SOC371H1s: Political Sociology | Role Of Institutions: FEB. 5, 13
Review So far…
• Social restructuring.
• Unequal distribution of power
• Who can access it?
• Economic (Marxist origins) basis of power
• Cultural background, social class
• Social problems, how to measure it, welfare, wellbeing in society
• GDP—the flaws of it, the measurement is bias. Winners and losers
• GDI—other method of measurement that reflects different levels of measurement
including environment, civil society etc.
Today: Role Of Institutions
• How does organization of power work
• Institutions play an important role to what and why we value. Power distribution
is not random.
o I.e. Money—acquires value, the foundations of economic power rests on
the value of money and private property. The institution of money and
private property enables power flow.
How power relations are shaped by institutions—The State
What is an instituti
• Are systems of est. and embedded social rules that structure social interactions—
• A complex, a system, of positions, roles norms and values that are rooted in
particular types of social struct. And organizing relatively stable patterns of
human activity with respects to fundamental problems to producing life
sustaining resources, in reproducing individuals and in sustaining viable societal
struct. Within a given environment –Jonathan Turner
o The Family?
Rule of norms and conventions that operate
There are roles that are to be played in relation to other members
o Institutions are often used interchangeably with social structures.
o Social institutions form synonymous with social structures but are not
necessarily dependent on each other
Special kinds of institutions
Clear set of rules that distinguish members and nonmembers
Hierarchy of power
Defined goals SOC371H1s: Political Sociology | Role Of Institutions: FEB. 5, 13
Social Structures, Institutions and Agents
o Social structures, inform and shape institutions
o Institutions reflect social structures, and in turn affect and embodied within us
through habitus—how we live, where we live etc.
o Habitus (internalized behaviour) then become practices which in turn stimulates
and dictates the function of social structure
This cycle can also act reversibly—Practises▯Habitus▯Institutions▯Social Struct. ▯
Bringing institutions back in the study of power
o Peering into the black box