What Are Some Examples of Social Institutions?

Examples of social institutions include economic, governmental, educational, family and religious institutions. Social institutions are comprised of a group of people who have come together for a common problem-solving goal. These institutions have defined sets of norms and structures that support society’s survival.

Economic institutions manage how a society generates and distributes resources, goods and services among members of the society. In many countries, economic systems are managed by government agencies. These economic systems may either be socialist or capitalist. Government institutions develop and implement rules and manage relations with other countries and stakeholders. Different countries have varying government systems including democracy, monarchy, authoritarian and totalitarian.

Another important social institution in the society is the family. It is the primary socialization agent that imparts individuals with norms and values. A child learns the attitude and actions suitable for individuals of a member of a particular culture from the family. Beyond the family level, individuals join other social institutions such as schools and religious groups. At school, a child learns how to follow rules and obey those in authority. In churches and mosques, individuals are taught good virtues, including caring for others.

Social institutions are part of the social order of society, and they regulate behavior and expectations of members of society. Each subsystem carries out specific tasks and has defined responsibilities that contribute to the overall welfare and stability of the society as a whole.