Contemporary Greedy Institutions: An Essay on Lewis Coser’s Concept in Times of the ‘Hive Mind’ Cover Image

Contemporary Greedy Institutions: An Essay on Lewis Coser’s Concept in Times of the ‘Hive Mind’
Contemporary Greedy Institutions: An Essay on Lewis Coser’s Concept in Times of the ‘Hive Mind’

Author(s): Marianne Egger de Campo
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
Keywords: greedy institutions; Lewis Coser; new media; 24/7 migrant carers; spin doctors; consultants; power relations

Summary/Abstract: Lewis Coser perennially discussed various forms and facets of ‘greedy institutions’ with their total grasp on the individual. Coser’s ‘greedy institutions’ demand undivided time and loyalty from the individual who will voluntarily devote him/herself for exclusive benefits only granted to loyal followers. Although the ancient authorities have vanished—princes with their court Jews, masters with their servants, or religious and political missionaries— one can argue that the idea of the greedy institution is far from obsolete today. Management consultants, 24/7 old-age carers from Eastern Europe and particularly the ‘hive mind’ of new social media show that a revisiting of Coser’s theory can help in understanding modern forms of greed in institutions. This awareness may enhance vigilance against intrusions into personal autonomy.

  • Issue Year: 49/2013
  • Issue No: 06
  • Page Range: 969-987
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: English