be recognized as such by the people it purports to govern.

A person or group that considers itself the leading body of a society has no power if the members of the society do not recognize the person or group as such. Government is an institution because it consists the bodies of legislature, executive and judiciary has the power over the citizens in the state as well as the foreigners within the state.

THE SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS OF GOVERMENT 1. The Institutionalization of norms (Laws). 2. The enforcement of laws. 3. The adjudication of conflict (Court). 4. Provide for the welfare of members of society. 5. Protection of Society from external threat.