Category Archive for: Social and Institutions

Social Change

Social Change Social change disrupts the stable equilibrium of the society, but before long a new equilibrium is regained. For example, large Lilies were desired throughout most of history. Death rates were high, and large families helped to ensure some survivors. Especially in America, with a continent to fill, and with never enough hands to.do tile work, large families were functionally useful. They provided…

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SOME STUDY SUGGESTIONS

SOME STUDY SUGGESTIONS Many students have trouble with tables, graphs, and figures. The secret in understanding them is, to read everything around the edges before studying the body of the figure. For example, look at Figure 13-1 on p. 319. first, read the title, “Total Federal, State and Local Government Spending as Percent of GNP” (gross national product). Rena the “Source” credit at…

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Confidence in Institutions

Confidence  in Institutions Functionalists assume that a healthy society will show strong support for the society’s social institutions-a consensus upon existing During this period, has public confidence in key institutions risen fallen or shoo clear trend? institutions. Conflict theorists feel that such a “consensus” may conceal grave injustices and may serve to lend moral approval to exploitative practices. For better or…

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The Incentive Alternative

The Incentive Alternative Some problems may be better handled by incentives than by regulation. For instance, consider the case of branch managers of corporations. ‘One corporation will devise a rule book for branch management and will have frequent inspections to see that the rules are followed. Another will hire the best managers it can find and allow them to make their own decisions as…

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The Ombudsman

The Ombudsman This office was developed in Sweden in 1913 [Gellhorn, 1967, p. 194] and has been adopted by corporations, governments and universities in many countries as an orderly way of securing redress against a bureaucracy. The ombudsman usually has tile power to’ investigate complaints and can often compel a reversal of an official decision. While the ombudsman may be a real protector of…

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ADJUSTING TO BUREAUCRACY

ADJUSTING TO BUREAUCRACY Bureaucracies tend to accumulate rules and procedures. Many bureaucracies become so entangled. in red tape that their daily work can be acorn polished only by violating or evading some of the rules. Employees can stage a limited form . of strike a work slowdown” -by”)simply abandoning their shortcuts and following the rule book. The difficulties of bureaucratic organization lead to attempts both…

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BUREAUPATHOLOGY

BUREAUPATHOLOGY Although bureaucratic organization performs needed services, it also tends to develop certain types of problems. Sometimes lateraled “bureau pathology” [Thompson, 1977, p~. 153], these problems include professionalization, aloofness and invidious status, “grade creep” [Samuelson, 1976], and. undue assumption of policy-making authority [Cooper, 1981, p. 139J. . Excessive rationalization leads to “buck passing,” in which officials handle a request by simply referring it to some higher…

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Role of the Bureaucrat

Role of the Bureaucrat With the single exception of the family elaborate bureaucracies surround all major institutions. Most institutional behavior is now conducted by associations. Religious worship (in most Western religions) is’ centered in organized churches; education has schools with teaching staffs, school boards, and education associations; economic behavior is run by corporations,’ unions, and trade associations; government has a bewildering array of bureaus,…

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Institutional Autonomy

Institutional Autonomy Those who fill ‘leadership roles in each institution jealously guard its territory (while often invading that of other institutions). Business interests resist government controls while seeking government favors’ and subsidies. Religious leaders defend “freedom of religlon” while trying to get religious education into the schools. Educators seek a continuous expansion of educational programs while uneasily defending “academic freedom.” A religion-based social movement…

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INTERRELATIONSHIP OF INSTITUTIONS

INTERRELATIONSHIP OF INSTITUTIONS No institution exists in a vacuum. Each is affected by the rest of the culture. Acts within each institution affect the others. Consider the case of the family. In most simple societies, the family (or possibly the clan, which is an extended family) is the only social institution. Work is organized by family units, children are trained by family members, control…

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