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1) A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.)
2) A primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring,the principal function of which is provision for its members. (Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998) Institution:
1) A custom, practice, relationship, or behavioral pattern of importance in the life of a community or society. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company)
2) A well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, as marriage: the institution of the family. (Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.) Institutions reflect universal human needs and the solutions to these needs that have been worked out by various peoples. Social institution:
“Social institutions are cultural patterns grouped about the central needs of man in society.” Social institutions are the foundations of societies to provide the necessary structure to maintain development, order, and provide for basic needs within a society (Cravens, 2011). A social institution is a set of organized beliefs and rules that establish how a society will attempt to meet its basic needs. Social institutions are seen to provide five major tasks. The first is replacing members, finding socially appropriate ways of replacing members who may have died or moved away. The second is teaching new members, people must learn how the group does things such as values and customs. The third is producing, distributing, and consuming goods and services. The fourth is providing order since every society needs some type of order and protection. The fifth is providing and maintaining a sense of purpose. (Kendall, Diana. Sociology In Our Times. 6th edition. United States: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006. (318-344).
Family as a social institution:
A family can be defined as “a group of people who are related to one another by bonds of blood, marriage, or adoption and who live together, form an economic unit, and bear and raise children (Kendall, 318).” In addition to the functions listed above, families serve many other important purposes such as providing love and moral support. (Chapter 11 Families and Intimate Relationships By Jenny and Chelle)
The family is widely considered the “first” institution, the elementary cell of a social life. By amitai etzioni in may 1983, (article, the essential family) in jcpenney forum. The family is a universal social institution. The study of the family as a social institution considers what members of society believe to be good and correct ways of creating and maintaining family life. Families tend to shape our thoughts and emotions in basic ways. The defining characteristics of the family in a classical perspective are the fact that its members are living together, to undertake various joint activities, to contribute with resources necessary to life, and to have children. (Unknown) There are predominantly five social institutions found among human groups, these are family, religion, government, education, and economics. The primary functions of a social institution are to satisfy the basic needs of a society, to define the social values within a society, establish certain norms for social behavior, support other institutions, and to give social roles for individuals within society.
The primary functions of the family as a social institution are to provide socialization to the members of that unit, to provide new members to society, to teach the social norms of sexual behavior, and to provide the economic and emotional stability within the family unit (Henslin, 2008). (2011, 12). Social Institution of the Family. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 12, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Social-Institution-Of-The-Family-864475.html Each Society has some basic needs which has to be satisfied for better day to day life. Social institutions are a medium like as social moulds which are established for carrying out basic functions and help to established collective image of behavior. This institutions come in to existence for satisfying needs of an individual.
Even though every institution carries out certain specific function, It is not entirely independent. There is interdependent in every social institution. Every institution has to use various recourses for its fulfillment. For e.g., Chalk and black board for educational institutions; temple, masjid and church for religious institutions. These institutions have social acceptions for eg , Marriage institutions, religious institutions, economic institutions and family institutions etc.As family is a primary social institution of a society, existence of every social institution is depends on the functions carried out by that social institution. Family is no exception to this concept.
According to Augbern and Nimcoff , satisfaction of sexual needs and child bearing are important functions of family. As the opinion of many social scientist main reason for the existence of the family institution is longer period of child dependence. The another function of family institution is to give formal and informal education to children. Children have to go to school for formal education but informal education is given by family institute. The family gives information about culture and helps to balanced personality development. Family carries out social regulations by developing personality. In traditional as well as modern society this functions are of family institution.( Keshav Solanki) In our own society, the family performed most of these functions until comparatively recently. As Pakistani society is becoming increasingly industrialized, urbanized and specialized, the family is losing many traditional functions.