American Society - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 17 pages of information about American Society.
This section contains 4,919 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
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Major Institutions

"Institution" here means a definite set of interrelated norms, beliefs, and values centered on important and recurrent social needs and activities (cf. Williams 1970, chap. 3). Examples are family and kinship, social stratification, economic system, the polity, education, and religion.

Kinship and Family. American kinship patterns are essentially adaptations of earlier European forms of monogamous marriage, bilateral descent, neolocal residence, and diffuse extended kinship ties. All these characteristics encourage emphasis on the marriage bond and the nuclear family. In an urbanized society of great geographical and social mobility and of extensive commercialization and occupational instability, kinship units tend to become small and themselves unstable. Since the 1950s, the American family system has continued its long-term changes in the direction of greater instability, smaller family units, lessened kinship ties, greater sexual (gender) equality, lower birth rates, and higher rates of female-headed households. The percentage of married women in the...

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This section contains 4,919 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the American Society Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Sociology
American Society from Encyclopedia of Sociology. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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