Reinventive Institutions are a feature of societies where conventional social structures are broken. In those groups, “members have come to terms with their own personal decision that, due to their flaws and limitations, they are in need of improvement, of ‘self-actualization'”.
That is the core examination contained in the article: “Reinventing the Self: NXIVM’s Promises, Secrets, and Lies”, by Susan Raine, a Professor from the Department of Sociology, MacEwan University, Canada.
Professor Raine utilizes Susie Scott’s ‘reinventive institution’ thesis, one that was built upon the earlier Erving Goffman’s concept of the ‘total institution’.
Raine attempts to situate NXIVM within this cultural milieu of the reinventive institutions, and examine its “structure, the nature of interpersonal relationships, and the promises that the movement and its founder, Keith Raniere, made”.
From the outset, she reminds us that “reinventive institutions incorporate structures of power that render them far from benign”. (more...)