The symbolic interactionist, functionalist, conflicted sociological perspectives (Colomy, 2001) of Kata (型) is interchangeable with Kofu-An-Toku (公府之案牘), shortened by processes of tesselative-angular cognitive dynamics (TACD) resulting in a further condensed stereotype, as Ko-An (公案). Yes, there are schools that use Ko-Ans that seem, within the sense of a sociological imagination — forms of Total Institution (TI) (Goffman, 1961), where perhaps a more palatable form is Susie Scott’s (2010) Reinventive Institution (RI) (p. 218). One could reasonably propose a variation, and circumscribe a Koanic Institution (KI) where the institution is set about the task of snapshot environmental mechanics; that is, where individuals see the value of a TI, and preserve the TI as a drama to which participants play parts.
A KI then allows individuals to explore spectrum of congruence as the play interacts, functions, and conflicts with the individual’s conditioning with that of the TI’s preserved scripted behaviors. This KI structure would therefore seem to serves as a cognitive behavioral modification program, in that scripts are paired with “chop wood, carry water” paradigms and dramas within which the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are put to therapeutic use (Beck, 1976) for the benefit of the world, to borrow from traditional Mahayana practices of Buddhism.
Some schools while not explicitly adopting the vernacular nor noted traditions that can be included in the KI category, certainly resemble KI in that disciples of said schools experience similar environmental conditioning of operationalized KI. In order to differentiate these schools, four criteria are offered in categorizing environments as a KI.
Colomy, P. (2001). Three Sociological Perspectives. In Adler, P.A. & Adler P. (Eds.), Sociological Odyssey: Contemporary Readings in Sociology. United States: Thomson/Wadsworth (pp. 24-32). Thomson/Wadsworth.
Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders. United Kingdom: International Universities Press.
Goffman, E. (1968). Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. United Kingdom: Penguin Books.
Scott, S. (2010). Revisiting the total institution: Performative regulation in the reinventive institution. Sociology, 44(2), 213-231.