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SOCIOLOGY is the study of social life, social change, and the
social causes and consequences of human behavior.
Social Institutions consists of a group of people who have come
together for a common purpose.
A social institution is a complex and integrated set of social norms
organized around the preservation of a basic societal value.
These institutions come into existence to satisfy vital interests of
man.(Sumner and Keller)
These institutions arise because of social demand or social
Primary and Secondary Social Institutions
A major social institution and a locus or nucleus of much of a
person's social activity.
Family is a social unit created by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Like a big tree as it contains an element of a broader kinship
network that links ancestors and descendants of a person.
Family was considered as the most permanent and most persistent
of all social institutions as it was having a great influence in life of
the members from the moment of birth to the moment of death.
Transformation from Joint family system to nuclear family
Religion means “things that surpass the limits of our knowledge”
(Emile Durkheim)
The word religion may be coined from the Latin religio (respect for
what is sacred) and religare (to bind, in the sense of an obligation)
Faith the underlying principle of Religion provided differing
degrees of “social cement” that held societies and cultures
Caste system can be considered as a byproduct of religion
The word "caste" derived from the Latin word castus which means
In India caste system is a unique social institution which was
intended to be developed to preserve purity of blood.
The Sanskrit word for caste is varna which means colour
"Caste may be defined as a small and named group of persons
characterized by endogamy, hereditary membership, and a
specific style of life which sometimes includes the pursuit by
tradition of a particular occupation and is usually associated with
a more or less distinct ritual status in a hierarchical system".
(Andre Beteille)
Caste system many merits (Unity in diversity, Co-operation,
economic security, Racial and ethnic purity, cultural diffusion,
integration of the nation etc) is having a number of demerits
(Obstacle to national unity, untouchability, wrong / denying
occupation, undemocratic etc)
Even we are undergoing fast changes due to industrialization,
urbanization, modernization, education, secularization Caste
system still plays an important role in shaping the Indian societal
Biggest and most prominent social institution is the state.
History of state began in ancient Greece
A community or society politically organised under one
independent government within a definite territory can be called
a State.
Three important elements
Sovereign / Ruler / Government
Population / Subjects / People
The most important purpose of state is establishment of order and
security to maintain peace and safety and ensure justice.
The existence of state depends on this.
It is possible by ensuring the rights of the subjects and enforcing
their duties which can be done only through a permanent, strong,
enforceable mechanism.
Law is the best mechanism through which the sovereign can
regulate the subjects for establishing peace, order and security.
A state is a territorial division in which a community or people lives
subject to a uniform system of law administered by a sovereign
Jurisprudence coined from the Latin term jurisprudentia which
denotes “ the knowledge of law’ is considered as the science of
law or study of law.
There are different schools of law and Law is defined differently in
different periods by different jurists.
Law is the utterance of justice speaking to man by the mouth of
the state (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Law was there even before the existence of state but got a
structure after formation of state and societies.
In general sense law is a body of rules laid down for guidance of
human conduct imposed by some authority in the form of
command and which is enforceable.
“ Law is the command of the Sovereign” (Austin)
Law is the rule of civil conduct, prescribed by the supreme power
in the State, commanding what is right and prohibiting what is
wrong. (Blackstone)
Law is the body of principles recognized by state in the
administration of justice” (Salmond)
A law generally is a body of rules which have been laid down for
determining legal rights and legal obligations which are
recognized by courts. Law is the case of an absolute monarch is
his command which has to be obeyed by the citizens whether
they agree with it or not. (Supreme Court in R.K.N Pratap Singh
Deo vs State of Orissa)
Law is the carrier of justice, ensuring stability, mentor of peace and
Security and catalyst of social change.
Effective laws and an enabling legal environment are essential to
a healthy society.
Law is the protector of individual rights and liberties
Law is the means through which disputes can be resolved.
Law is an Instrument of social change
"Social Change refers to any modification in established patterns
of inter-human relationship and standards of conduct.“(
Law Change the society and Society change the law
When law changes the society it is the sign of beginning of the
development of the society. When society changes law it is the
sign of maturity of the society.
Examples from different nations. Experiences from Soviet Union,
Spain, Europe, USA, China etc proved that law can make
enormous changes in the society and is an impetus in
In India transformation of society through law started with
Abolition of Sati with the efforts of the social reformer Raja Ram
Mohan Roy.
It was continued with the, Prohibition of slavery, Hindu Widow
Remarriage Act 1856, Child Marriage restraint Act 1872, Protection
of Civil Rights Acts, Special Marriage Act, Domestic Violence Act,
Various Labour Legislations, Various legislations protecting the
rights of children, women and weaker sections etc.
Constitution of India is the best example that conveys law as the
instrument of social change
Law is the vehicle through which a programmed social evolution
can be brought about.