Films on Demand: Sociology Collection: Social Institutions
Samantha Ermoian
September 28, 2015
Jennifer Moyer-Taylor

Films on Demand: Sociology Collection: Social Institutions

Try to think of government and economy like parts of a bicycle. Each piece serves a different purpose to the overall function of the bike. In sociology, social institutions, such as economy and government, are like bike parts and the overall society is the bicycle. Social institutions are established sets of norms and subsystems that support each society’s survival. Each sector carries out certain tasks and has different responsibilities that contribute to the overall functioning and stability of a society. This helps to decrease chaos and increase structure. While societies may differ in how they establish these responsibilities, they all have economic, government, family, educational, and religious institutions.
Economy institution is important kind of like the tires on a bike, without them the bike would not move. Without an economic system, the transfer of materials would break down. The economy is responsible for managing how a society produces and distributes its goods, services, and resources. The government institution develops and implements rules and decides how to manage relations with other societies. Just like the handle bars on a bike, government institutions help decide what direction to go and how to get there. The family institution serves the purpose of nurturing and socializing children, passing on generational traditions and providing a sense of belonging and identity. Family system creates a support system much like the kick stand on a bike.
Religion involves patterns of beliefs and behaviors that help a society meet its basic needs. Religion is the set of beliefs and practices regarding sacred things that help a society understand the meaning and purpose of life. Education today can serve as a mechanism for social sorting. People have different learning skills with some exhibiting more facility than others. Education plays a major role on the economic fate of every individual. Education helps to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills that allow them to be able to define and pursue their individual goals. It also allows people to participate in the community, playing their part to improve their conditions and the conditions of the society at large.
The film on demand Why Are Fewer Americans Getting Married is about the changing demographic of marriage. In the 1950’s most women and men were getting married in their teens and early twenties. Now the average age for women getting married is twenty-six and twenty-eight for men. Also, the fact that marriage has become more optional then culturally mandatory has played a part in the decrease of marriage. Even though these people still might get married, there is a small amount of people that will still chose to not get married. Nine Years After 9/11: Has Religious Tolerance Changed in America discusses the affects and views the American people now have towards Muslims and people of Arab descent. This discusses the anxiety that Americans have even ten years after the 9/11 attack. There are deep, deep wounds, psychic and spiritual, as well as the physical wounds it left. The video shows different perspectives on Islamic community centers, and the importance of religion. I was truly touched after watching the video Unbreakable: One Girl Changing the World: The Story of Malala. It is amazing how such a young lady can face her fear to accomplish her dreams regardless if it could take her life. She was shot in the head by a Taliban man while she was riding the bus to school, Malala was known worldwide for her strength and efforts on making girls have equal rights in her country. She believed that girls had the same right to get an education just like the boys did and now is making a change in her society and culture.
In functionalist thought, the family is a particularly important institution as this is the basic building block of society which performs the crucial functions of socializing the young and meeting the emotional needs of its members. Stable families underpin social order and economic stability. According to conflict theorists, the family works toward the continuance of social inequality within a society by maintaining and reinforcing the status quo. The internationalist perspective emphasizes that families reinforce and rejuvenate bonds through symbolic rituals