Impact Of Social Institutions On Caribbean Culture

Topics: Sociology, Marxism, Socialization Pages: 19 (1215 words) Published: March 25, 2015
Impact of Societal
Institutions On Caribbean
Culture and Society

• Gain a thorough understanding of the different
social institutions: family, education, political
• Understand the main ideas of the Marxist and
Functionalist perspectives
• Understand the Marxist and
perspective on social institutions


Social Institutions
• Social Institutions are a fundamental part of
the operations of society. They are the major
organising framework in social life. Social
institutions have evolved overtime and
therefore embody what the society holds
valuable in relation to family, education,
religion, the justice system, the economy and

• Each social institution has functions that ensure the
smooth working of the social system as they often
illustrate the need for order, uniformity and consensus.
• Social institutions determine and guide behaviour: they
signify what is accepted and what is not
• Social institutions are intangible. They are represented through our cherished beliefs and ideas (values)

Sociological Perspectives
• A sociological perspective may best be
described as a way of seeing or understanding
social reality.
• Two of the dominant sociological perspectives
that can be used to analyse social institutions
are: The Functionalist Perspective and The
Conflict Perspective (Marxism)

• Is the oldest





• Holds a conservative understanding of society and the
way social institutions impact on the lives of members.
The maintaining of the status quo is of utmost
• The functionalists are of the view that society can be
harmonious for all

Functionalism Cont’d
• They believe that if there is consensus, then
there is the likelihood of order, stability,
uniformity and rationality in social life
• Everyone has a role to play in society, and if
performed effectively this results in maximum
productivity and minimum behavioural
problems, imbalances and dysfunctions.

The Conflict Perspective (Marxism)
• This perspective holds an opposing view to the
• They argue that Functionalist explanations of
society disregard the views of the underclass
• They identify 2 main classes in society:
bourgeoisie and proletariat- upper class and lower

Conflict Perspective Cont’d
• They emphasize on conflict and tension between the
social groups/ classes in society and not consensus
• The conflict stems from the contradictions in social
life and how social institutions seem to value some
groups over others
• Any social order that occurs is as a result of elitist
social control (one group oppressing the other)

The Social Institution of The Family
• The family forms the bedrock of society.
Socialization begins in the family, and
therefore this institution has the responsibility
of transmitting values and norms to the
individual and therefore governs individual

The family transmits values on:
1. The role and responsibilities of its members
2. Religion
3. Education and accepted behaviour upon reaching adulthood
E.g. “When I leave school, I want to get a good job, marry and settle down, and have two children.”
The family transmits the expectations of society and socializes its members to internalize society’s goals as their own.
Some common values associated with the family are: love, belongingness/ togetherness, sharing (cooperation), support, encouragement, caring for the young or old, provision of shelter, child rearing

The Functionalist Perspective on the Family
• The functionalists argue that the family should carry out several functions for order, stability and harmony to exist in society. These are:
1. Reproduction
2. Socialization
3. Economic Cooperation
4. Provision of love and togetherness
If the above functions are carried out in an optimal manner and if everyone plays a role, then...
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