11social institutions

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11social institutions

  1. 1. social institutions education, religion, politics and state, economy and work
  2. 2. education
  3. 3. education: its functions <ul><li>according to functionalist perspective, the functions of education are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>teaching knowledge and skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enhancing social mobility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promoting national unity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing custodial care </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. education & inequality <ul><li>conflict theorists contend that education supports the capitalist system by producing an array of skills and attitudes appropriate for maintaining social inequality </li></ul>
  5. 5. religion
  6. 6. religion: its definition <ul><li>although there is some disagreement about how to define religion, most sociologists accept Emile Durkheim’s classic definition of religion: </li></ul><ul><li>religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices regarding sacred things that unites its adherents into a single moral community </li></ul>
  7. 7. three classifications of religion <ul><li>theism: define the sacred as one or more supernatural things, they center on the worship of a god or gods; there are two subtypes of theism: monotheism and polytheism </li></ul><ul><li>ethicalism: ascribe sacredness to moral principles; the heart of these religions is the set of principles they offer as guides for living a righteous life, i.e. buddhism, confucianism, taoism, shintoism </li></ul>
  8. 8. three classifications of religion <ul><li>animism: its basis is the belief that spirits are capable of helping or harming people; rituals such as feasting, dancing, fasting, and cleansing are often performed to appease the spirits, so that crops can be harvested, fish caught, illness cured, or danger averted, i.e. shamanism, totemism </li></ul>
  9. 9. religion & society <ul><li>Why do religions vary from one society to another? Does religion merely reflect the structure of a society, or can religion influence that structure? </li></ul>
  10. 10. religion & society <ul><li>Society as God </li></ul><ul><li>Emile Durkheim argued that if religion were an illusion, it would have disappeared in modern societies. </li></ul><ul><li>… If religion is both real and superior to us, then what is God? Durkheim’s answer: society. Society is more powerful than any of us and beyond our personal control. It is separate from us, yet we are part of it and it is part of our consciousness. </li></ul>
  11. 11. religion & society <ul><li>People’s Opium </li></ul><ul><li>Karl Marx considered religion an illusion – a real and an oppressive illusion, one that helps the ruling class perpetuate its domination of the masses </li></ul><ul><li>religion, marx declared, is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, the soul of soulless circumstances </li></ul>
  12. 12. religion’s functions & dysfunctions <ul><li>supportive function: religion provides consolation, reconciliation, and relief from anxiety or fear </li></ul><ul><li>dysfunction: if it offers too much support and consolation, it can impede useful social change – why? Many religions urge their believers to see all worldly things as trivial compared with the life of the spirit </li></ul>
  13. 13. religion’s functions & dysfunctions <ul><li>social control function: religion may sacralize the norms and values of society </li></ul><ul><li>dysfunction: if religion completely sacralizes the norms and values of a society, it may help preserve unjust laws and harmful values, such as those supporting racial and sexual inequality </li></ul>
  14. 14. religion’s functions & dysfunctions <ul><li>prophetic function: religion may be a source of social change, i.e. Dr. Martin Luther King based his fight against racial discrimination on the ethical principles of Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>dysfunction: may produce fanaticism, i.e. some 20,000 peasants in Russia were inspired to burn themselves as a way of protesting liturgical reforms in their Russian Orthodox Church </li></ul>
  15. 15. religion’s functions & dysfunctions <ul><li>identity function: religion can tell believers who they are, what they are, and what the purpose of their lives is </li></ul><ul><li>dysfunction: if people identify too strongly with their own religion, social conflict may be intensified </li></ul>
  16. 16. power & state
  17. 17. power and the state <ul><li>Politics: the type of human interaction that involves one party acquiring and exercising power over the other </li></ul><ul><li>State: a political institution that regulates conflict and allocates resources among the citizens of a country </li></ul>
  18. 18. power and the state <ul><li>Nature of power: the most basic difference of power are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Illegitimate power: control that is exercised over people who do not recognize the right of those exercising the power to do so – coercion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legitimate power: control that is exercised over people with their consent; its two kinds are influence and authority </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. types of authority <ul><li>traditional authority: government is based on tradition, on long-standing customs, and it was handed down from parent to child, maintaining traditional authority from one generation to the next </li></ul><ul><li>charismatic authority: people may also submit to authority, not because of tradition, but because of the extraordinary attraction of an individual, i.e. napoleon, gandhi, mao zedong </li></ul>
  20. 20. types of authority <ul><li>legal authority: it derive legitimacy from a set of explicit rules and procedures that spell out the ruler’s rights and duties </li></ul><ul><li>authority is vested in those offices, not in the individuals who temporarily hold offices; thus, a political system based on legal authority is often called a “government of laws, not of men” </li></ul>
  21. 21. politics and economics <ul><li>totalitarian state: tries to control the economy, the government owns industry and other means of production, it plans economic goals, determines how much is to be produced of what, sets wages and prices, and so on </li></ul><ul><li>democratic state: allows at least a significant part of their economies to be determined by the market – by the decisions of countless individuals who buy and sell without government control </li></ul>
  22. 22. political participation & violence <ul><li>Voting: the most popular form of political participation and the easiest </li></ul><ul><li>Revolution: the violent overthrow of the existing government and drastic change in social and political order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a group of rather well-off and well-educated individuals feel extremely dissatisfied with society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>revolutionary leaders rely on the masses’ rising expectation to convince them they can end their oppression by bringing down the existing government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a sudden economic crisis triggers peasant revolts and urban uprisings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the existing government is weak </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. economy & work
  24. 24. the economy and work <ul><li>economic institutions: systems for producing goods and services and distributing them </li></ul><ul><li>sociologists are more interested in the social aspects of the economy – in how people work, how their occupations affect their lives, and how the economy is related to other aspects of society </li></ul>
  25. 25. the economy and work <ul><li>industrial revolution: with the invention of steam engines, spinning jennies, and other machines, mass production became possible, and the industrial revolution was underway. </li></ul><ul><li>it began in England around 1760, and during the following century it profoundly changed the economic structure of Western Europe and North America </li></ul>
  26. 26. the economy and work <ul><li>consequences of industrial revolution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes the nature of work – blue-collar jobs to white-collar jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographic changes – rural to urban living </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human relations – intimate to formal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes the values of a society – brings dynamism into society </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. the economy and work <ul><li>Capitalism: at the core of capitalism lies a belief about the psychology of human beings: we are inherently selfish and act to serve our own interests </li></ul><ul><li>Two key characteristics of capitalism are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Private ownership of property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free competition in buying and selling goods and services </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. the economy and work <ul><li>Socialism: Marx believed that contradictions of capitalism would lead to communism, to a classless society that would operate on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs </li></ul><ul><li>in a socialist economy the state owns and operates the means of production and distribution, such as land, factories, railroads, airlines, banks and stores </li></ul>

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