Characteristics Of Social Institutions

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In any society we see that each of us as individuals occupies a place or position. Each one of us has a status and a role or roles, but these are not simply what we as individuals choose. They are not like roles a film actor may or may not opt to do. There are social institutions that constrain and control, punish and reward. They could be ‘macro’ social institutions like the state or ‘micro’ ones like the family.

Social institutions are integral part of a human society because they are one of the most important structural elements that govern behavior in various spheres of social life. Social institutions exist in response to and to satisfy the needs of the society. They include the family, education, religion, marriage, economic and political
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• Social institutions are a set of norms that cluster around several critical events in individuals’ life in group.
• Social institutions usually refer to definite type of social group such as the family, the school, the religion, the law, the economy which are organized to take care of universally important life problems. Birth, marriage and death for example are life events that are shared by all men, no matter what their culture. Each culture attaches quite different values to the various ways in which people may behave in the face of these events and through its institutions each society regulates such behavior.

Characteristics of Social Institutions:
1. SIs is a group of people come together for common purpose
2. It has a set of social norms organised safeguarding of a basic societal values
3. Govern the behavior and expectations of set of individuals within a given community
4. Has tasks, roles and responsibilities that contributes for overall functioning and stability of society
5. Each SI possess distinctive practices and differ from each other
6. SIs are support each other and are interdependent and interrelated in many ways
7. SIs are of formal and informal in
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Social institutions tend to reinforce inequalities and uphold the power of dominant groups. All social institutions whether family, religion, political, economic, legal or educational will operate in the interest of the dominant sections of society be it class, caste or gender. The dominant social section not only dominates political and economic institutions but also ensures that the ruling class ideas become the ruling ideas of society. This is very different from the idea of functionalist’s view that these institutions are based on needs of a

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