Answer to Question #179045 in Sociology for Shahzaib

Question #179045

SQL. How would you explain the role of social institutions in society do they perform positive functions or simply work in the interests of the powerful class and against the exploited class? Argue based on your preferred sociological perspective Provide an example from recent news to support your argument.

Expert's answer

A social institution is a societal structure that fulfills its societal need s by controlling people's behaviors, expectations and regulating business operations and ethics. The functional theory is among sociological theories that help to explain the roles of social institutions in society. In the functionalist perspective, communities function as human organisms with various social institutions working together like organs to maintain and reproduce society.

The functional theory argues that social institutions play a role in societies, promoting stability and integration. However, the social institutions comprise family, religion, legal system, among others. Emile Durkheim applied functional perspectives to explain social stability through solidarity and differentiation between the mechanical solidarity of primitive society and the organic solidarity of complex modern communities. According to Durkheim, the most primitive populations were held together by mechanical solidarity. Therefore, community members lived in relatively and undifferentiated groups that shared strong family bonds and performed similar daily duties. Therefore each of those social institutions serves one or more functions within the society. For example, the family legal system helps protect the community from violence and maintain public health.

Robert Merton( 1910- 2003), another structural-functionalist, argued based on manifest function and latent function. According to Merton, the manifest part is the social process's anticipated effects, while a latent function is unexpected outcomes of social revolution. For instance, education institutions' manifest role is to gain knowledge, prepare people for their careers, and find jobs that utilize their knowledge. On the contrary,  latent functions can be beneficial, neutral, or harmful, and they include meeting new friends, participating in extracurricular activities, and even finding a spouse.

Education also plays a role in creating a hierarchy of employment based on the level and type of skills and knowledge trained. However, resulting in social inequalities and corruption in society.

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