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Films on Demand: Sociology Collection: Social Institutions

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Films on Demand: Sociology Collection: Social Institutions

Shannan Johnson


May 29,2017

Sandra Hightower

Films on Demand: Sociology Collection: Social Institutions

In sociology, social institutions, such as economy and government, are like bike parts of the overall society is the bike. Just like a bike, society can’t function successfully without all its parts, social institutions. Social institutions are established set norms and subsystems that supports each societies survival. Problems such as poverty, pollution, lack of leadership and debt are all results of a weakened social institution. There are five major social institutions: family, religion, government, education, and economics. Each one of these institutions play a huge role in the success of a society. Each social institution has five general functions: satisfy the basic need of society, define social values, establish patterns of social behavior, support other institutions, and provide rules for individuals. In the following paragraph, I will explain why each of the major institutions are important.

        As I stated I my previous paragraph each individual institution plays a special role in making the bike(society) run successfully. Family is responsible for the growth of society, providing economic ad emotional maintenance for individuals, and providing primary socialization of children. Religion is responsible for supporting the normative structure of society, serving as an instrument for social change, and furnishing a psychological diversion for unwanted life situations. Government is responsible for enforcing the laws, providing welfare for the individuals in the society, and protecting society from external threats. Education is responsible for transmitting skills for functioning while a part of a society, preparation for occupational roles, and transmitting culture. Economy is responsible for providing methods for productions of goods and services, providing methods for the distribution of goods and services, and enabling society’s’ members to consume goods and services. Though, I didn’t name off the functions, I did name the ones that I felt were the most important for survival in a society.

        As part of this assignment we were challenged to listen to three different videos that have been grouped under three of the five major social institutions: Family, Religion, and Education. In these videos, the speakers spoke about their different experiences and research that have made them come to their conclusions of the importance of those three institutions.


“Why Are Fewer Americans Getting Married?”

        “Has marriage moved from being sort of culturally mandatory to more optional?” (McNeil/Lehrer Productions, 2013). This is an insert from the video above “Why Are Fewer Americans Getting Married?” and it really poses a very important question. In the video Professor Stephanie Coontz (History and Family Studies, Evergreen State College and Director of Research at the Council on Contemporary Families) states how there is no real need or even a want to be married. In the beginning of the video they, Coontz and Ray(reporter), state the difference in the percentage of marriages happening and successful marriages since 1960. Coontz found through research that there is more of a success rate in marriage if women are 26 and over and men are 28 and over. She also speaks about how marriages are tested through an economic stand point. Coontz states how marriages in the 1960s have a better chance of surviving hardship than they do now. I feel that it is solely because of the woman’s need to be independent and the root of all evil, MONEY. In the 1960’s women were content with being a homemaker and allowing their husbands to work and provide for his family and times are no longer that way.



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