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    Socialization and Change

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    You have been asked to address the importance of social institutions as they relate to the study of sociology. Please address the following:

    1.How does studying social institutions help sociologists understand society?

    2. Provide 2 examples of prevalent social institutions found in the American society, and explain their functions.

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    Solution Preview

    Let's take a closer look. I also provided some extra information at the end of this response, of other social institutions, their functions in society and the types of questions sociologist investigate.


    1. How do studying social institutions help sociologists understand society?

    Social institutions are "established or standardized patterns of rule-governed behavior" (http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/gensci/sociology/section9.php) that helps sociologists understand society through studying them. Examples include the family, education, religion, and economic and political institutions. These social institutions make up a society, so in order to understand society; sociologists pose questions to study the function these social institutions play in society, as well as their overall impact on society. To this end, they pose specific research questions to investigate based on the social institution they are investigating, like the family, that include:

    ? "How do families vary across different societies, historical periods, classes, and ethnic groups?
    ? How are authority, resources, and work distributed within families?
    ? How do parents, particularly mothers, balance the demands of work and family?
    ? What are the causes and effects of divorce, domestic violence, and single parenting?" (http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/gensci/sociology/section9.php)

    Or, when studying the role of education in society, sociologists propose and investigate related research questions, such as:

    ? "How do educational practices vary across different societies and historical periods?
    ? How does education affect individuals' subsequent activities and achievements?
    ? What are the effects of class, race, and gender on educational institutions and experiences?
    ? What are the causes and consequences of various trends in education, such as grade inflation, violence in schools, and increasing public funding of religious instruction?" (http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/gensci/sociology/section9.php)

    2. Provide 2 examples of prevalent social institutions found in the American society, and explain their ...

    Solution Summary

    By addressing the questions, this solution discusses the role of studying and function of social institutions to sociologists and society. References are provided.