Searle, J. R. (2007). Social ontology: Some basic principles. Anthropological Theory, 6(1), 12-29.
[Abstract] This article extends and develops a theory I began in my book, The Construction of Social Reality. Its aim to explore social ontology in a way that will make it clear that social ontology is both created by human actions and attitudes but at the same time has an epistemically objective existence and is part of the natural world. The fundamental concepts necessary to explain its creation and continued existence are: the distinction between observer-relative and observer-independent phenomena, the distinction between the epistemic and the ontological senses of the objective-subjective distinction, the notions of collective intentionality, the assignment of function, and constitutive rules. The upshot of the discussion is that the basic notion in institutional ontology is that of a status function. Status functions are the glue that holds society together because they create deontic powers, powers that work by creating desire-independent reasons for action. Thus, social ontology locks into human rationality. I discussion some of the implications of this work for sociology and anthropology.