Hey Ms Kim


I have another mission for you if you are up to it?!  I told you that I would be faithful to you and I hold true to my word.  Below I have posted the reading that my essay assignment must be based upon…  After the reading, I have posted the directions for the essay.  The Essay CANNOT be more than 750




  • The discipline that attempts to understand the social forces that shape our lives, interests, and personalities (Eitzen & Baca Zinn).

  • The systematic study of human social interaction.
  • The study of formal and informal social arrangements as well as social structure and process.
  • The study of human society and social interaction with a particular interest in the formal and informal social arrangements in which we act and the manner in which those arrangements are created, changed, or immutable.

  • We are bound by the society in which we live
  • Society is awash in formal and informal social arrangements that can be viewed as either stable (Structure) or changing (Process)
  • We interact with other people, places, and things

  • We are social beings
  • We are products of our social environments
  • We can create, sustain, and change the ways in which we live our lives
    • Human beings are active, creative, dynamic critters
    • Some social forms defy change
    • Social interaction is messy and imperfect
    • Collective action provides opportunity for changing the organization of society

  • Concepts of role and social structure allow sociologists to analyze human drama.
  • Three levels of Analysis:
  • Macro – Large Scale/Societal Trends
  • Micro – Small Scale
  • and
  • Meso – Organizational or Institutional scope and scale…The focus of this course.

  • While social structure is seen as the static and recurring patterned forms of interaction, social processes are the dynamic forms of interaction through which people relate to one another.

  • The complex and enduring social structures that all known societies possess in order to fulfill fundamental social needs.
  • Fundamental social needs = “functional imperatives”.
  • Thus, institutions perform the functional imperatives of every society.
  • What do you think are some of the “functional imperatives” of society?

  • Family
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Economy
  • The State/Polity

  • The order and stability institutions provide offers people a “liberating dependence.”
  • Patterned solutions are present for the most common of everyday problems.

  • Patterned norms hold people in thrall to norms that may only oppress us.
  • Stability and order, for example, may require the oppression of women and the inequality of socially defined races.

  • So, to place all this in context consider the following slide…Notice the two different classifications of “Institution” as “traditional” and “emergent”.  We’ll discuss this more in the future.
  • Accordingly, please understand how very significant the institution is to our society.




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As a reflective essay the goal of this piece of writing is to encourage some self-interrogation as well as an assessment of student understanding of the initial concepts, ideas, and theories associated with the study of social institutions.

The essay should first address the following questions:

  • What is a social institution?  (Based on the readings, lectures, and discussion how might you define of the concept?)
  • Based on your understanding of the concept of social institution, what are the major social institutions in human society?

After addressing the above questions, your essay should include the following discussion:

  • From your list of major social institutions in human society, pick one, and explain the impact of that social institution in your life.  Provide specific examples and/or cases as you can and analyze those cases by explaining the function of the institution in each case.  Additional considerations include: as you reflect on how the institution has performed in specific cases consider how the institution has affected your life in general?  What roles or functions does it most consistently seem to play (from your perspective)?  Would you suggest that the institution has had an impact on your life chances?  Why or why not?

The essay should use only as many words as necessary, but should be less than 750 words in length (not including references).




Thank for you help Ms Kim

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