Characteristics Of Social Institutions

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Social Institutions Definition and Main Features
Social institutions may be defined as practices based on similar principles that display some degree of regularity. More specifically, a social institution is an interrelated system of social roles and social norms, organized around the satisfaction of an important social need or social function (Team of Experts, 2000).
In general, a social institution is an established pattern of behavior that is organized to perpetuate the welfare of society and to preserve its form. From the above definition, we can observe that social institutions have got some important functions. Three of such main functions are: (a) perpetuation of the welfare of society, (b) preservation and maintenance of the form of society, and (c) meeting the major needs of the members of society. A society is functionally integrated and held together by social institutions.
Social institutions are universal. They vary from time to time and across cultures, in terms of complexity, specialization, scope, formality and organization. But their basic nature and purpose are similar everywhere. These features are particularly true regarding the five major social institutions discussed below. Social institutions are resistant to change; they tend to persist. However, once a change occurs in particular social institution, it tends to affect the other institutions as well.

Social institutions have been created by man from social relationships in society to

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