Social institutions. Unit 2: Social Structures and Institutions. Personal Journaling. In what ways has your family influenced you to become the person you are today?. Overview. An individual’s behaviours and outlook are shaped by small and large groups
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Social institutions Unit 2: Social Structures and Institutions
Personal Journaling • In what ways has your family influenced you to become the person you are today?
Overview • An individual’s behaviours and outlook are shaped by small and large groups • Socialization determines the person you will become
Definition Social Institution the organized way a society develops to meet its basic needs; for example, people develop armies for the defence of themselves and their nation
The Basic Institutions • Social scientists have found that all societies develop at least five basic social institutions: • Families • Economic Institutions • Political Institutions • Educational Institutions • Religious Institutions
Families • Help society’s members replace themselves • Provide protection for the next generation • Socialize the young
Economic institutions • Help society’s members meet their physical needs • Range from the basic hunting/gathering groups to giant multinational corporations • Include farms, banks, businesses, and so on
Political institutions • Assist members in group decision making • Empower individuals • Require that all members agree to the decisions made
Educational institutions • Organize the way society passes on its culture, knowledge, and values from one generation to another
Religious institutions • Help people find an ultimate purpose in their lives • Aid in developing the spiritual side of society • Provide guidelines for personal behaviour and social interaction
Foraging Societies (up to 10,000 BCE) • Foraging: a way of life based on hunting wild animals, fishing, and harvesting wild grains, fruits, and roots • Formation of bands • Egalitarian society: little distinction between people on basis of wealth Foragers of the Agta people in the Phillippines Depiction of Hunter/ Gatherer Camp Major Institution: FAMILY the all-embracing social institution, combining several of the functions of raising and educating children and providing a livelihood
Agricultural Societies (Beginning 10,000 BCE) • People begin to settle and develop agricultural way of life • Allows surplus of food, which could support more people The Aztecs tending to the chinampas, small areas of fertile land on shallow lake beds Painting of a ancient Egyptian famer using a shaduf, an irrigation tool Social Institutions separate from FAMILY when villages grew into cities. Societies develop separate PRIESTLY class, a ruler supported civil servants, MILITARY organizations, and ECONOMIES with a merchant class
Industrial Societies (Approx. 1750-1900) • With industrialization in Europe, North America, Japan and elsewhere, more institutions of greater complexity develop Early English Industrial town, Staffordshire Depiction of European Industrialization Major Institutions in Modern Industrialized Nations Family, Religion, Law, Politics, Economics, Education, Medicine, Military
Major Institutions in Modern Industrialized Nations • Regulate reproduction • Socialize, nurture children Relatives Daughter, son, father, mother aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent • Ensure sexual fidelity • Develop skills • Provide for family • Offer emotional support • Respect parents
Discussion Which of the modern institutions are most important to • A child? • A teenager? • A person entering the work force? • A retired person? • A disabled person? • An unemployed person? Give a reason for each of your choices.
More than Bricks and Mortar Institution: a place or building where some activity is carried out
Role Expectations in Institutions For an institution to function effectively, it must insist upon certain predictable behaviours or roles from its members. Discussion Consider the expected roles of the following institutions: Military institution Health institution Schools
Role Expectations in your School Discussion What is the role expectation for you as a student? STUDENT • Remain quiet while another is talking • Complete homework/assignments • Show respect for teachers, principals, and peers
Role Expectations in your School Discussion What is the role expectation for us as teachers? TEACHER • Ensure the safety and well-being of all students • Teach the required curriculum to the best of our ability • Treat all students fairly and without favouritism • Show leadership in other areas of school life
Discussion Why do schools have role expectations? • Consider the basic needs of a society. One is to pass on to the next generation a society’s culture, knowledge and values. In order to do so, the older educated and socialized generation (teachers) need to have some control of younger people within a classroom and the right to insist that work be completed.
Behaviour Changes with Assumed Roles • When a person enters/interacts within a social institution, one’s behaviour changes. This individual assumes a new role, based on a new status that is quite different from the one he or she had in the family (the chief institution in a person’s life). Discussion How does one’s behaviour change when moves from the FAMILY to the SCHOOL?
Theories of Social Institutions Functionalist theory argues that • social institutions work together to serve the basic needs of society and contribute toward the common good of the whole society Example: Educational institutions prepare students for earning a livelihood, which in turn helps economic institutions to grow and prosper, which in turn contributes to the overall health of the society.
Theories of Social Institutions Conflict Theory agrees that • social institutions were develop to meet the basic needs of a society BUT Conflict Theory also argues that • over time, institutions have come to serve the interests of a small group in the economy; the wealthy Example: Wealthy control corporations Corporations fund political parties Political parties serve interests of the wealthyEducation is not immune to this control
Functionalism vs. Conflict Theory Functionalist theory believes that • each institution operates in the interests of all members of society IN CONTRAST... Conflict Theory believes that • institutions operate to serve only the interests of the dominant economic class
Discussion Some sociologists believe that a new and important institution in our society is the media. Develop a case either for or against this theory. Consider whether or not the media meet a basic need and what people’s roles and status are in it. Write a conflict vs. functionalist theory of the media as an institution
Independent Work • p.172 of your Images of Society textbook • Questions #2 and 3 (to be handed in at the beginning of tomorrow’s class)