What is the definition of a social institution?


Quick Answer

A social institution is defined as a collection of individuals banded together in pursuit of a common purpose. A social institution's common purposes include granting its members certain rights and privileges. Members of a social institution also possess certain delineated duties, responsibilities and liabilities. As a group, the people making up a social institution share common objectives and goals.

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What is the definition of a social institution?
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Full Answer

A wide array of different types of social institutions exist. Religious organizations represent a prime example of social institutions. In the case of these types of social institutions, people get together in a shared belief and reverence for a supernatural power, for an entity beyond themselves.

Schools of all types, from primary schools to institutions of higher education, represent another form of social institution. Schools exist for the common purpose of the instruction of others, such as to teach skills and share knowledge between educators and students or pupils.

The general definition of social institutions also includes an extended family. In its basic or essential terms, an extended family is a collection of nuclear families. These nuclear families band together as a group or social institution because of a shared common ancestry. The nuclear families in and of themselves also constitute social institutions. Indeed, any household group, whether related by blood, is considered a social institution.

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