In informal speech or writing, the word institution is often being used to refer to an organization with some particular purpose. The definition of institution is quite changed here in the social sciences. Institution is actually group of people in which the members interact in organized and systematic way. The family, clubs, government or prison etc are some of the examples of institutions. Thus, one can say that institution is a set of norms, rules and regulations which are necessary to be followed by its members. For example, family is an institution where all the members are bound to follow the norms of families. Father has to play his role, children play their role and as do other members of institution.


Characteristics of institutions


There are numerous characteristics of institutions, some of which are given below. 

  • Institution has some definite objectives.
  • It has definite procedures which are based on customs and traditions.
  • Institution depends upon the collective activities of man.
  • It is formed for the fulfillment of primary needs.


History of Institutions


The history of institution is as much old as the history of civilization. As soon as the human beings started to develop the social behavior, the formation of institution came into being in that proceeding development. Family is an example of one of the oldest institutions of human beings.


Functions of Institutions


There are lot of important functions of institutions as everybody know that the society cannot work without the help of institutions. The function of institution is to reproduce new members of society with the help of socialization. Institutions provide the sense of purpose and also provide the sense of setting goals and their achievement.


Importance of Institutions


Institution transfers the elements of culture from one generation to another. Institution brings uniformity in human behaviors and it also guides the human beings according to the circumstances. Institution gives shape to the actions of man and it also provides social control. Human beings follow the rules and regulations of society with the help of institution. It is the institution of police which prohibits the people from attempting crimes. Social institution provide role and status to individuals. One can imagine the worst image of society in the absence of social institution. There are several social institutors which are controlling and operating the various societies. Families, schools, government, religion, media, friends, sports, hotels and restaurants are some important institution for human societies.




The word institution is being differently in the field of social sciences. Institution is a groups of people in which they have to follow certain norm, rules and regulation. Family is an important institution which plays a vital role socializing a new born individual of the society. Institutions depend on the collective activities of man and it also fulfills the primary needs of humans. The history of institution is as much old as the history of civilization. The conformity of norms and socialization of individuals are major functions of the social institutions.

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