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Old Monday, July 25, 2011
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Default Social Institutions

Social Institutions

Bertrand defined it as “system of social relationship for meeting various felt human needs” Maciver and page consider it “an established form of conditions of procedure.”
In general, we may infer that social institution is an established machinery to satisfy human needs.

Types of Institutions

Religious institutions
Political institutions
Recreational institutions
Educational institutions
Economic institutions


Horton & Hunt: “family is a kinship grouping which provides for the rearing of children and for certain after bond needs.”
In the primitive society, family was a source of authority. Council of elders in the primitive times exercised great influence within the family and the society.

Structure of the family

The following relationships exist in a simple family when there are children with parents:

1. Husband & Wife 2. Father & son
3. Father & Daughter 4. Mother & Son
5. Mother & Daughter 6. Brother & brother
7. Sister & sister 8. Brother & sister
These bonds of relationship create structure of the family. These members compose a family.
Types of family

Nuclear conjugal Family: This family consists of married couple and their unmarred children living together. Husband & wife make core in this family. Radcliff Brown called it elementary family.
Consanguine Family: this family is founded upon blood relationship of a large number of kins relationships. This family is extended to blood relations together with their mates & children. It is the main bar is of kinship In Pakistani society unmarried brother and sister live together with parents. It means uncle and aunt also live together within the nuclear family. Practically it is found today in Pakistani society where father is strongly dominant.
Extended Family: It consists of three generations. Grandfather, father and son living within the family are a typical extended family. The three kinds are:
a. Extended Family: Husband & wife and their either of the married children living together.
b. Patrilineal Extended Family: parents + their sons + son’s wives and their children living together.
c. Matrilineal extended family: Parents + their daughters + daughter’s husband + their children living together.
In Pakistani society they are usually called “ghar jawai”
Matrilocal Family: Mother + her children without husband – father it is also called maternal family or simply mother child unit. In Pakistani society there is no such customary family found but in odd circumstance when father dies or divorces his wife or gets into another marriage and lives with her. In this case the mother does not remarry but lives with her children only.
Stem Family: Parents + one child + his spouse + his / her children. In Pakistani society this family is found from place to place. The parents marry all their children and give them separate living and continue to live with one married son or daughter usually the youngest one.
Single parent family: Where husband or wife are looking after their children.
Blended Family: Where husband or wife contracts another marriage. For instance, husband having two wives (polygamous wives)
Cohabitation: It is recognized in the west but not in the Muslim countries. Prof. Cretnery in ‘Law family’ has called such marriage as trial marriage.
Patrilocal Family: Married Couple live with the husband’s family


Horton & Hunt “Marriage is a culturally approved social relationships for sexual relationship and child bearing.”
Marriage may be either monogamous (only one mate at a time) or polygamous (more than one wives). Polygamous has two types:

Polyandry: In this type woman is allowed to have more than one husband.
Polygyny (Polygamy): In this type, husband contracts marriage with more than one wife.
There are also group marriages in some societies.

Functions of Family as an institutions

Following are the functions of family institution.
Socialization: The child learns socialization from the parents. The realizations of ‘self’ among children also takes place through their interaction in the family.
Care for old dependents: Is also one of the man duties of family both in normal & abnormal circumstances.
An outlet for sex: It regulates the sexual behaviours on standardized patterns for the married adults.
Selection of Mates: is also done by family. The ultimate aim of this is to provide happy life to each family member. Divorces in most of cases are decided by the family.
To inculcate love & Affection among Family Members: is one of the most distinguished functions of family.
Reproduction by choice of mates’ reproduction takes place.
Economic Unit: The family is responsible for the preparation of budget and its implementation. The members of family get food; shelter, clothing etc. through this unit.
Rules of Descendants and Right of property: Family institution determines line of descendents and the right of property among the members of family. These norms are given a legal shape.
Education: Formal and informal, religious or secular education of children is in face the responsibility of the family.
Political: During election, members of the family are united for a single candidate under the leadership of their family head.
Recreation: The arrangements of recreational and amusement activities are also function of the family.
Social Control: Family enhances social control.
Religion: Family teachers the members about right and wrong ideas for family, community, country and humanity. It helps in character making.
Health coverage to children: It is also the duty of family institution to look after health of every member of the family.
Social Status: Social status and legitimacy of status is determined by family.

Effects of urbanization and Industrialization on Family

It adversely affected the institution of family in the present age.

Urbanization & industrialization have changed the structure and functions of a traditional family, family is now nuclear family.
Kinship has become weak. Now family gets help from a stranger or some other individual. Now members of nuclear family believe in and strive for achieved status.
The educational institution plays a great role in character building process of children. Now role of family is limited.
Children hardly get den love and affection from their busy parents.
Birth control policy is widely publicized and acted upon by nuclear family.
Both husband and wife are engaged in the job. The traditional of mother has been changed. She is a bread winner for the family. She has economic role to play to increase financial income of family.
Violence against children and women has increased manifold with in the family because of many factors. It is mainly due to frustration amongst the spouses.
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