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Lecture

social institutions.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA01H3
Professor
Mortenser
Semester
Winter

Description
Social Institutions  when most people hear the work “institution”, they think about a building (school, hospital, prison etc.)  in sociology, a social institution is an organization or social framework whose function is to meet the basic needs of its members by providing direction and operating principles for society  example: a prison is a physical institution, but it’s a social institution as well—it’s part of the institution of government, which is responsible for maintaining public order  example: school is a public institution and part of the social institution, education  functions of social institutions:  satisfy the basic needs of society`s members (healthcare)  demonstrate dominant values and beliefs (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms)  establish enduring patterns of social behaviour (caring for children)  define roles for individuals to emulate (husband vs. wife)  the underlying goal of all social institutions is to satisfy individual needs and provide an orderly structure for the benefit of all society  social institutions also provide a way for different agents of socialization to transmit important beliefs and attitudes to the population  although distinct in their roles and overall purpose, social institutions perform the basic function of promoting social cohesion Theoretical Perspectives of Social Institutions  conflict theorists (Marx) would agree that the purpose of social institutions is to meet the needs of their members  their greatest criticism would be that social institutions may have strayed from their original purpose to serve the individual; over time, social institutions have come to represent the interests of a small, wealthy, and privileged minority  marginalised groups in society may not be fully recognized of social institutions because social power is in the hands of the wealthy few (who allow minimal access to the social resources that were meant to serve all of society)  conflict theorists see institutions as roadblocks, hindering the general population from gaining equal access to social resources  structural functionalises (Max Weber) would say that social institutions perform an integral function in modern life and their core purpose is the welfare of the individual  functional theorists see the institutions as undisputable necessities for social living—they model social norms and provide positive reinforcement for appropriate behaviour Social Institutions and Their Primary Goals  each social institution contains a set of social norms, roles, and behaviour expected of its members  there are many social institutions which guide public life, but there are only 5 that are discovered repeatedly in all cultures of the world, and they are: family, religion, education, government, economy Institution and Core Representatives of Beliefs Institution Individual Needs Served  socializes children  responsible for reproduction  individual members  perpetuates marriage FAMILY (father, mother,  establishes positive  fidelity daughter etc.) self-concept and self-  respect  families (nuclear, esteem  nurturance extended etc.)
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