major social institutions

Families, schools, religious institutions, governments, and healthcare

In general, social institutions support the upkeep of individual expectations and social order. In particular, social structures like the family are crucial because they care for children, the society’s future leaders, and because they help people prepare for careers through education. Religion is significant because it encourages societal change and offers an explanation for inexplicable events, whereas the economy offers means for the production and distribution of food-producing commodities and services. Healthcare guarantees continuation of life by keeping people from infections, and the government enforces laws to safeguard and promote equality among citizens. This video explains that the world has two different people, the religious people, and the atheists. Some of the atheist point that religion is not only wrong but also ridiculous, and it is like believing in fairies. Atheism 2.0 is a new kind of atheism where the atheists are attracted to the ritualistic, or communal aspect of religion but cannot stand the religious doctrines, in short, it is about being respectful but impious. Church attendance went down in the 19th century; thus people wondered where they would get guidance and consolation and the answer was through culture (Botton, 2013). The Atheism 2.0 video addresses religion as a social institution since it captures various religious elements and beliefs of the people and the impact of the beliefs held.

Family & Social Changes

The video family and social change address the family as a social institution since it captures different aspects that revolve around families. The video explains that in the past when our grandparents were young, families were different as they were married and stayed married; thus children grew up nuclear families. In today’s world, getting married to start families is a choice, an option and since women are becoming more equal, they prioritize their careers over bearing children. A lot has changed especially birth rates, in earlier times women had three children, but now women have less than two children and some even stay without children (Films on Demand, 2014). The video captures marriage, family duties, and birth rates all which fall within the family as a social institution.

What we’re Learning from Online Education

The film What We’re Learning from Online Education addresses education as a social institution. The video entails the difficulties people in South Africa face to access education. Initially, education was only for the white minority, and to date, there is still a scarcity in higher education in South Africa. There is a struggle as people try to get registered in academic institutions and some even got injured, and another one died. Higher education cost in the U.S is on the rise reaching almost twice the standard rate (Koller, 2013). The video captures different aspects of education in the society as a social institution.

Power Structure or Political Behavior

Some of the models of power structure are such as rational power structure which dictates that there is need to delegate power to others so that there is someone accountable. The delegation of power is beneficial as it makes the participant responsible and careful during performing of duties. The rational power structure has top-down authority hierarchy and communication between the senior and juniors is vertical (Verba, 2015). Another power structure is the Democratic power structure where responsibility and blame are shared. The rules and policies within democratic power structure are tailored to suit and enhance interaction and participation. During the making of decisions, individual contributions are valued and believed to bring a commitment to decisions.

Perspectives on Institutions

The film Atheism 2.0 uses conflict perspective to discuss religion institution. The conflict perspective tends to portray the social world as full of tension and strife, and the film shows two groups which have a conflict, the religious people and the atheists (Godwyn & Gittell, 2011). The atheists do not believe in God; however, the atheists 2.0 are attracted to the ritualistic and communal side of religion but not the doctrine (Botton, 2013). This raises a conflict as the religious people believe that you either accept or reject the doctrines as one cannot be respectful and impious at the same time.

The film family and social change uses the functionality perspective to discuss the institution of the family. The functionality perspective revolves around the society being interconnected and working together to achieve social equilibrium (Godwyn & Gittell, 2011). Back in time, our grandparents got married and stayed married, and the children grew up in nuclear families (Films on Demand, 2014). The nuclear families had a distinctive division of labor where men went to work, and women looked after children.

The film What We’re Learning from Online Education uses the interactionist perspective to discuss the institution of education. The interactionist perspective is whereby people derive social processes from human interaction. In the machine learning class, 400 people enrolled till there were 100,000 people registered with a goal of getting best courses from best instructors to obtain better job opportunities (Koller, 2013).


Social institutions are critical as they help maintain order in the society and also help us learn a lot form the community. There are several major institutions which include family, education, religion, economy, government, and healthcare all of which have varying impacts on the members of the society. The two most influential power structure models are such as rational power structure and democratic power structure. Family as an institution helped me appreciate my siblings and parents as they helped me when I had difficulties from time to time. Religion has helped me grow into a responsible person who respects other without discrimination. Education as an institution had instilled knowledge in me to help me become a competent individual in the workforce thereby being able to perform my duties efficiently.


Alain de Botton. (2013). Atheism 2.0. Retrieved from:

Films on Demand. (2014). Family and Social Changes. Retrieved from:

Godwyn, M., & Gittell, J. H. (2011). Sociology of organizations: Structures and relationships. Sage Publications.

Koller, D. (2013). TEDTalks: What We’re Learning from Online Education. Retrieved from:

Verba, S. (2015). Small groups and political behavior: A study of leadership. Princeton University Press.

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