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Afterword: What is an institution?

Pina-Cabral, Joao (2011) Afterword: What is an institution? Social Anthropology (Journal of the European Association of Social Anthropologists), 19 (4). pp. 477-494. ISSN 0964-0282. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-8676.2011.00173.x)


What is an institution?We successively examine definitions provided by Durkheim, Mauss, Parsons, Goffman and Berger, and Luckman. Whilst anthropologists acknowledge that the stuff of human institutions is ‘the combination ofmodes of actionwithmodes of thinking’, somehow they have seen the epitome of that embodied in the compulsory organisations of modern, state-run,Western society. The paper argues for the abandonment of representational solutions, which operate with a Cartesian view of mind; sociocentric solutions, which view groupness as unitary and teleological; and individualist solutions that fail to see people as constituted in ontogeny through intersubjective attunement. Human sociality and human understanding must not be separated from the world, but persons do not pre-exist intersubjective attunement and this operates through a process of triangulation between self, other and world where all elements are intrinsically involved.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1469-8676.2011.00173.x
Uncontrolled keywords: institution, representation, sociocentrism, individualism, intersubjectivity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Joao Pina-Cabral
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 12:11 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 09:28 UTC
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