Sociology is a study of society.
Topics in Sociology: Social Institutions
Social institutions are established or standardized patterns of rule-governed behavior. They include the family, education, religion, and economic and political institutions.
Social institutions are determined by their society’s mode of production. Social institutions serve to maintain the power of the dominant class. Weber
Social institutions are interdependent but no single institution determines the rest. The causes and consequences of social institutions cannot be assumed in advance. Durkheim
Set the stage for later functionalist analyses of institutions by concluding that religion promotes social solidarity and collective conscience. Functionalist theory
The social institutions listed in this section (along with other social institutions) fulfill functional prerequisites and are essential. Conflict theory
Social institutions tend to reinforce inequalities and uphold the power of dominant groups. Emphasizes divisions and conflicts within social institutions. Symbolic interactionism
Focuses on interactions and other symbolic communications within social institutions.
1. The Family:
A socially defined set of relationships between at least two people related by birth, marriage, adoption, or, in some definitions, long-standing ties of intimacy. Key Questions
How do families vary across different societies, historical periods, classes, and ethnic groups? How are authority, resources, and work distributed within families? How do parents, particularly mothers, balance the demands of work and family? What are the causes and effects of divorce, domestic violence, and single parenting? Notes
Marx: The family upholds the capitalist economic order by ensuring the reproduction of the working class and by maintaining housewives as a reserve labor force. Functionalist theory: Functions of the family include socializing children, regulating sexual...
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