INSTITUTION SOCIAL AND TOTAL INSTITUTION
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.
Conflict over values or interests is institutionalized within the 'political system'.
Sexual access and raising children is institutionalized within the family.