How Institutions Think (Routledge Revivals)

By Mary Douglas

© 1987 – Routledge

148 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415684781
pub: 2012-07-24
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415679527
pub: 2011-06-29
US Dollars$135.00

About the Book

First published in 1986 Mary Douglas’ theory of institutions uses the sociological theories of Emile Durkheim and Ludwig Fleck to determine not only how institutions think, but also the extent to which thinking itself is dependent upon institutions. Different kinds of institutions allow individuals to think different kinds of thoughts and to respond to different emotions. It is just as difficult to explain how individuals come to share the categories of their thought as to explain how they ever manage to sink their private interests for a common good.

Douglas forewarns us that institutions do not think independently, nor do they have purposes, nor do they build themselves. As we construct our institutions, we are squeezing each other’s ideas into a common shape in order to prove their legitimacy by sheer numbers. She admonishes us not to take comfort in the thought that primitives may think through institutions, but moderns decide on important issues individually. Our legitimated institutions make major decisions, and these decisions always involve ethical principles.

Table of Contents

1. Institutions Cannot Have Minds of their Own 2. Smallness of Scale Discounted 3. How Latent Groups Survive 4. Institutions are Founded on Analogy 5. Institutions Confer Identity 6. Institutions Remember and Forget 7. A Case of Institutional Forgetting 8. Institutions do the Classifying 9. Institutions Make Life and Death Decisions

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge, publishing Routledge Revivals is an exciting new programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural