Social institutions

The concept, definition, typology, characteristics of social institute. The functions of social institution: overt and latent. The main institution of society: structural elements. Social institutions of policy, economy, science and education, religion.

Рубрика Социология и обществознание
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 21.04.2014
Размер файла 22,2 K

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  • Introduction
  • The concept and definition of social institute
  • Typology and characteristics of social institution
  • The functions of social institution: overt and latent
  • Dysfunction of social institution
  • The main institution of society: structural elements
  • Social institutions of policy
  • Social institutions of economy
  • Social institutes of science and education
  • Social institutes of religion
  • Social institutes of a family
  • Art as culture institute
  • Conclusion
  • List of references


History of appearance and development of social institutions is history of the gradually change of social institution of the traditional type into contemporary social institution. In the course of its development, social institutions became more specialized functions, and some of them took the dominant position in the system of social institutions. Thus, in a primitive society the special role played by the family, in feudal society as a basic acted religious institutions, and in capitalist society a special role played by economic institutions.

The concept and definition of social institute

Social institutions are specific entities providing relative steadiness of social ties and relations in the society in general. It can be characterized in terms of its external, formal (“material”) structure, as well as, internal substantive activities. Social institute looks like a set of individuals, institutions, provided certain material resources and implementing specific social function. With the substantial side it is set appropriate oriented standards of conduct certain persons in certain situations.

A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value.

Typology and characteristics of social institution

All social institutions operate in close relationship with each other. Types of social institutions and its composition are very diverse. Typologise social institutions on different principles: the spheres of life, functional qualities, lifetime, conditions, and other.

R. Mills choose in society five main social institutions:

· Economic;

· Policy;

· The institution of family;

· Military;

· The religious.

The functions of social institution: overt and latent

The main, general function of any social institution is satisfaction social needs for which it was created and exists. To implement of this function, each institution has to perform a number of functions, it provide joint activity of the people, ambitious to satisfaction the needs.

It is following functions:

· Pinning and reproduction of social relations;

· The regulatory function;

· The integrative function;

· The transmitting function;

· The communicative function.

1. Pinning and reproduction of social relations is a system of rules and norms of behavior, establishing, standardizing behavior of each member of institution and making this behavior predictable.

2. The regulatory function is developed social institution pattern of behavior, standards and control, regulating relationship between members of society (i.e. social institution as an element of social control).

3. The integrative function is the process of consolidation, independence and mutual responsibility members of social groups taking place under the influence of institutionalized norms, rules, sanctions and system of roles.

4. The transmitting function is the transfer of social experience to coming in social institution new people as through expansion of social boundaries of the institution, and the change of generation, to do this each institution a mechanism, which enables individuals to socialize to his values, norms and roles.

5. The communicative function is distribution made at the institution of information inside for the management and control for observance of norms, and its transfer it in cooperating with other institutions.

Latent (hidden) functions unlike overt, aren't planned in advance, are unintentional nature and its consequences are not immediately aware and not always (even if understood and recognized it is considered a by-product), and at times remain unconscious to the end.

Dysfunction of social institution

The functions of social institutions may change over time. All social institutions have common features and differences. If activity of social institution is directed on stabilization, integration and prosperity of society it is a functional, if activity of social institution is harmful to society it can be seen as dysfunctional. Accrual of social institutions can lead to disorganization of society right up to its destruction. A major crisis and turmoil in the society (revolutions, wars, crises) can lead to violations of the activities of social institutions that may have an impact both in the sphere of external, material, organizational structure, relevant institutions, and in the nature, in the content of the activity of all social institution.

Outside phenomena dysfunction can be expressed in the lack of trained personnel, material resources, the organizational deficiencies and so on. From a substantive point of view (what is much more important) disadvantages are expressed in unclear objectives, it contradictory interpretation, paralyzing the activities of institution, uncertainly functions, the decline of social prestige and authority of it institution. The inconsistency of the activity of institution to the nature of social needs leads to decrease in the values of its role, which in turn, leads either to degeneration of it official functions in ritual activities, not aimed at achieving any rational goals (bureaucratism), or to the use of formal status of social institution for selfish abuse (corruption).

The main institution of society: structural elements

Every social institution are inherently characterized by the presence of the goals of its activity, the specific features, contributing to achievement of this goal, a set of social positions and roles, typical for it institution, as well as a system of sanctions, providing encouragement of wishful and suppression of unwanted, declinatory behavior.

Social institutions of policy

Political institutes enable the realization of the political power, whose need is defined by that circumstance that available to individuals, social groups resources, values and other socially significant objects are never boundless; to natural aspiration to expansion of the sphere of possession by them socially defined limits have to be set. Such resources have not only material character; safety, access to information, the status, prestige, the power concern to them also. In the absence of such limits social interactions can't be ordered, and there will be disputes and the conflicts fraught with anarchy, disintegration of social systems. Providing limits demands establishment in the society of the imperious relations, the power of one over others. The state as political institute represents the institutionalized political power. The traditional power relies on general conviction in inviolability, sanctity of the traditions established since ancient times, in natural legality of the authorities inherent in them of advantages and privileges. The charismatic power relies on dominating belief in greatness, sanctity, a superiority of one person over all, his heroism; the basis of such power is shown in a projection of an image of the indisputable leader to him whom submits with voluntary, on belief, from personal devotion. Rational character of the power relies on dominating belief in legality of an established order, recognition by the majority of validity of the right of state agencies on power implementation. The political power can be formed by various ways and differently to be distributed, be either monolithic, or diffusion. Domination of individual regent and domination of the few privileged persons, and democracy, i.e. people power.

Social institutions of economy

Can be considered as a kind of social institutes as they are characterized by system corresponding social, legal, moral and ethical (sometimes religious) the norms, rather steady set of expediently focused stereotypes of the behavior supported by the corresponding expectations and system of sanctions. The standard structure of economic institutes includes system of the norms reflecting the relations of property, dominating type of production, existence of typical forms and ways of an exchange, and also these or those social values, moral and ethical standards (for example, standards of Protestant ethics) and behavior standards in the economy sphere ("the honest merchant word"). To number of social institutions in economy behave:

· property institute;

· trade and distribution system;

· financial system;

· insurance system;

· and other types of the systematized economic activity.

Social institutes of science and education

The education system is among the major social institutes. From the functional point of view the education system is included in number of the institutional structures providing socialization of individuals. Education serves development of the personality, promotes her self-realization. At the same time crucial importance for the society has education, providing performance of the major problems of practical and symbolical character. In the extreme expression conservatism of education can take the form of an indoctrination or political (ideology of totalitarianism), either religious (fundamentalism), or national (ethnocentrism) of character.

The science (as well as an education system) is the central social institute in all modern societies. The public outlook, its ideals, its moral, moral shape in many respects depends on development of such sciences. Great events in this sphere often foretell, conduct to decisive social shifts (Education philosophy). Natural sciences open laws of the nature, sciences of a humanitarian cycle seek to learn sense of human existence, the nature and nature of social development, in many respects define public consciousness, make a contribution to people self-identification -- understanding of the place in the history and in a modern civilization. The specific purpose of science -- is knowledge of laws of objective reality for satisfaction of public practice. This purpose is closely connected with a circle of the functions directed on transformation of science in direct productive force, the tool of the scientific management of all social phenomena. The rights and duties of certain persons depending on the role which is carried out within this institute (the academician, the corresponding member, the doctor, the candidate of science, the senior research associate, the laboratory assistant, etc.) are developed. Science establishments -- it is academies of Sciences, research institutes and laboratories, various scientific organizations, publishing houses, libraries, the museums, etc. As appliances act -- equipment, buildings, computer centers, experimental plants and proving grounds. Thus symbolical means are scientific terminology, scientific symbolism, systems of measures, various forms of "technical language" (schedules, drawings, etc.), and ideal -- logic and methodology of scientific knowledge. Sanctions, system of encouragement, means and ways of control in science are developed depending on a society level of development (academic statuses, fight against plagiarism, etc.).

Social institutes of religion

The religion represents the universal social institute including many thousands types and forms of religious beliefs. Nevertheless one basic line is characteristic for all of them: this allocation and distinction of that is sacred (the highest force, perfect, inviolable, undoubted, above all), and that is imperfect, ordinary, daily. Thus, the religion as social institute can be defined as system of socially recognized beliefs and the corresponding practice which are focused on the sphere sacred, supernatural. From the sociological point of view the following types of religions can be allocated: simple belief in supernatural, animism, theism, an abstract ideal. Sheathe line of religions is existence theodicy -- emotionally satisfying explanation of the most vital issues of a human existence: appearance of the person, his sufferings and death. The universal sequence of the birth, short years of life, sufferings and death looks senseless, but theodicy gives it sense, explaining or justifying existence of the evil and misfortunes in this world.

Social function of religion. Maintenance of integrity of this social system was the most important social function of religion in the history of mankind. Special value in the conditions of Russia where religious beliefs are embodied in various faiths, is gained by those lines of similar beliefs in which tolerance, respect for foreign belief occupy a fitting place. Only under such condition the religious belief will execute function of the spiritual and creative beginning in social development of Russia as multi-religious country. In two cases creative, constructive, integrating function of religion can't be realized. First, by religion submission to the state, transformations of religion into a dependent appendage of the state as loss by it of function of the independent carrier of the highest moral principles, the highest moral authority conducts to loss by religion of the sacred character independent of terrestrial structures. Secondly, by absorption of the religion of the state became the official religion of the state's status as a quality and obligatory beliefs, as the loss of a theocratic state of its secular character, the loss of the function of guarantor of freedom of religion leads to discrimination and suppression of other faiths. Rules of law provide structuring social life, regulation of social interactions for giving to them of a formal order and definiteness. But the maintenance of a similar order, definition of what to consider correct and fair, and that unfair, criminal that is essential, vital, and that isn't present, i.e. the right can find the intrinsic, valuable nature only from the outside. Can be such source as well religion moral ethical principles.

Social institutes of a family

In the society of any type with inevitability social institutes of a family arise and develop. Growing on the basis of peculiar biological features of the person, they find the social nature by realization by a family of the major social functions. That the realization of these socially significant functions is enabled thanks to personal interest is specific, needs of people for a family way of life and need for children, any external coercion and pressure is thus excluded. The family plays a role of the intermediary between the individual and society. The family helps the individual to take the place in society, to realize itself as the member of society, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, provides it protection, protects the sphere of its private life, helps to keep the identity. Such is the most important social function of a family. The fullest classification of the main functions of a modern family is developed by M. S. Matskovsky, he allocates:

· reproductive;

· educational;

· the economic and household;

· economic;

· sphere of primary social control;

· sphere of spiritual communication, social and status;

· the leisure;

· emotional function.

Art as culture institute

Art is always the creative perception, allowing changing estimates depending on social experience, a subjective state, and a social situation. Impact of art doesn't depend on the social status or education. Democratic and available, it infects the person, mentions his world of feelings and emotions. Sociological structuring art, it is possible to allocate the founder of a work of art and the consumer of art.

Art as social institute carries out the following functions:

· the communicative - it is based that in the course of acquaintance and art assimilation people communicate at high level of emotionality and sensuality thanks to what the spiritual unity is reached;

· the practical - it is connected with creation of masterpieces of art which assume the spiritual relation to reality. The practical importance of art is shown in its versions: fine arts, musical, synthetic, "technical", arts and crafts, etc. In the various directions, currents and styles its practical importance also is realized, historically developed community of art signs is reflected in them, characteristic for different eras and the people;

· the relaxation - is reflected by influence of art on a sincere inner world of the person, his restoration, balance. under the influence of art of people differently starts perceiving social processes and changes;

· the compensatory - is responsible for compensation of a lack of communication of the person with "beauty" in the social world. Art satisfies need of the person for the fine;

· the hedonistic - consists in pleasure by art, satisfaction the person of requirement for pleasure;

· the harmonizing - assumes that art harmonizes the relations, brings up harmonious in the person.


The social institute appears at us the huge social system, existing historically long time, satisfying fundamental requirements of the society, possessing resolute force and the moral authority, covering (the enterprises, universities, firms, agencies, etc.) which, in turn, the personnel, management personnel, special procedures of reception, fixing and dismissal, numerous mechanisms of social control, etc. have big set of the phenomena expressed by means of the statuses and roles, social norms and sanctions, the social organizations.

The social institute is the adaptive society organization created for satisfaction of his major requirements and regulated by the arch of social norms. Development of social institutes is carried out by emergence of new social institutes and thanks to improvement of the developed institutes. It means that the system of the social institutes existing in society constantly is in change and self-updating.

The purpose of social institutes is recession of the interpersonal competition by a way of creation of the standard regulation reducing social tension. Thereby the potential of cultural creativity, and thus social institutes is increased realization of the prime human targets promotes.

social institution society

List of references

· Z.T. Golenkova, M. M. Akulich, V. N. Kuznetsov General sociology: The manual / Under the editorship of the prof. of Z.T. Golenkova. - M.: Gardarika, 2005. - 474 pages.

· Nemirovsky V. G. Sotsiologiya: studies. - M.: Prospectus, 2010. - 544 pages.

· Sociology: Textbook / A.A. Gorelov. - M.: Eksmo's publishing house, 2006. - 496 pages - (The educational standard XXI).

· Dobrenkov V. I. Kravchenko A. I. Sotsiologiya: Textbook. - M.: INFRA - M, 2010. - 624 pages - (Higher education).

· Frolov S. S. General sociology: Textbook. M, 2008. - 384 pages.

· Matetsky A.V. Sotsiologiya of culture: Studies. grant / the Rostov state. пед. un-t, sociology and political science chair. - Rostov, 2006. - 260 pages.

· Mikhaylov V.A. Sotsiologiya: Course of lectures for students of all directions and specialties. - Ulyanovsk: УлГТУ, 2004. - 207 pages.

· Tokareva E.M. Sotsiologiya: Abstract of lectures. - M.: MIEMP, 2005. - 70 pages.

· Volkov Yu.G. Bridge I.V. Sotsiologiya: The textbook for higher education institutions / Under the editorship of the prof. V. I. Dobrenkov. - M.: Gardarika, 1998. - 244 pages.

· The dictionary of reference on social gerontology. - Samara: Publishing house "Samara university", 2003. - 208 pages.

· The encyclopedic sociological dictionary / Under a general edition of G. V. Osipov M., 1995 - 227 pages.

· General sociology: Anthology. Publishing house "Higher school". 2006 - 783 pages.

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