The concepts of “social structure” and “social institutions” are two of the most important concepts in the field of sociology. They are considered macrolevel concepts although we may analyze certain aspects of our performance within the social structure and within social institutions at the microlevel. Write a 3-page paper (about 750 words) which illustrates your understanding of these concepts and your ability to analyze your own social and culture life using these concepts. Identify and define the major elements of social structure as discussed by the author of our text in Chapter 8. Then discuss – describe or provide examples – of these concepts within your life. For example, discuss the 2-3 most important statuses you fill and the roles that go along with those statuses while mentioning important role strains or role conflicts that might accompany those roles. Do the same for groups. What master status do you believe is the most important in your social and cultural life? Elaborate on your answer. All societies studied by sociologists have exhibited five basic institutions; the societies have varied in the nature and extent of development of these basic institutions but all societies have had them. In addition, modern western societies exhibit a series of minor institutions, so-called because they have not been observed everywhere. Select one major institution and one minor institution in relation to which you can discuss important elements of institutions. What need(s) do the two institutions fill within your cultural context (you may write about your experiences in the United States or your experiences in any other country in which you have had experience)? Describe interrelationships you see between your selected institutions and one other institution in your culture of choice. Discuss any pressures toward social change exhibited in each of these institutions. Cite any sources, including assigned readings, according to APA citation guidelines.
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