What is institution?

Institution

An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community — may it be human or a specific animal one. Institutions are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern cooperative living behavior.

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Famous quotes containing the word institution:

    The authority of any governing institution must stop at its citizens’ skin.
    Gloria Steinem (b. 1934)

    [They] hired a large house as a receptacle for gentlewomen, who either had no fortunes, or so little that it would not support them. For these they made the most comfortable institution [and] provided [them] with all conveniences for rural amusements, a library, musical instruments, and implements for various works.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

    The sick man is taken away by the institution that takes charge not of the individual, but of his illness, an isolated object transformed or eliminated by technicians devoted to the defense of health the way others are attached to the defense of law and order or tidiness.
    Michel de Certeau (1925–1986)