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IMPACT OF SOCIETAL

INSTITUTIONS ON
CARIBBEAN CULTURE
AND SOCIETY

SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Social Institutions are a fundamental part of the


operations of society. They are the major
organising framework in social life. Social
institutions have evolved overtime and therefore
embody what the society holds valuable in relation
to family, education, religion, the justice system,
the economy and health.

Each social institution has functions that ensure the


smooth working of the social system as they often
illustrate the need for order, uniformity and
consensus.

Social institutions determine and guide behaviour:


they signify what is accepted and what is not

Social institutions are intangible. They are


represented through our cherished beliefs and
ideas (values)

THE SOCIAL INSTITUTION OF


THE FAMILY

The family forms the bedrock of society.


Socialization begins in the family, and therefore
this institution has the responsibility of
transmitting values and norms to the individual
and therefore governs individual behaviour

THE FAMILY TRANSMITS


VALUES ON:
1.

The role and responsibilities of its members

2.

Religion

3.

Education and accepted behaviour upon reaching adulthood

E.g. When I leave school, I want to get a good job, marry and settle down, and
have two children.
The family transmits the expectations of society and socializes
its members to internalize societys goals as their own.
Some common values associated with the family are: love, belongingness/
togetherness, sharing (cooperation), support, encouragement, caring for the young
or
old, provision of shelter, child rearing

THE SOCIAL INSTITUTION OF


EDUCATION

Education as a social institutions contains our deep


beliefs and values about what the young should
know and how learning should take place
Schooling is seen as the main route to becoming
educated

Education is seen as an agent of secondary socialization in society.

Schools are the main mechanism through which secondary socialization takes
place. They provide the link between what is taught in the family (primary
socialization) and the wider society

Culture is transmitted through education: the value of obedience, regularity,


integration and cohesion, punctuality ,work ethic

Selection devices such as exams sort students into different types of schools e.g.
Formal academic institutions versus technical/ vocational institutions

Education supports the institution of religion. In the Caribbean there are strong
values which give status to denominational education, for e.g. St. Johns Catholic
Primary School

Historically one of the main function of the church was education

THE SOCIAL INSTITUTION OF


RELIGION

Religion refers to that realm in society where our


beliefs about a supernatural power and how these
impact on our lives are expressed

Specific religions, churches, mosques, temples


halls of worship are tangible outcomes or forms of
social organizations that reflect the beliefs and
values of religion

Social order is crucial and therefore a fundamental


function of religion is the maintenance of social
stability through consensual values

Commitment to certain beliefs, rituals and forms of


worship are seen as mechanisms that increase the
levels of social solidarity among people.

Religions are often conservative in nature and


therefore play a major role in social cohesion, as
values such as obedience, sobriety, truth, discipline
among others are taught

JUSTICE SYSTEM

The justice system refers to the interaction of


those social institutions that are clearly identified
with social control.

It further includes the relationship between crime,


the law, judiciary, police and the protective
services

The justice system is therefore concerned with


maintaining a society where citizens are treated
justly and fairly.

JUSTICE SYSTEM CONTD

Members of society are usually taught what


is considered as acceptable or unacceptable
social behaviour at a young age via the
family and the education institution (primary
and secondary socialization).
Observance of these rules are most often
based on a system of rewards and sanctions.
For e.g. Children are rewarded for
acceptable behaviour and punished for
unacceptable behaviour