Social Institutions, Norms, and Practices
We submit a model of social institutions which binds together the two central components of institutions, a) a “behavioral” system of social practices as repeated patterns of collective intentional actions and b) the normative Üeberbau consisting of a task-right system which on the one hand is influenced and in basic cases even induced by the “underlying” practices and on the other hand serves to stabilize them. An explicit and relatively simple connection in terms of sanctions is drawn between actions which are obligatory or permitted by special positions on the one hand and the “ordinary” course of actions which occurs in social practices within an institution on the other hand. Obligations and rights are not simply bound to actions, but to systems of actions given in the form of systems of social practices. This adds an essential component which has been neglected in formal treatments so far. The inclusion of social practices yields a rich structure in which the emergence and maintenance of of norms can be tackled in a realistic way.
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