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Social Institutions

By Ravigull Jun 21, 2012 4731 Words
Social Institutions
A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value. Obviously, the sociologist does not define institutions in the same way as does the person on the street. Lay persons are likely to use the term "institution" very loosely, for churches, hospitals, jails, and many other things as institutions. Sociologists often reserve the term "institution" to describe normative systems that operate in five basic areas of life, which may be designated as the primary institutions. (1) In determining Kinship; (2) in providing for the legitimate use of power; (3) in regulating the distribution of goods and services; (4) in transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next; and (5) in regulating our relation to the supernatural. In shorthand form, or as concepts, these five basic institutions are called the family, government, economy, education and religion.

Definition: Groups of persons banded together for common purposes having rights, privileges, liabilities, goals, or objectives distinct and independent from those of individual members Social Institutions Categories:

1. Community: A group of people residing in the same locality and under the same government or a group or class having common interests. 2. Community Service Organizations: Non-profit, charitable organizations dedicated to assisting others meet basic needs, resolve personal or family problems, or improving their community. This includes soup kitchens, rotary clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, scouts, etc. 3. Educational Institutions: Social organizations dedicated to teaching skills and knowledge to individuals. 4. Ethnic or Cultural Groups: A social organization consisting of many extended family groups related by a distant, common ancestry. 5. Extended Family: A social organization consisting of several nuclear family groups related by common ancestry. 6. Families and Households: A fundamental social group consisting especially of a man and a woman and their offspring; a domestic establishment including the members of a family and other who live under the same roof. 7. Governments and Legal Institutions: The office, function, authority, or organization that sets forth and administer public policy and the affairs. A government consists of a legislative branch which writes law and policy, executive branch which executes law and policy, and judicial branch which enforces law and policy. This includes local, state, and national governments. This includes all branches of the military. 8. Health Care Institutions: Social institutions that specialize in monitoring public health, providing health maintenance, and treating illness and injury. 10. Intellectual and Cultural Organizations: Social organizations dedicated to search for new knowledge or the development and preservation of art. 11. Market Institutions: Social organizations dedicated to barter and trade. This includes all corporations and businesses. 12. Political and Non Government Organizations: Social organizations dedicated to influencing the processes of government; political parties. This includes non-governmental organizations and groups of people with common goals, interests, or ideals formally bound together by a common set of rules or by-laws that influence public policy. 13. Religious Organizations: Groups of people who share a common, codified belief in and reverence for a supernatural power accepted as the creator and governor of the universe.

Each society has its own social institutions. These are not buildings or places, but structures of relationship, obligation, role and function. These are social concepts and practices, but also involve cognitive structures. Members of a society have a similar mental concept of right and wrong, order and relationships, and patterns of good (positive values). Those who do not honor these concepts are “criminals,” or at least antisocial. There are five social institutions on which society revolves and if any of the institution become weak that it result in destruction and disturbance of society. Some of the main functions of social institution are as under. Family Institutions

Family is social institution of society. Some social thinkers called family as a primary group. A person is related to a family right from his birth up to his death. A family participates in the joys and sorrow of a person. Family plays an important role in personality development of a child. Family institution is present in all human communities. Person in family have blood relation. In the  family  there are sexual relation in men and women. This are common relations and they are stable because of they are established by institution. According to RobertE. Reigel “Family is a social institution which provides foundations of every society.” Functions of the Family

Biological Function -: The most important function of family is increase of human beings along with bringing up the children. Without this the human generation cannot maintain its existence. Love and Affection -: Family is the basic source of love and affection in society. Family gives love and affection to its members in any case. It also satisfies the sexual needs of a person due to love and affection among husband, wife, and children the family and the social life is strengthened. Educational Function -: Family is the first school of the children. The family gives basic formation to the children although the schools are major source of education but first and foremost education comes from family. The family focuses on social and religious education. Recreational Function -: The family does take care of recreational needs of its members. It is the family which teaches a person about the limits to fulfill the recreational needs. Religious Function -: Family is the first source which gives religious identity to the children. We are not born Muslims or Christian it is the family which gives us religious identity. With the initiation of the socialization process the religious formation is also started. Social Protection -: The family provide protection to its members from every kind of social and natural problems. It gives psychological as well as social support to the members. Economic Function -: The parents work hard for the economic empowerment of their children they bring them up and send them for formal education so that they may be able to earn their lively hood. In case of unemployment it is the family which takes care of a person.

Religious Institutions
Religious institutions the places where the members worship are included such as Mosque, Temple, and Church. In Religious institutions there is variety of religions available such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism etc The principle aim of the religious institution is to satisfy the religious or spiritual needs of the society. The religious institutions uphold mutual relationship between human being and God. It provides sustain ability and durability to society. “ Religion is an ambition of understanding to un-understandable and encompassing the unlimited phenomenon to the Scope of knowledge.” ( A.B Taylor ) Religion is instinctive to man. Man is the only religious being. . As reason distinguishes him from animals, he can similarly be distinguished through religion. Man is finite –infinite being. From the time when he opened his eyes on this planet he has been desirous of knowing and being acquainted with the conscious power latent in nature. As and when he was compelled to face natural hardship and dangers, storms, floods, lighting, epidemics, famines, deluge, scarcity, dangerous animals, etc., Man has looked up to some invisible power for assistance, motivation, strength and help. Thus, this religious tendency awoke in man when he was gripped sometimes by fear and at other times by curiosity. And, man tried to realize this intangible for reasons such as to obtain salvation from sorrows and transience, death, birth, and old age. Similarly man, when he got fade up of the worldly sensual love, conceived God as the object of love in supreme aesthetic idealistic form. Functions

Guidance of Human Character: Religion protects the social values. Answer of Supernatural concepts and powers: the Religion reduces the Humans curiosity by giving the answer of supernatural concepts and powers. Satisfaction of Human Desires: the Religion provides internal satisfaction to human beings it provides them love, Education: the Religion facilitates and guides the human beings in their personal and social life. The maintenance of Social Organization: the religion maintains the social organization by promoting the teachings of moral in this way, it promote the value of good and bad for the necessary social control. Social cohesion: Emile Durkheim suggested that because of its focus on the sacred, religion creates a sense of common purpose and unity. Educational Institutional

Educational institutions are those organized establishments which mainly provide formal education. It is the education institution which provide objectivity to a certain society. It is very much important for individual and social growth and development. John Dewy in book “Democracy and Education” has described the functions of the educational institutions comprehensively as follow: Functions: Development of Individual’s capacities-: it is the responsibility of the educational institutions to provide the students the opportunities and environment where his or her personal qualities and capacities may develop. Functions:

Awareness of Social and National Objectives: Every society has specific national objectives which are drawn according to the norms and values of the society. It is the function of these institutions to infuse these objectives in the minds of students. Social and Cultural adjustment: It is the main function of the educational institution to inculcate the students social and cultural values so that may be able to create better adjustment in prevailing social and cultural environment. Construction of Human behavior: Educational institution is build to give proper formation to its members it is the prime responsibility to reconstruct the character and behavior of the students. The respect for social norms, values and objective is promoted among the students through educational institutions. Development of Creative abilities: From educational institutions it is expected that they will develop creative senses of the students. The educational institutions provide an environment and opportunities where the students can develop their artistic qualities more over students are equipped with the skills which enable them to earn their lively hood. Political Institution

Definition: Political institutions are organizations which create, enforce, and apply laws; that mediate conflict; make (governmental) policy on the economy and social systems; and otherwise provide representation for the populous. Examples of such political institutions include political parties, trade unions etc. The term 'Political Institutions' may also refer to the recognized structure of rules and principles within which the above organizations operate, including such concepts as the right to vote, responsible government, and accountability. Political institution is one of the important social institutions it keeps the society organized and united through the organ of government. To understand the political institution one should try to understand. What is Government? Government: Government is a group or institution of people which is responsible for social organization and administration. It utilizes the force if required to perform this duty. Functions:

Law and order and Administrative Functions- : To maintain social organization and administration. Welfare Function- : To provide welfare services to the masses without any discrimination of class, color and creed. Economic Function- : it is the prime responsibility of the government to maintain economic justice. The government control over the economic resources and mainly responsible for their equal distribution. Mediatory and Judicial Function- : it is also important function of the government to provide mediatory and judicial services. The government maintains the balance among all the classes in the state. Protection of Resources- : it is the prime function of the government to protect the resources. Protection of the Society from external threat.

The main function of political institution is to deep the human character in organize form. The further objective of this institution is to maintain social organization. This is done through the governments and related bodies. Economic Institution

Economic institutions are those which directly or indirectly related with economic activity of the country. These institutions deal in production, distribution of wealth and services of goods. It includes banks, factories, agricultural and dairy farm etc. Functions:

Providence of Basic needs: Through the economic institutions we can fulfill our economic basic needs. E.g. we can get food and clothes for our family by paying the cost. Economic Protection: Economic institutions work to provide to protection to the members of the society. e.g. the institution of pension social security and insurance agencies etc. run a related program. Encourage of the abilities of the persons: Economic institutions give reward to those who utilize their abilities for the benefit of the society or certain organizations. e.g. the people are rewarded of promotion and other benefits upon showing impressing performance. Similarly the economic institutions give financial intensives and jobs to the sports persons and actors etc. Political Stability: Economic institutions also play a vital role in maintaining political stability in the country. If the economic institutions deliver accordingly it brings satisfaction of the masses over the current political government. If the economic institutions perform properly they bring about the cause of political stability. Effects on the Foreign Policy: Economic institutions also affect the foreign policy of the country. If the economy of the country is durable, the country can have sovereign policy on contrary economically weak states are not free to formulate their foreign policies.

The system of law courts that administer justice and constitute the judicial branch of government. What is Justice? : The maintenance or administration of what is just, especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments. Conformity to truth and reality in expressing opinions and in conduct; fair representation of facts respecting merit or demerit; honesty; Fidelity (faithfulness to loyalty); as, the justice of a description or of a judgment Purpose of Judicial System The purpose of the legal system is to provide a system for interpreting and enforcing the laws. The purpose of a legal system is to provide a systematic, orderly, and predictable mechanism for resolving disagreements. Functions of Judicial System: In order to do its job, any such system must perform three closely connected, but nevertheless distinct, functions: adjudication (Arbitration, negotiation), legislation, and execution. Judicial Function: The judicial function is the core of any legal system. In its judicial function, a legal system adjudicates disputes, issuing a decision as to how the disagreement should be settled. Legislative Function The purpose of the legislative function is to determine the rules that will govern the process of adjudication. Legislation tells judicial function how to adjudicate. Executive Function Finally, the purpose of the executive function is to ensure, first, that the disputing parties submit to adjudication in the first place, and second, that they actually comply with the settlement eventually reached through the judicial process. In its executive function the legal system may rely on coercive force, voluntary social sanctions, or some combination of the two. The executive function gives a legal system its "teeth," providing incentives for peaceful behavior; both domestic law enforcement and national defense fall under the executive function. Supreme Court of Pakistan Structure 1 Chief justice + 16 permanent judges+2 ad-hoc judges. The Supreme Court is at the apex of the judicial systems of Pakistan. The Chief Justice of Pakistan is appointed by the President. Other Judges are also appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice. A person is eligible to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court if he is a citizen of Pakistan and has been a Judge of a High Court for five years or an advocate of a High Court for fifteen years. The Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court hold office until the age of sixty-five. High Court Structure: There is a High Court in each province. Each High Court consists of a Chief Justice and other poise judges. Appointment: The Chief Justice is appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan and other judges, in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Governor of the Province and the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court. Federal Shariyat Court the Court consists of 8 Muslim Judges including the Chief Justice. Such Judges are appointed by the President from amongst the serving or retired Judges of the Supreme Court or a High Court or from amongst persons possessing the qualifications of a Judge of the High Court. Of the 8 Judges, 3 are required to be Ulema who are well versed in Islamic law. The Judges hold office for a period of 3 years and the President may further extend such period. Jirga an assembly or council, which is more familiar tribal areas of Pakistan. It is the gathering of people in the tribes of Baloch and Pathan where the leader and the head of the tribe decided the problem of the people. MEANING OF JIRGA:   Jirga is the word which is taken from the language of Persian and its meaning is decision, meeting, gathering or union. Mass media as an Emerging social institution:

Far beyond serving simply as source of information, the mass media influence our attitudes towards social issues, other people, and even our self-concept. Because the media significantly shape public opinion, all totalitarian governments attempt to maintain tight control over them. The mass media are relatively new in human history, owing their origins to the invention of the printing press in the 1400s. This invention had immediate and profound consequences on virtually all other social institutions. The printing of the Bible altered the religion for instance, while the publication of political broadsides and newspapers altered the politics. From these beginnings, a series of inventions from radio and movies to television and, more recently, the microchip has made the media an increasingly powerful source. Level of Awareness

The level of awareness has increase. Media has contributed a lot in increasing the general knowledge who is who and what is what knowledge of current issues etc. The programmes having media discussions, current affairs, documentaries, etc have been instrumental in enhancing the common man’s awareness.

Development Efforts of State

Media has assisted in the development efforts of state.
.Programmes like “Parah Likha Punjab”, “Coverage of Earthquake”, havecontributed in projecting efforts being made towards state development.

Development of Public Opinion

Media discussions/other programmes highlight the issue, hold cross-discussion and identity what are reasons/angles of different interest groups/people. Stances of different segments of society on key issues are brought out: it helps make/develop public opinion on different issues.

Helps in Educational Efforts

Media is also used by the state/society/organization to promote educational activity. AIOU use media for educational purpose.

Supports Democracy

Media supports the democracy by bringing out the democratic norms and inculcating the same in the general public / polity. Providing live coverage of parliament proceedings, activities of politicians, programmes on democracy etc

Support to Public Issues / Affairs

Media provides viewpoint of the public on public issues.Media has given voice to the public.

Relationship between Media and some other social institutions Media is the mirror of our society it talks about family and family life on broader scale. Different dramas are shown on electronic media about family life in this way media is trying to make a bond among the members of society. It tells about family norms and values and so that people understand that how to respect the relation and what are the benefits in living within a family. Television is the biggest mass media in a country and has positive and negative aspects. There are some programs which are very helpful with lots of information for the children. In addition, there are some movies that have a lot of violence and bad words and children love these kinds of movies. Children like and learn how to use knives, guns and explosives because they see it on TV. Sometimes children take the role of their superheroes in real life because they see their favorite actors using these weapons. For example; when children watch the actor stealing a car on TV, they learn from it and they also want to steal because they want to be like their superheroes. Media are often part of our most routine relations with our families and close friends. Couples talk over the radio at breakfast as they read the morning newspaper. Families often watch television together, huddled around the “electronic hearth”. Friends sit attentively and listen to music together, and groups of young people go to the movies or rent a video. Time-strapped parents sometimes use the T V as a surrogate baby-sitter, allowing their children to watch hours of television at one sitting. In all these cases, media products are connected to the ways we interact with other people on a daily basis. Media products provide a diversion, a source of conflict, or a unifying force.

Media gives the Religious Clarifications
Authentic information by the competent scholars instead of narrow minded and ignorant clerics who have changed the world into hell.

Solutions of answers of publics’ questions which remain unheared and unexplained.

Highlights religious events like Mohram, Eid, Mairaj and the holy Ramadan. Sectarian harmony is minimized by putting forward the views of competent and enlightened ulemas.

Religious impressions:

Pakistan’s media should understand that it presents the country which is of high importance not only for Islamic world but also for peace in whole world. Media should become highly sensitive towards its responsibilities while presenting this country to the world and guiding the people of Pakistan to bring out the country from the sea of issues. Pakistan's media tell the world that what is Pakistan in fact, what think of Pakistani people towards world issue. It depicts the culture of Pakistan. It is its responsibility to tell the whole world that what Islam is and what are implications of Islam in Pakistan. Most of hot channels of media are highly politicized whereas they should cover cultural and religious norms and values of Pakistan. Some of the media channels are totally Islamic whereas others are highly ultra mod. This shows existence of two totally different cultures in Pakistan whereas Pakistan was achieved on the name of Islam which has one Book, one Prophet (P.B.U.H), one Allah and one culture. This type of media with totally two different sectors creating a cultural gap in Pakistan. This cultural gap is increasing hatred groups. For a peaceful environment and a democratic culture, it is important for all media channels to preserve real culture of Pakistan which is neither extremist and, nor ultra mod.

Political Analysis
Positive side
The skilled and bold personality of anchor person raises people’s voice and clearly asks the real point of the crisis. They analyze government actions, either in favor or against the masses and develop the opinions of the experts. Media is serving as true democratic notion of people’s participation. The general peoples’ criticism, analysis, and comments are added which also act as a catharsis. The ruling feels shame while speaking bluff in live shows before the millions of the citizens. Media successfully informs the whole world against any injustice and shows world’ criticism which compel the government to change its autocratic orders. Negative side

Blackmailing by the media persons to get personal gains as now practically, media is not answerable before any institution. Sensationalism of news to get cheap popularity.
To show one as Evil and other as Liberator by continuously repeating the comments or visuals.

Economic Debate

Shows government’s projects internationally to get foreign investment by projecting the benefits of the enterprise. Advertising to maintain competition among various companies which facilitate the public. Like mobile phones and their lowering prices. It represents the new business trends going in the world and offering the new opportunities for the investors. Performance of stock exchange keeps update the investors.

Spreads technical education to learn the working of the machinery.

Media’s role compared with formal Institutions of Educations Many things have been said about media, its relation with education and the institutions of education, as well as co-action between them. But the point which has been rarely and scarcely stressed upon, and requires to be emphasized with the force and vigor it deserves, is that the media by itself is the most powerful medium of education at large. There is an umbilical relation between the media and educational institutions, as both are deeply correlated, collateral as well as complementary to each other. It is an irrefutable fact that the media can prove an effective and useful tool in providing education to the masses. In this respect, media’s role starts exactly from where the role being played by the formal institutions such as schools, colleges and universities comes to an end. The media has not merely an obligation to inform the people what has happened, and what is happening in the surroundings, in the society, across the country and around the world, but it has also a bounden duty to enlighten the masses what actually must have been there and, indeed, what now must be there under the sky. Now in an advanced society mass media are not treated as informal agencies of education. They are called non-formal agencies due to its wide coverage of educational items in a systematic way. It is viewed that these media can substitute the classroom teaching in future. Therefore, mass media are the main means of educating the society. These are the cheapest and quickest means of the education for the people. The impact and motivation is very quick through mass media. The teacher must use the educational media and methods effectively in the classroom. Judiciary and Media:

As key pillars of the State, the judiciary and the media have their own roles and responsibilities. They apparently inhabit separate worlds. But when we consider ‘the role of media in dispensation of justice’, we become aware of how complementary and inter-connected the judiciary and the media are and how relations between the two impact upon the establishment of the rule of law and the quality of justice in a society. To be able to carry out their duties, both need to be independent and courageous in upholding what they believe to be right and judicious. As for relations between the media and the judiciary are concerned, it is evident that difficult times for the judiciary have also been difficult times for the media. We may not be very satisfied with the performance of Pakistan’s higher judiciary in the past, but so far as collaboration between the media and the judiciary is concerned, we can be truly proud of the results that have been achieved in recent months. As an example of how the Chief Justice has come to the rescue of oppressed citizens, there was the case of the arrest of two little boys, six and nine years old, in Hyderabad. Geo TV aired the exclusive report of these kids in police lock-up, with 4hand-cuffs and chains. The Chief Justice immediately ordered an inquiry. The two boys were set free and the judicial magistrate who had ordered them to be confined was suspended. Socially more significant have been the cases registered under the Hudood Ordinance against young women and men who had defied their parents’ or families’ wishes by choosing to get married of their own free will. For instance, a young woman cried in front of television cameras that her husband was being arrested in a false case of kidnapping and her desperation moved the Chief Justice to order an inquiry and protect the couple from further persecution. In these and other similar cases, the Supreme Court has highlighted the axiom “that justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”. The media’s role also gets enlarged in this equation because it first reports a case that demands the court’s attention and then it reports the action that is initiated and, in the process, helps to clarify the role of the judiciary. This positive rapport between the media and the judiciary can be an effective instrument for accelerating social progress. As institutions, the media and the judiciary must respond to social change. It can be assumed that the relationship between the two will also change with time. In the final analysis, this relationship must develop in a way that enhances public confidence in the judiciary and, consequently, strengthens the rule of law. The courts are bound to have an impact on the media by advancing and expanding the freedom of expression through their decisions. Likewise, the media plays a major role in defining the face and the character of the judiciary through its coverage and its comments.


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