Social Institutions

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Meaning and Nature  Characteristics of Institutions  Functions of an Institution  Classification of Institutions  Network of Institutions  Traits of Major Social institution 



An institution is not a person nor a group. It is associated and part of the culture, a patterned segment of the way of life of people. Social relations and roles form the major elements of the institution.

Institutions are purposive.  They are relatively permanent in their content.  The institution is structured.  Each institution is a unified structure.  The institution is necessarily value-laden. 

Institution -Objectives, goals, or purposes are the same as those of a group. -They strive to tie the economic, religious, and political ends of one institution.

Group -Mainly functional to the conceptual and external activities which is performed in patterned ways by the people. -Constitutes to the main content of Institutions.

Additionally, Besides having the specific objectives and the patterned activities of the group, there are certain generalized functions that all institutions perform for the people.

The social behavior for and individual is simplified. The ways of thinking has become largely regularized and prearranged for the individual as he enters the society.  Institutions provide ready-made forms of social relations and social roles for the individual. In which, the principal roles are provided by the institutions for the individual to act upon. 

Acts as agencies of coordination and stability for the total culture. The way of thinking and behavior of the individual may show that they are really institutionalized.  Institutions tend to control behavior. They contain systematic expectations of the society. Social pressure is maintained even on the possibly deviant groups by the mere existence of institutions. 

The obstruction of social progress. They tend to be rigid and to discourage changes since they conserve and stabilize social behavior.  Frustrations of service to the social personality of individuals. They may be called misfits of the society.  Diffusion of social responsibility. 

Two types: -Major Institutions: They have the most populous number of people who participate in, essential to the society, and that are considered most important for the individual and for the economic, political, religious, and recreational institutions. 

-Subsidiary Institutions: They do not have the characteristics of the Major Institution. They are numerous, minor, variable institutions that are contained within the major institution.

The familial institution. System that regulates, stabilizes, and standardizes sexual relations and the reproduction of children.  The educational institution. Basically, this is the systematized process of socialization occurring informally in the home and in the general cultural environment, and formally in the complex educational arrangements of the society. 



The economic institution. This is the configuration of patterned social behaviors through which material goods and services are provided for the society. Production, distribution, exchange and consumption of commodities are involved.

The political institution. Primarily satisfies the need for general administration and public order in society.  The religious institution. This institution that satisfies man’s basic social need for a relationship with God. Spiritual empowerment.  The recreational institution. Fulfills the social need for physical and mental relaxation. 



The coordinated network of interdependently functioning major institutions is vital to the continuance of the culture and the society. No institutions can exist by itself. There are always interrelationships among institutions.



Using some indicators, the traits of the major institutions may be described as follows:



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Attitude and behavior patterns- love of knowledge, class attendance,...
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