Concept and Types of Social Institutions and Their Functions (Family, School and Society)

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Concept of Social Institutions

  • A social institution refers to a group of people who have come together for a common purpose
  • These social institutions are a part of the larger social order of the society
  • Social institutions govern the behaviour and expectations of individuals in a society.

Types of Social Institutions

There are many types of social institutions that are in existence in the society.

Some of them are:

  • Family
  • School
  • Society
  • Religion
  • Economy
  • Government etc.


  • Family as defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary refers to a group of people who are related to one another such as mother, father, children etc.
  • The members of the family are united by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption who interact with each other in their respective social positions.

Functions of Family

The functions of the family can be divided mainly into two categories-

  • Primary functions
  • Secondary functions

Primary Functions of Family

  • Biological functions
  • Socialization of family members
  • psychological functions

Secondary Functions of Family

  • Economic functions
  • Educational functions
  • Religious functions


  • A school is considered to be a miniature society.
  • An important social institution.
  • The child spends a significant part of his life in this social institution. The formative years of a child is spent in this social institution
  • School lays the foundation for lifelong learning

Functions of School

  • Providing learning space and appropriate teaching environment to the pupils.
  • Prepares the child to be effective members of the society.
  • Kothari Commission (1964 - 66) quoted “The destiny of India is shaped in her classrooms” . This statement clearly explains the significance of school as a social institution
  • Helping children learn moral values, punctuality, respecting diversity, adopting social roles etc.


  • A society refers to a group of people involved with each other through relations sharing the same geographical or social territory.
  • The group of people living in a society interact with each other through mutual social interactions for the maintenance of the social order.

Society as a Social Institution

Society as a Social Institution


  • Social institutions help to create and sustain a society through articulation of certain set of rules of conduct for the peaceful co-existence of the members of the society.
  • The different types of social institutions help in the effective functioning of the society.
  • These social institutions form the very fabric of societies across the world.

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