by definition, human society involves people entering into forms of relationship with each other. Such relationships take many forms and may - for instance - be described as predominantly cultural, economic or political, although various combinations of these are normal.
patterns of human relationship become institutionalised in the course of their reproduction over time and may therefore be referred to as ´social institutions´.
the reproduction of social institutions has increasingly incorporated global influences and exchanges but local influences remain important. The outcome is a process of interchange between the global and the local.
in order to participate in society human beings maintain an understanding of their relationships with others and of the institutions in which they participate, whatever the scale.
the task for sociologists, therefore, is to capture this understanding in a more systematic way and provide substantive explanations which nevertheless are understandable in terms of everyday life. (Source: British Sociological Association)
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