Social Institutions

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Social institutions represent enduring patterns of organization or structures built up around some social function, they are social systems, that perform differentiated functions and provide critical structure to a society. In their manifest state they typically take the form of established official organizations or social norms having an important role in the life of a country. Examples include religions, governments, and families with these institutions being embodied within banks, churches, legislature or marriage. These institutions are reoccurring and enduring patterns because they provide socially accepted solutions to universal and perennial social challenges and because of inertia - the resistance to change. The concept of a social institution is both one of the most abstract and complex concepts within all of the social sciences but offers a very powerful, unifying concept to all forms of organization within a social system.