INSTITUTION SOCIAL AND INSTITUTION TOTAL
A pattern of social interaction, having a relatively stable structure, that persists over time. Institutions have structural properties - they are organized - and they are shaped by cultural values.
Thus, for example, the institution of marriage, in western societies, is structurally located in a cohabiting couple and regulated by norms about sexual exclusiveness, love, sharing, etc.
There is not full agreement about the number or designation of social institutions in a society but the following would typically be included: family, economy, politics, education, health care, media.
These institutions are frequently involved in the process of resocialization whereby individuals are detached from their previous sense of identity and re-shaped to accept and absorb new values and behaviour. Examples include religious orders, prisons and army training camps.
Conflict over values or interests is institutionalized within the 'political system'.
Sexual access and raising children is institutionalized within the family.