About This Chapter
Social Institutions - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Family units, religion, schooling and healthcare - all of these are examples of social institutions. These lessons will cover different ideas and concepts within each of these social institutions. You'll study things like family life stages and traditions. The lessons will introduce you to such ideas as religiosity, secularization and civil religion, as well as topics like tracking in schools and the controversy of profit motive in medicine. In addition, after completing these lessons, you will have learned about the following:
- Family patterns (patrilocality, matrilocality and neolocality) and types of families, including single parenthood, adoption, cohabitation, GLBT relationships, polygamy and singlehood
- Religious concepts, such as profane, sacred, ritual, faith, totem, church, sect and cult and the basic ideologies of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism
- Weber's theory of the role of Protestantism in social change and the theory of liberation theology
- Cultural differences in schooling theory in different countries, including the U.S., and the various functions of school - socialization, cultural innovation and integration
- Differences in healthcare and medical issues in low-income vs. high-income countries
- Health challenges in the U.S, such as smoking, eating disorders, obesity and STDs, and the different models of health care, including holistic medicine, socialized medicine, the direct-fee system and HMOs
1. Family and Kinship: Patrilocality, Matrilocality & Neolocality
The family, as a social institution, is an extremely important subject of study for sociologists. In this lesson, we define family and kinship, and we discuss three different patterns of residency and systems of family lineage.
2. Family Life Stages and Traditions: Courtship, Marriage, Child Rearing & Aging
In this lesson, we discuss the four stages of traditional family life that sociologists study. Although the concept of family has changed with time, these four stages remain prominent in our culture.
3. What Is a Non-Traditional Family? - Definition of Options
Although traditional families once dominated many neighborhoods, today, there are lots of ways to form a family beyond the traditional idea of a married mother and father raising children.
4. Religious Views: Atheism, Agnosticism & Theism
Sociology of religion is a large branch of sociology. The different views on deities are studied as part of this topic. In this lesson, we compare and contrast the views of theism, atheism, and agnosticism.
5. Religion: Key Concepts and Definitions
Sociologists strive to study every aspect of religion in an objective way. In this lesson, we define religion and identify key concepts that are found in religion. We also discuss the difference between churches, sects, and cults.
6. Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity
In this lesson, we define monotheism and identify three significant monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We also discuss the ideology of each of these three religions.
7. Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism & Confucianism
Not all religions focus on the belief (or disbelief) in a particular deity. In this lesson, we define nontheism and discuss the ideologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
8. Religion and Social Change in Protestantism and Liberation Theology
Religion can, at times, be a powerful agent for social change. In this lesson, we discuss two examples of the dichotomy between religion and the secular world, including Max Weber's book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, as well as the concept of liberation theology.
9. Religiosity, Secularization & Civil Religion: Applications on Individuals & Cultures
In this lesson, we define religiosity, secularization, and civil religion. We'll also discuss these concepts both on an individual and cultural scale.
10. Schooling: Cultural Differences in Schooling Theory
The value of education and access to it is different across cultures. In this lesson, we discuss some of the differences in schooling between lower-income and higher-income nations. We also discuss the education system and cultural values of several countries.
11. Functions of School: Socialization, Cultural Transmission, Integration & Latent Functions
Schools serve a number of functions in our society beyond just transmitting academic knowledge and skills. In this lesson, we differentiate between manifest and latent functions of schools and discuss examples of each.
12. School Controversies: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Tracking
In this lesson, we define self-fulfilling prophecies and tracking, two controversial elements of education today. We will also discuss the educational advantages and disadvantages of each element.
13. Economics and Health: Healthcare, Medical Issues & Income
What is the relationship between economy and health? In this lesson, we discuss differences in healthcare and medical issues in low-income versus high-income countries. We also define social epidemiology and discuss the link between poverty and poor health.
14. Health Challenges in America: Smoking, Obesity, STDs & Eating Disorders
Even as a high-income nation with a relatively long life expectancy, America faces a number of health challenges. In this lesson, we discuss the basic facts of smoking, eating disorders, obesity and STDs and how these challenges affect our nation.
15. Types of Health Care: HMOs, PPOs, Socialized Medicine & Direct-Fee System
In this lesson, we discuss health care as a social institution and how health care systems differ worldwide. We also discuss several different ways that health care is paid for by patients, organizations and government.
16. Social Constructions of Health: Sick Role, Physician's Role & Profit Motive in Medicine
In this lesson, we discuss the theory of Talcott Parsons regarding the 'sick role' and the 'physician's role' as well as how society has constructed expectations for both. We also discuss the profit motive in medicine and why this is controversial.
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Other chapters within the Sociology 101: Intro to Sociology course
- Introduction to Sociology: The Basics
- Key Sociology Theorists
- Sociology Research Methods
- Foundations of Society
- Theories of Individual Social Development
- Social Groups & Organizations
- Diversity in Society
- Sex and Gender in Society
- Race and Ethnicity in Society
- Aging in Society
- Economics and Politics
- Social Change Over Time
- Studying for Sociology 101