week 15 : social institution , structure and function of institution

A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms organized around the preservation of a basic societal value. Obviously, the sociologist does not define institutions in the same way, as does the person on the street. Laypersons are likely to use the term "institution" very loosely, for churches, hospitals, jails, and many other things as institutions. According to Sumner and Keller institution is a vital interest or activity that is surrounded by a cluster of mores and folkways. Sumner conceived of the institution not only of the concept, idea or interest but of a institution as well. By structure he meant an apparatus or a group of functionaries. Lester F Ward regarded an institution as the means for the control and utilization of the social energy.L.T Hobhouse describe institution as the whole or any part of the established and recognized apparatus of social life. Robert Maclver regarded institution as established forms or conditions of procedure characteristic of group activity.

Sociologists agree that institutions arise and persist because of a definite felt need of the members of the society. While there is essential agreement on the general origin of institutions, sociologists have differed about the specific motivating factors. Sumner and Keller maintained that institutions come into existence to satisfy vital interests of man. Ward believed that they arise because of social demand or social necessity. Lewis H Morgan ascribed the basis of every institution to what he called a perpetual want.