Functions of social institutions

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Functions of social institutions

Innovative thinking about a global world Thursday, June 5, Institutions, functions, purposes An institution is a specific ensemble of interlocked organizations and rules that serve to coordinate and constrain the behavior of a number of individuals; and the specific features of the organization have often been refined to bring about specific effects: The reformers, in this Functions of social institutions, are not usually master designers or architects standing at the top of the institution; instead, they are an army of players and stakeholders who have the capacity to proliferate or modify various aspects of the institution.

So an institution is generally a collective product, created, sustained, and modified by an army of participants, from CEOs to supervisors and directors to front-line workers.

Functions of social institutions

The ideas of "purpose" or "function" are hard to disassociate from the idea of an institution. We are often led to ask questions like these: What is the mission or purpose of the institution? What social functions does it fulfill?

What are the intentions of the actors that are expressed in the various sub-components of the institution? Here, however, we have to be very cautious. Social institutions and organizations do not have "essences" or "natures", and they do not have inherent functions.

This functionalist interpretation may once have been appealing but is no longer credible. There is no basis for imagining that social institutions are optimized for bringing about important social effects.

And there is no mechanism of "social selection" that serves as a general equivalent to "natural selection" and that would lead to a process of improvement of fitness for social institutions. But there is usually a range of alternative arrangements that would be "good enough", so that the existing arrangement is only one out of several that could have been implemented.

See an earlier post on questionable analogies between social science and evolutionary biology. It is fair enough to say that purposes come into the design of an institution. After all, institutions are semi-deliberate social artifacts, and their creators have purposes. But generally these are the local and parochial purposes of participants at a variety of levels, not the purposes of some grand designer for the institution as a whole.

The conventions of double-entry accounting express the purpose of an enterprise owner to assure the honest performance of money-handlers in the organization; featherbedding work rules on nineteenth-century railroads expressed the purpose of resistant workers within the railroad business organization.

Each of these features reflects the interests of one or another group of participants within the organization. Universities provide a good illustration of an organization embodying multiple purposes.

We might say that the purposes of a university are to educate young people and to conduct useful research.

Social Institutions (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

But immediately we need to ask: The board of trustees? The tax payers and private donors? The answer appears to be, all and none of the above. Moreover, even if we grant that universities have the function of disseminating and extending knowledge, the subsidiary organizations of the university have only a loose relationship to this macro-function.

The processes of tenure and promotion, purchasing, selection of department chairs, governance rules, or student disciplinary procedures -- that is, the academic and business functions of the university -- are themselves the expression of past struggles between agents advocating for their interests.

Rather, we might say that a university is a complex of procedures and activities that bear some relationship to education, but that reflect differing and sometimes antagonistic histories of composition.

This discussion underlines several important ideas about social entities:"SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS" A social institution may be defined as an organizational system which functions to satisfy basic social needs by providing an ordered framework linking the individual to the larger culture..

THE BASIC INSTITUTIONS. FAMILY. RELIGION. GOVERNMENT. EDCATION. ECONOMICS. GENERAL FUCTIONS OF SOCIAL . Surely the adequacy of one's normative account of the justice or otherwise of any given social institution, or system of social institutions, will depend at least in part on the nature and point of that social institution or system.

Why is India still a developing country and what is stopping it from being a developed country? This particular question strikes me every time when I read something about India’s education system. Social Institutions. A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value.

Establishment, General Mission, Prerogatives and Coordination With The Government. The Banque du Liban was established by the Code of Money and Credit promulgated on the 1st of August , by Decree no.

1) Social institutions regulate individual behaviour. Individuals by nature have unlimited needs which is impossible to fulfill. Therefore society needs to control.

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