Social Institutions

Embedded, traditional, habitual, legitimate social structures with particular functions that guide thoughts and actions of the members of a society.

Social Institutions are designed to generate and maintain cohesion, order, stability and conformity. (Structural/Function model)

Social Institutions are highly valued -- particularly by the dominant culture.


Marriage and Family Social institutions that function to unite people in cooperative dyads and primary groups.

Responsibilities include regulating sexual activities, child bearing, childcare and socialization.

Segway: Family and Economics

consumerism: Economics

Institutions and structures that function and regulate the confiscation, production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods and services for meeting the needs, wants and desires of the members of a society.

politics2 Politics

Functions and structures that have anything and everything to do with governance of a social system. Governance in regard to power, authority, position and decision-making, etc. within and between human groups on many and meta levels.

politicaeconomy Political Economies

Many social scientists argue that economic and political institutions are so intertwined, systemically connected, that to view them as separate entities is unrealistic.

mass media news: Mass Media

Focus on transmitting data to large groups of people. Media organizations include, yet is not limited to: newspapers, radio, film, music, books, magazines, the Internet and television.

Scientific study Media and Perceptions


lecture hall: Education

Institutions that primarily function to train members, both formally and informally, as to how to behave, what to think and in general how to participate in the community, workforce and society.

religion icon1: Religion 

Social institutions designed to provide a collective means for sharing and understanding what is considered sacred, mysterious and otherwise unexplainable.

  Formal Organizations, Secondary Organizations


For-Profit, Non-Profit and Government Organizations



What are the structures and dynamics by which Steven Sweet claims sports is a social institution?


Dominant Culture (Conflict/Contradiction view)

A system of beliefs, values, norms, laws and practices that reinforce the interests of those with the majority of Privilege. The dominant culture functions in the best interests of a few referred to as the social majority, whereas the term social minority is the term used to describe those who share lesser degrees of privilege.

A dominant culture often generates and maintains certain ideologies that include stereotypes and prejudices which often provoke discrimination-against the "other."

Stereotypes - language, signs, symbols
Prejudice - thought processes conserved
Discrimination against - actual behaviors

Social structures often function to maintain stereotypes that perpetuate prejudices (representations), and discrimination against.

Institutional inequalities are nested in the assumption that a particular category or group of people is superior while others are or inferior.

Marriage and Family Related terms

Kinship groups
Extended family
Nuclear family

Defining Family Statistics and More
gaypride o4: Stages of Family Life
Alternative Families Why the Right to Marry



Types of Economics Systems

Capitalism         Socialism            Communism       Bartering
Elements of Capitialism - private ownership, free trade, growth and profit
Essense of Communism - like water, food and shelters, peace is a need
Socialism - the logical steps a society must take for communism to emerge

Economic Work Sectors: Primary Seconday Tertiary



US Senators for Maryland(For you cell phone)

Barbara Mikulski(202) 224-465 // 224-8858
Ben Cardin (202) 224-4524 // 224-1651

Catigories for thinking about political issues:


Neo Conservative, Conservative, Liberal, Progessive and the Left

One take

Types of Political Systems for Distributing power in a society


What's an Oligarchy

Political Economies

In modern societies capitalism and democracy go hand-and-hand.

Related Terms

There are two types of capital democracies in the world today. One is called captial democracy, the other, social democracy. Confusing huh? I'll tell you why in class.

Then there isearth democracy


The Forth Estate in a democracy.

Ownership and regulation of the media reflects different types of political and economic social systems.

Private for Profit Public non Profit Independent

Newspapers Online
Who owns the media?

An Analysis of the; Media 2007



Higher Education

Against Schools?
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Social context  and Education

No Child Left Behind is a failed educational policy founded in top-down mandates, zero tolerance, narrow forms of assessment and privatization. -- Professor Gary Anderson 2010 _____



Related Terms

Social Change
Sacred Objects
World Religions


Interpret "sacred" textbooks literally
2. Oppose secularism and science in favor of religious beliefs
3. Reject religious pluralism and as such the concept of relativism
4. Endorse conservative political views/goals as opposes to liberal ones

-- Reference: John Macionis

The most powerful religion in the world according to Tony Benn


Medicine and Health institutions that focus on wellness, wellbeing and disease.

Health - includes states of social, physical, mental, spiritual well-being....

What is a Single Payer System?

U.S. Healthcare
Universal Healthcare
Healthcare and Insurance

Military Industrial Complex

Addiction to War Nuclear Weapontry