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First off, as you examine how studying social institutions helps sociologists to better understand society, you might look define them first generally. Research shows that they refers "to a miscellany of social forms, including conventions, rituals, organizations, and systems of organizations" (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/social-institutions/#AccSocIns); they are "often organisations" (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/social-institutions/#AccSocIns). Research further deems institutions as "durable, transmittable, maintainable, and reproducible (changingminds.org/disciplines/.../institutionalization.htm).
By examining two social institutions such as the catholic church and public schools, you might claim ...
American social institutions are briefly demonstrated with reference links to verify.