The function that the institutions perform may be divided into two categories:-

1) Positive functions.

2) Negative functions.


Positive Functions:

1) In society, moral ideas, knowledge and modes of behavior are transferred from one generation to another through the medium of institution. This helps younger generation in the solution of the problems confronting it.

2) Institutions control human behavior. The unexpected, irregular behavior of people is replaced by expected, systematic and regular behavior through the institutions.

3) Institutions act as instrument of social control. For example, the institution of marriage controls the sexual relations of the individuals in society. Institution indicates the right path to man and imposes control upon activities.


4) Institutions contribute to the fulfillment of the fundamental human needs such as the provision of food, clothing, shelter and sexual needs.

5) Institutions provide definite role and status for the individuals. Institutions such as family, marriage, property etc. provide some social standing for the individual concerned.

6) Institutions contribute to unity and uniformity of society. They regulate relations among people who have largely been responsible for unity and uniformity that are found in a society.

7) Institutions like family and school play very important role in the process of socialization.


8) Institutions give stability to the social group. The efficiency of a social group largely depends upon the effectiveness of its institutional arrangements.

Negative Functions:

The institutions do not undergo changes easily and quickly. Because of this reason

They retard social progress. They even hamper the growth of personalities of the people.


Religion and caste may be mentioned here as examples to show how they often discourage

People to go for achievements or adventures.