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An 9 99 is any structure or mechanism of social

order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set
of individuals within a given human community. Institutions are identified
with a social purpose and permanence, transcending
individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing
of rules governing cooperative human behavior.

The term "institution" is commonly applied to customs and behavior

patterns important to a society, as well as to particular formal
organizations of government and public service. As structures and
mechanisms of social order among humans, institutions are one of the
principal objects of study in the social sciences, such as political
science, anthropology, economics, and sociology (the latter being
described by Durkheim as the "science of institutions, their genesis and
their functioning"). Institutions are also a central concern for law, the
formal mechanism for political rule-making and enforcement.

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Although individual, formal organizations, commonly identified as
"institutions," may be deliberately and intentionally created by people,
the development and functioning of institutions in society in general may
be regarded as an instance of emergence; that is, institutions arise,
develop and function in a pattern of social self-organization, which goes
beyond the conscious intentions of the individual humans involved.

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The c 9  

9  examines the family, as an institution and a
unit of socialisation, through various sociological perspectives,
particularly with regard to the relationship between the nuclear
family and industrial capitalism, and the distinct gender roles and
concepts of childhood which arose with it. The sociology of the family is a
common component on introductory and pre-university academic
curricula, as it is perhaps the most simple institution to which one may
apply many fundamental sociological approaches.

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The  9  
 99 concerns the role of religion in society:
practices, historical backgrounds, developments and universal themes.
There is particular emphasis on the recurring role of religion in all
societies and throughout recorded history. The sociology of religion is
distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that it does not set out to
assess the validity of religious beliefs, though the process of comparing
multiple conflicting dogmas may require what Peter L. Berger has
described as inherent "methodological atheism". Whereas the sociology of
religion broadly differs from theology in assuming indifference to the
supernatural, theorists tend to acknowledge socio-cultural reification of
religious practice.

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9 9 99 
The  9  
  9 is the study of how public institutions and
individual experiences affect education and its outcomes. It is most
concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial
societies, including the expansion of higher, further, adult,
and continuing education.

Education has always been seen as a fundamentally optimistic human

Endeavour characterized by aspirations for progress and betterment. It is
understood by many to be a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving
greater equality and acquiring wealth and social status. Education is
perceived as a place where children can develop according to their
unique needs and potential. It is also perceived as one of the best means
of achieving greater social equality. Many would say that the purpose of
education should be to develop every individual to their full potential and
give them a chance to achieve as much in life as their natural abilities
allow (meritocracy). Few would argue that any education system
accomplishes this goal perfectly. Some take a particularly negative view,
arguing that the education system is designed with the intention of
causing the social reproduction of inequality.

The c 9  
u    examines the interaction
between society and health. The objective of this topic is to see how
social life has an impact on morbidity and mortality rate, and vice versa.
This aspect of sociology differs from medical sociology in that this branch
of sociology discusses health and illness in relation to social institutions
such as family, employment, and school. The sociology of medicine limits
its concern to the patient-practitioner relationship and the role of health
professionals in society. The sociology of health and illness covers
sociological pathology (causes of disease and illness), reasons for seeking
particular types of medical aid, and patient compliance or noncompliance
with medical regimes.

Health, or lack of health, was once merely attributed to biological or

natural conditions. Sociologists have demonstrated that the spread of
diseases is heavily influenced by the socioeconomic status of individuals,
ethnic traditions or beliefs, and other cultural factors. Where medical
research might gather statistics on a disease, a sociological perspective
on an illness would provide insight on what external factors caused the
demographics who contracted the disease to become ill.
The  9  
 (or legal sociology) is often described as a sub-
discipline of sociology or an interdisciplinary approach within legal
studies. While some socio-legal scholars see the sociology of law as
"necessarily" belonging to the discipline of sociology, others see it as a
field of research caught up in the disciplinary tensions and competitions
between the two established disciplines of law and sociology. Yet, others
regard it neither as a sub-discipline of sociology nor as a branch of legal
studies and, instead, present it as a field of research on its own right
within a broader social science tradition. For example, Roger
Cottrell describes the sociology of law without reference to mainstream
sociology as "the systematic, theoretically grounded, empirical study of
law as a set of social practices or as an aspect or field of social

Irrespective of whether the sociology of law is defined as a sub-discipline

of sociology, an approach within legal studies, or a field of research in its
own right, it remains intellectually dependent mainly on
mainstream sociology, and to lesser extent on other social sciences such
as social anthropology, political science, social policy, criminology and
psychology, i.e. it draws on social theories and employs social scientific
methods to study law, legal institutions and legal behavior.

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9 9   9  aims toward the systematic study of the military as a
social group rather than as an organization. It is a highly specialized
subfield which examines issues related to service personnel as a
distinct group with coerced collective action based on
shared interests linked to survival in vocation and combat, with purposes
and values that are more defined and narrow than within civil society.
Military sociology also concerns civilian-military relations and interactions
between other groups or governmental agencies.
ºY   9 and   9
 9  9 is an academic discipline and field of study that deals with
the content, history and effects of various media; in particular, the 'mass
media'. The subject varies greatly in theoretical and methodological
focus, but may be broadly divided into three interrelated areas: the
critique of artistic styles and aesthetic forms (genre, narrative, and so
on), the study of the production process (e.g. technologies and markets),
and sociological analysis (of ideological effects, reception and
consumption, etc.).

Media studies draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the
humanities, and overlap in interests with related disciplines like mass
communication, communication, communication
sciences and communication studies. Researchers develop and employ
theories and methods from disciplines including cultural
studies, rhetoric, philosophy, literary theory, psychology, political
science, political economy, economics, sociology, anthropology, social
theory, art history and criticism, film theory, feminist theory,
and information theory.

ºY 9 and  9 

 9  9 , until recently a crucial research area within the
field of  9  
, examines "the direction and implications of
trends in technological change, globalization, labor markets, work
organization, managerial practices and employment relations to the
extent to which these trends are intimately related to changing patterns
of inequality in modern societies and to the changing experiences of
individuals and families the ways in which workers challenge, resist and
make their own contributions to the patterning of work and shaping of
work institutions."
ºY‘ 9 9 

A group of persons working on behalf of or strongly supporting a

particular cause, such as an item of legislation, an industry, or a special
segment of society.

9  99

A group of individuals who share a common interest via e-mail, blogs,
instant messages, chat rooms or newsgroups. Members of a virtual
community are self-subscribing. Contrast with virtual workgroup.

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The sociology of culture concerns culture³usually understood as sets of
cognitive meanings³as it is manifested in society. For Georg Simmel,
culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of
external forms which have been objectified in the course of history."

Sociology of language focuses on the language's effect on the society. It is
closely related to the field of sociolinguistics, which focuses on the effect
of the society on the language.

A sociology of language would seek to understand the way that social

dynamics are affected by individual and group language use. It would
have to do with who is 'authorized' to use what language, with whom and
under what conditions. It would have to do with how an individual or
group identity is established by the language that they have available for
them to use. It would seek to understand individual expression, one's
(libidinal) investment in the linguistic tools that one has access to in
order to bring oneself to other people.