NCERT Notes for Class 11 Sociology Chapter 3 Understanding Social Institution

Class 11 Sociology Chapter 3 Understanding Social Institution

NCERT Notes for Class 11 Sociology Chapter 3 Understanding Social Institution, (Sociology) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions with inside the very last asked from those.

Sometimes, students get stuck with inside the exercises and are not able to clear up all of the questions.  To assist students, solve all of the questions and maintain their studies without a doubt, we have provided step by step NCERT Notes for the students for all classes. These answers will similarly help students in scoring better marks with the assist of properly illustrated Notes as a way to similarly assist the students and answering the questions right.

NCERT Notes for Class 11 Sociology Chapter 3 Understanding Social Institution

Class 11 Sociology Chapter 3 Understanding Social Institution


What is institution?


  • Something that works according to rules or customs.
  • It control on individuals
  • It gives individual opportunities
  • A social institution is a complex, integrated set of social norms, beliefs, values and relationships (functionalist view).
  • It satisfy human needs

The important social institutions are :

  • Family, Marriage and Kinship
  • Politics
  • Economics;
  • Religion; and
  • Education.
    • family, marriage and kinship (informal)
    • law, education, etc. (formal)

Family, marriage and kinship


  • Family is the basic unit of the society
  • Simplest form of society
  • A family care giving unit might consist of a couple; a mother, father and children; a single parent and child; grandparent and grandchildren; a sibling group; a circle of friends; or however that family defines itself.
  • Families are the foundation of society.
  • Latin origin: ‘famulus’ and ‘familia’ –means servant and household.
  • In ancient times, the family is a group of producers, slaves, servants and members by common descent or marriage.
  • In modern times, the family is a durable association of husband and wife, with or without children.
  • It is a group of persons united by marriage, blood or adoption.

Functions of family

  • the first function is to procreate and maintain the species.
  • Socialization –Transmit culture, values to next generation.
  • Affectional
  • Economic functions
  • Emotional Security
  • Recreational functions
  • Protective functions
  • Religious functions and
  • Educational functions.
  • Socialization

Types of Family

Nuclear Families

  • Consists of a mother, father, and one or more children.

Blended Families

  • A family in which both spouses have children from previous relationships

Step Families

  • Families that include children from a previous relationship

Adopted Families

  • Families that include children that are not biologically theirs

Single Families

  • An individual living alone

Single Parent Families

  • Includes only one parent, the mother or the father, who lives with the children.
  • Single parents may be divorced, widowed, unwed, or abandoned.

Extended Families

  • Is made up of nuclear or single-parent families plus other relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Childless Families

    • Families with no children
  • Nuclear and Joint family
  • Matriarchal and Patriarchal Family

Importance of family

  • Human society cannot function without family.
  • A child learns the norms and culture in the family
  • Sociologist consider the family as the cornerstone of the society.
  • It is universal, found in all communities.
  • It is based on emotion and sentiments .
  • It moulds the character of its members and influences the whole life of society. It is permanent

According to the functionalists:

  • The family performs important tasks, which contribute to society’s basic needs and helps maintain social order.
  • They argues that modern industrial societies function best if women look after the family and men earn the family livelihood.
  • The nuclear family the best equipped unit to meet the demands of industrialised society.

Matriarchal family and Patriarchal family

  • Rule of residence
  • Authority and dominance
  • Inheritance
  • Family of orientation ( family of birth) and family of procreation (the family in which person is married)

Family and Gender

  • The incidence of female foeticide has led to a sudden decline in the sex ratio.
  • The percentage of decline in the child sex ratio is more alarming.
  • The situation of prosperous states like Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and western Utter Pradesh is all the more grave.
  • In Punjab the child sex ratio has declined to 793 girls per 1,000 boys. In some of the districts of Punjab and Haryana it has fallen below 700.

Types of Family

  • Matrilocal family:
    • is a term referring to the societal system in which a married couple resides with or near the wife’s parents.
  • Matriarchal Family/ Matrifocal Family:
    • refers to the mother or oldest female heads the family.
    • Descent and relationship are determined through the female line.
  • Patriarchal Family/ Patrifocal Family:
    • refers to males hold primary power, in the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women and children.
  • Nuclear family:
    • consists of husband and wife and their children.
  • Extended family:
    • ncludes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Forms of family (Various



Father, Mother and Unmarried children only


Minimum three generation live together



Newly married couple stay with the bridegrooms parents.


Newly married couple lives with the brides parents.



In the family men exercise authority and dominance


Women play major role in decision making



Family’s inheritance through father


Family’s inheritance through Mother



Family of Birth

Family of orientation

Family formed through marriage

Family of procreation


  • Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock,
  • It is a socially or ritually recognized union or
  • legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them
  • It is the socially sanctioned sex relationship involving two or more people of the opposite sex.
  • Men and women get social sanction to live together through the institution of the marriage. • To control and regulate sex life of people
  • It is universal

Figure 1Types of Marriage

According to Mazumdar:-

  • “Marriage as a socially sanctioned union of male and female”.

Purpose of marriage

  • Establishing household
  • Entering in to sex relations
  • Procreation
  • Providing care for the offspring

Forms of Marriage



One person marries one women

Most common form of marriage



One person marries more than one person of opposite sex at one time.

Man can marries more than one women and Women can marries more than one men.




One Men marries more than one Women

Eg: Muslims, Hindu religions

• One women marries more than one men. • Eg: Tibetans, Todas, Kotas tribes in India.

8 Forms of Marriage in Hindu Religion

  • Brahma Marriage
  • Daiva Marriage
  • Arsha Marriage
  • Prajapatya Marriage
  • Gandharva Marriage
  • Asura Marriage
  • Rakshasa Marriage

Serial Monogamy

  • Individual can marry again on the death of first spouse or after divorce at the same time they cannot have more than one spouse.

Arranged marriage

  • In some societies parents or relatives arrange partners and the girl and boy has no choice.

Rules of Endogamy and Exogamy


  • Life partners can be selected only from within their group.
  • Marrying a person from within one’s own group
  • (cast, class, religion, tribe, village etc.)


  • Some one marries from outside the group
  • Marriage form within group is not allowed
  • Marriage between close blood-relation is not permitted.
    • Exogamy brings people of different castes, races and religion together.


  • It is relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption.
  • “the bond of blood or marriage which binds people together in group”
  • Kinship bonds are very strong in tribal societies and rural communities.

Types of Kinship

  • Affinal Kinship
  • Consanguineous Kinship

1- Affinal Kinship

Kinship by Marriage

When a man marries, he establishes a relationship not only with the women he marries but also with a number of other people in her family. Vise versa.

Eg: Husband and Wife

Father- in- law

Mother- in- law

Daughter- in- law

Son –in-law

2- Consanguineous Kinship

Relation by blood or common ancestry. The bond between parents and their children

Work and Economic Life What is Work?

  • ‘Work’ refers to “paid or unpaid, is the carrying out of tasks that require expenditure of mental and physical effort and which aims at production of goods and services for human needs”.
  • In industrialized society few people work in agriculture and farming.
  • The economic system of modern societies is characterized by a complex division of labour.
  • After the industrialization there was shift of work from home to workshop or factories.
  • Different machinery using steam power or electricity made production easy and less laborious.

Transformation of work

  • Industrial processes were broken down into simple operations.
  • Mass production demands mass markets.
  • Significant innovation was production through assembly line.
  • Decentralization of work.


  • Political institution is a system of control
    • An organization for the legal use of force
  • It is a sub system of the society.
  • Political institutions are concerned with the distribution of power in society.
  • Society must have control over people. o In primitive societies, the family control over the people.
    • Modern society, social control comes through laws- both written and unwritten.
    • The state has the legitimate power to pass laws to control the people.
  • Political institutions perform a two fold function.
    • It implements the rules and regulations in the country
    • It punishes the lawbreaker

Power and Authority

  • Power must be distinguishing from authority
  • When a person uses his influence over other person irrespective of his will- called power
  • When a person uses his influence over other person who willingly accepts it – called Authority
    •  It is voluntarily accepted by people.

The concept of the State.

  • State is the most fundamental institution of a political system.
  • State is a community of persons o permanently occupying a definite portion of territory.
  • independent of external control, and o possessing an organized government.
  • Modern states are nation states o It have majority of the citizens who consider themselves part of a particular nation.

Characteristics of State

  • According to functionalist view:
    • The state represents the interest of all section of society
  • According to Conflict view:
    • The state represents only the dominant section of society.

Stateless society

  • Order is maintained without a formal governmental apparatus.
  • Order is maintained through alliances, kinship marriage etc.


  • It refers to a set of symbols and beliefs that provide the sense of being part of a simple political community.
  • Nationalism emerged in with the development of modern state

Citizenship right includes:

  • Civil right –freedom of speech and religion etc.
  • Political rights –Right to participate in election etc.
  • Social rights – health benefit, social and welfare rights


  • Sociological study of religion differ from theological study of religion.
  • It conduct the empirical studies to see
    • how Religion function in society and
    • What is its relation to other institution.
    • It also use comparative method
  • Religion is a system of belief in the existence of supernatural beings.

Elements of Religion

  • Belief in the supernatural power
    • Polytheists:- who believe in more than one god.
    • Monotheists:- who believe in one god
      • Omnipresent (present everywhere)
      • Omnipotent (all powerful)
      • Omniscient (all knowing).
  • Man’s adjustment with the supernatural
    • o Man express his subordination through prayers, hymns, rituals.
    • He believes that disrespect to the supernatural forces would land him in disaster.
  • Religion considers some acts as righteous and sacred.
  • the concept of salvation is associated with religion
    • Ultimate aim of the religion is to save the believers.
  • A definite place of worship
  • the concept of sacredness.
    • Place of worship, holy books
  • Specific rituals
    • Eating, fasting

Social Role of religion

  • It fulfill spiritual, social and psychological needs
  • Socialization
  • Social control
  • Preserve moral and ethical values
  • It is a strength of social solidarity
  • It provide optimism to individuals.
  • Emotional support
  • Social welfare
  • Universal brotherhood
  • Social integration

Origin of religion

  • Religion was born out of primitive man’s fear, imagination, sense of insecurity and helpless.
  • Primitive men attached supernatural power to certain objects.

E.B. Tylor

  • Theory of Animism
    • Religion came out the idea of soul.
    • People believed that after death the soul transmigrates. During sleep these transmigrated soul interact with the body soul. Dream is the manifestation of their interaction.
    • Animism is the belief that a spirit or divinity resides within every object.


  • The origin of the religion came from fear of ghosts.
  • They believed that ancestral ghosts tried to interfere with human affairs.
    • Tribal leaders were worshiped as gods.


  • Theory of Naturalism
    • Whenever nature defeated primitive man in his struggle for existence, he started to worship nature to win his favor.

Max muller

  • To him nature appeared to be most surprising, fear and marvellous.
  • From this sensation of the infinite religion was born.

Emile Durkheim

  • Reject all these theories
  • Sociological theory of religion.
    • All religious beliefs are totally social.
    • People make a distinction btw. ‘the sacred’ and the ‘profane’
    • Religion is associated with the sacred.
    • All religious idea like ‘totem’ came from the social group.
  • totem is the collection of religious objects having supernatural power for the group.

Max webber

  • Religion influence on Economic development?
  • The Calvinist Christian had great influence on the emergence and growth of capitalism.
  • They believed that world was created for the glory of god. So anything done on this earth should be for his glory.
  • Hence even worldly acts became acts of worship.
  • They believed individual will go to heaven or hell after death. That related to their hard work.
  • The money gets should be used to do sacred things.
  • The Calvinist lead very strict life, never including in luxury. So they invested their savings in business which is blessed by God.

To be conclude…

  • Religion is a important part of society
  • Social forces always influence religious institution
  • Political debates, economic situation, gender norms will always influence religious behaviour.

Leave a Comment