Meaning of Institution

What is Institution:

An institution is a form of social organization, whether private or public, that fulfills a specific function in society, and that obeys rules and a structure of roles that its members must respect in order to fulfill its mission.

The word institution comes from the Latin institutea term formed in turn by the prefix in, which means ‘penetration’; the word statuerewhich means ‘place’, and the suffix ionwhich means ‘action and effect’.

Institutions are established in different ways. One of them is through documents, laws or decrees. In this case we speak of formal institutionslike a government or a university, for example.

There are also non-formalized institutions, in which case speaking of natural institutions. They are “associations” that are formed from their own dynamics, in which each member plays a different role and all are governed by rules derived from custom and the very nature of human relationships. For example, the family. In it, as in formal institutions, rules and hierarchies operate, that is, role systems that regulate relationships between individuals.

Institution Types

In addition to the overly broad distinction between formal and natural institutions, there are different ways of classifying institutions.

Regarding their jurisdiction, the institutions are classified in public, private or mixed.

Regarding your area of ​​occupation or interest, we can mention the political, academic, legislative institutions, etc.. Let’s look at some of them separately:

political institutions

They are all those institutions that are in charge of regulating the functioning of society at a regional, national and international scale. It includes political parties, governments and international organizations (UN, OAS, etc.).

You may be interested:  Economy

See also Organization.

They are in charge of arbitrating the relationships of the subjects in case there is a conflict between the parties.

legislative institutions

Are those institutions that have the power to enact laws and regulations that help ensure social order and the exercise of law.

Academic and scientific institutions

They are those organizations oriented to education and the construction of knowledge, whether at a basic, intermediate or higher level. Therefore, schools, high schools, colleges, and universities are academic institutions.

economic institutions

Economic institutions are those that regulate the economic relations between the different social actors, whether normalized or not: businesses, companies, corporations, etc.

Financial institutions

They are those institutions that control the banking system of a certain region, country or international community, with the power to manage the resources of savers and grant loans for investment. Example: banks and lending institutions.

religious institutions

It refers to all religions that are organized as a community for the experience of faith, whether proselytizing or not. For example: the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, Islamic institutions, etc.

See also:

  • Social responsability.
  • Structure.