Society's Major Institutions.
There are five basic institutional areas of a society. The major institutions consist of family, education, economics, religion, and political sectors. These will essentially affect everyone's life by shaping their thoughts and behaviors. Each of these institutions serves its purpose to fulfill society's fundamental needs and specific goals for the overall society. All must coincide or work harmoniously to make a society.
The institution of family is the most important and is based on the teachings of values, norms, statuses, and roles. The family is designed to guide sexual activity, socialization, and social relations within a sexual union (Sociology of the Family). Every family is run differently under different circumstances and beliefs. In America, there are many different types of kinships and many different ways each of these kinships are run. The family of procreation consists of parents residing with their biological children. There is also the family of orientation which is the family in which a person is born and raised in and the family of affiliation.
Often times and for many different reasons a person may be a part of the family of affiliation. For some reason the person's biological parents and intermediate kinship is unavailable or unable to care for a child and therefore the child goes to live with another caregiver whom is greatly respected by the kinship. The family of affiliation is more common amongst the poor in America. It is used to benefit many different people of the same kinship. Those members less fortunate are able to live amongst the most fortunate of the family while both kinships are able to compile their resources to benefit each other.
While the nuclear family is the "normal" based on American standards it only makes up about a fourth of the families in America...