I had occasion to dip into Erving Goffman's Asylums today. Here's the first sentence of the first essay.
Social establishments—institutions in the everyday sense of that term—are places such as rooms, suites of rooms, buildings or plants in which activity of a particular kind regularly goes on. (15)
I will be using this in my work on "composure" as a counterpoint to Kantian intuitions.
In whatever manner and by whatever means a mode of knowledge may relate to objects, intuition is that through which it is in immediate relation to them, and to which all thought as a means is directed. (KRV A19/B33).
Intuitions and institutions together are the media of immediacy.
What I like about Goffman's definition of institutions ("in the everday sense") is its concreteness. It's tangibility. We can heighten it by imagining what Kate Greenstreet would do with it:
I think of places
(rooms, suites of rooms, buildings
where things regularly go on
Wittgenstein suggested that our belief in the "intangibility" of mental states stems from our "refus[al] to count what is tangible about our state as part of the specific state which we are postulating" (PI§608). In this spirit, I think it is important to approach our institutions through the rooms and suites of rooms in which things happen. Marriage is an institution and the home (the house or houses) is its place. Money is an institution and the bank its tangible place. There are places that put us "in immediate relation" to our activities.