This chapter investigates the rich but fragmented tradition of Pragmatist institutionalism. This tradition shares a Pragmatist model of psychology, an emphasis on the interpretation and production of meaning, an understanding of institutional life as a dynamic “going concern,” and a naturalistic stance towards institutions. Institutions are understood to be concepts that have become grounded in experience and around which publics have developed. Pragmatist institutionalism avoids the polarized image of institutions as either “rational design” or “congealed taste” by focusing on how complex institutions are scaffolded.
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