Characteristics of Social Institutions

Topics: Marriage, Sociology, Social class Pages: 14 (3263 words) Published: April 21, 2012
Social institutions
Characteristics of social institutions

1. They are resistant to change. Patterns of social behavior become institutionalized when they are reinforced by custom and tradition
2. They are interdependent. A societies institutions uphold similar values and norms to reflect compatible goals and priorities
3. They change together. Because institutions are interdependent a change in one will bring change Ina another
4. They are the site of social problems. For example unemployment is a problem of the economy; marital breakdown is a problem of the family; high crime rate is a problem of political and legal organizations

Settlement and demography
-Population size is always connected to the environment

5 social organizations

Band - 25-50+
The basic social group as humans. A basic social unit associated with hunters and gathers era. Most members are related by kinship, or marriage. Or fictis Kin. (cousins, or ppl calling people there child alrigjt not blood related) they are nomadic and a foragers. They are also higoy nomadic. They are essentially small clusters that live with a piece of land and they tend to move around according to where the resources are on the land. They can't remain in one area to long because the deplete the resources in that area. They are very mobile. They are usually found in environments where it is difficult to grow food. They have temporary camps and they move around by necessity. Each group is autonomous. Women have a high social worth. They do the second half of food collection cooking etc. Political power is held by the group. Someone of prestige may be older or a good hunter or story teller, they must have a quality that makes them stand out in the group bc of the special skill or quality they have. The group makes all political decisions not one person. They lack formal laws. They have an understand among all group members that you behave in a particular way so that everyone can survive. All laws are implied. When there are conflicts disputes are settled with mediations and negotiations. There is no fighting because everyone is needed. If an agreement can't be made the person leaves the band and joins another band. This keeps the group growing and stable. All men make there own arrows and they share them, so that when hunting no one can ever claim achievements in hunting because you may have used someone else's arrow. They have arranged marriages. They are egalitarian no one has more worth than anyone else. No one owns anything, all thins are owned by the group. Life is characterized by sharing and reciprocity. There are no formal laws.

Tribe - 100-1000+
Clusters of bands that come together and are linked by ( all bands come together) for a specific reason ie resources or warfare purposes. They have semi seditary camps they have essential 3 main areas whee they live and they rotate throughout the year. (every 3/4 months) They plant small scale farming/gardens. Small patches of land where they plant peanuts, bananas, pineapples and before they leave a camp they replay the garden and then move to another camp. So that things are continually replenished. They are egalitarian. No status among people. There are marital arrangements.

Women sustain the group. Women have a lot of power and sometimes they can be leaders within a tribe.

Chiefdom - 5000-20,000+

Tribes that come together. For warfare and or economic sufficiency. They emulate modern based society. They are usually related by blood. They usually share a language, cultural customs, marriages or something else. They chose a leader when they come together and they decide which leader will be the leader of the entire chiefdom. Leaders can be make or female. They pick the person who is best politically and more wisdom. It's easy to organize for warfare purposes. They are highly unstable . And there are always other people vying for power. This is common in he middle...
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