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Immersion


Some people who exhibit high functionality in some cultural institutions have sacrificed understanding for success, where success is institutional achievement. Whether corporate CEO or scientist serving corporations, for example, apply limited time and energy to institutional conformity and efficiency of output. One cannot do both: apply oneself to functional conformity, and also to understanding the contingency and artificiality of the's function. Time and energy is finite. We can be thinking about how to fix a specific problem assigned to us by a workplace superior, or we can apply out cognitive capacities to observing ourselves and the social context. We do both, but emphasis on one is a loss for the other.

 

Instituitonal feedback mechanisms reinforce institutional blindness. This is how it's axiomatic for people on the outside of any institutions to percieve power dynamics that those on the inside cannot see. Ideology is reflective of integration and immersion of the self into the institutional culture. The concept of self-selection enters here. People who conform to the assigned instituional function are successful, in that institutions reward people for conformity.  Success is defined as institutional conformity rewarded. People who choose, or are otherwise not predisposed, to conforming to instiutional demands for conformity are more likely to leave or not apply themselves to the work of climbing the power hierarchy than others. Upper echelons of institutional power are manufactured uniformity. Highly functional members of any institution may beleive that they and their colleagues are free and independent agents–correctly noting that they are not being controlled by others. We can readily perceive the foundations for this illusion. Totaliarian organizations can function without direct coercion by virtue of the motive power of self-selection within the context of rewards. People who do not conform, for various reasons, are said to be "weeded out" or "filtered out." Those who remain have been "filtered in."

Being at the top, on the inside, makes perceiving the instituional ideology a considerable challenge.

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