Some things are experienced immediately. We know right away what we're looking at, what we're dealing with. I'm not talking about moments of instant recognition, about which we could be mistaken. I'm talking about the comfortable way in which we know our way home through the park. The certainty that this is the park, which would be true even in a dream (a dream about the park). I'm talking about what it is like to be at home in the ordinary way.
I thought about this when Liam Stanley tweeted the following slide to explain "what, exactly, an institution is in political and social science":
These are all perfectly good definitions. But I've always thought we should define institutions in contrast to mediated forms of experience. If you have to ask what an action means, it is not "typical", i.e., it is not institutionalized. I think specifically of Kant's definition of intuition as a model. Intuition is that through which knowledge of things is given to us immediately. The "that through which" is important because it actually suggested mediation (going through) something. So intuition is the medium of immediate knowledge, almost a contradiction in terms.
But then, immediacy is probably an essentially paradoxical notion.
Anyway, institution is that through which the power of people is taken from them immediately. Or the way in which people are immediately taken with experience. Institution is the immediacy of people in experience. (What one definition refers to as the identification of "categories of social actors".) Institution is the immediacy of social experience.
Likewise, intuition is the immediacy of material experience. We experience the world as a collection of things because of intuition. We experience history as a collective of people because of institution.