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Most of the institutions are established by communities. For example, festivals, ceremonies expressive of important occasions, modes of recreation and amusement are such institutions. Consider in an urbanized society the quite systematised procedures that have been established for “dating” or the widely recognised practices of going to movies or listening to radio.

These forms of procedure, to be sure, are frequently part of the practices of associational groups. Thus dating in the college fraternity or listening to radio within the family is institutionalised procedures but they were neither established by associations nor are characteristically confined to them.

Communal institutions (those of communities), result from a deliberate act of establishment. They are, to use Sumner’s well known distinctions, crescive rather than enacted. Communal institutions gradually attain social recognition; they grow into an establishment. In the final analysis, all institutions, communal or associational, are crescive.


Even if it is deliberately established, an institution has neither a definite beginning nor an uncompromised identity.

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