Presentation on theme: "Impact of Societal Institutions On Caribbean Culture and Society"— Presentation transcript:
1 Impact of Societal Institutions On Caribbean Culture and Society
2 ObjectivesGain a thorough understanding of the different social institutions: family, education, political systemsUnderstand the main ideas of the Marxist and Functionalist perspectivesUnderstand the Marxist and Functionalist perspective on social institutions
3 Social InstitutionsSocial Institutions are a fundamental part of the operations of society. They are the major organising framework in social life. Social institutions have evolved overtime and therefore embody what the society holds valuable in relation to family, education, religion, the justice system, the economy and health.
4 Each social institution has functions that ensure the smooth working of the social system as they often illustrate the need for order, uniformity and consensus.Social institutions determine and guide behaviour: they signify what is accepted and what is notSocial institutions are intangible. They are represented through our cherished beliefs and ideas (values)
5 Sociological Perspectives A sociological perspective may best be described as a way of seeing or understanding social reality.Two of the dominant sociological perspectives that can be used to analyse social institutions are: The Functionalist Perspective and The Conflict Perspective (Marxism)
6 FunctionalismIs the oldest and most dominant sociological perspective.Holds a conservative understanding of society and the way social institutions impact on the lives of members. The maintaining of the status quo is of utmost importanceThe functionalists are of the view that society can be harmonious for all
7 Functionalism Cont’dThey believe that if there is consensus, then there is the likelihood of order, stability, uniformity and rationality in social lifeEveryone has a role to play in society, and if performed effectively this results in maximum productivity and minimum behavioural problems, imbalances and dysfunctions.
8 The Conflict Perspective (Marxism) This perspective holds an opposing view to the FunctionalistsThey argue that Functionalist explanations of society disregard the views of the underclassThey identify 2 main classes in society: bourgeoisie and proletariat- upper class and lower class
9 Conflict Perspective Cont’d They emphasize on conflict and tension between the social groups/ classes in society and not consensusThe conflict stems from the contradictions in social life and how social institutions seem to value some groups over othersAny social order that occurs is as a result of elitist social control (one group oppressing the other)
10 The Social Institution of The Family The family forms the bedrock of society. Socialization begins in the family, and therefore this institution has the responsibility of transmitting values and norms to the individual and therefore governs individual behaviour
11 The family transmits values on: The role and responsibilities of its membersReligionEducation and accepted behaviour upon reaching adulthoodE.g. “When I leave school, I want to get a good job, marry and settle down, and have two children.”The family transmits the expectations of society and socializesits members to internalize society’s goals as their own.Some common values associated with the family are: love, belongingness/togetherness, sharing (cooperation), support, encouragement, caring for the young orold, provision of shelter, child rearing
12 The Functionalist Perspective on the Family The functionalists argue that the family should carry out several functions for order, stability and harmony to exist in society. These are:ReproductionSocializationEconomic CooperationProvision of love and togethernessIf the above functions are carried out in an optimal manner and if everyoneplays a role, then families would be happy and society would not bethreatened by any breakdown of social order.The Functionalist view o the family has ethnocentric overtones. It assumes that families are nuclear andthat marriage is the basis for the formation of a family. Such a perspective cannot accommodate themany diverse forms that exist in the region. However the idea of the “nuclear family” is still held asideal.
13 The Conflict Perspective on the Family The family is associated with exploitation, oppression and dominationNuclear families are seen as products of capitalism where labour has to move to where employment is located, leaving the extended family behindThe employer can exploit workers effectively without this support network in placeThe oppressed worker in turn oppresses his wife and childrenThe nuclear family therefore fits the agenda of the capitalist- sexual division of labourThe assigning of roles through the institutional values associated with the family, hascontributed to family oppression, abuse and violence which results in an unequaldistribution of power that jeopardizes gender relations and even producesgenerational conflict.
14 The Social Institution of Education Education as a social institutions contains our deep beliefs and values about what the young should know and how learning should take placeSchooling is seen as the main route to becoming educated
15 The Functionalist Perspective on Education Education is seen as an agent of “secondary” socialization in society.Schools are the main mechanism through which secondary socialization takes place. They provide the link between what is taught in the family (primary socialization) and the wider societyCulture is transmitted through education: the value of obedience, regularity, integration and cohesion, punctuality ,work ethicSelection devices such as exams sort students into different types of schools e.g. Formal academic institutions versus technical/ vocational institutionsEducation supports the institution of religion. In the Caribbean there are strong values which give status to denominational education, for e.g. St. John’s Catholic Primary SchoolHistorically one of the main function of the church was education
16 The conflict Perspective on Education Education was instituted in order to provide for the needs of the capitalist economy: Capitalism needed a supply of educated workers and so the education system developed to provide thisThe education system mirrors the inequalities present in society: the education system is seen to discriminate against the poor. Schooling has several mechanisms which ensure that the poor cannot compete effectivelyThe education system contributes to a cycle of social reproduction (maintaining of the status quo)The above is often done through the presence of the “hidden curriculum”
17 The social Institution of Religion Religion refers to that realm in society where our beliefs about a supernatural power and how these impact on our lives are expressedSpecific religions, churches, mosques, temples halls of worship are tangible outcomes or forms of social organizations that reflect the beliefs and values of religion
18 The Functionalist Perspective on Religion Social order is crucial to the functionalists and therefore a fundamental function of religion is the maintenance of social stability through consensual valuesCommitment to certain beliefs, rituals and forms of worship are seen as mechanisms that increase the levels of social solidarity among people.Religions are often conservative in nature and therefore play a major role in social cohesion, as values such as obedience, sobriety, truth, discipline among others are taught
19 The Marxist Perspective on Religion Religion is regarded as serving the needs of the capitalist classThe values taught in religion mirrors those of the capitalistReligion serves to maintain the status quo and therefore serves to teach the proletariat to accept their status in society (the meek shall inherit the earth). Reality is distorted by promoting the notion that the social order and suffering are manifestations of “the will of GOD”The capitalist structure of society is so exploitative that the Marxists argue that religion is an avenue that eases suffering and deadens pain