The point of departure of this chapter is the understanding that the way in which the social relations of institutions are regulated has cognitive and affective consequences for those who live and work inside them. The current state of the art in the social sciences struggles to provide a theoretical connection between specifi c forms, or modalities, of institutional regulation and consciousness. Attempts which have been made to do so tend not to be capable of generating analyses and descriptions of institutional formations which are predictive of consequences for individuals. At the same time, social policy tends not to engage with the personal consequences of different forms of institutional regulation. This chapter will discuss an approach to making the connection between the principles of regulation in institutions, discursive practices and the shaping of consciousness. This approach is based on the work of the British sociologist Basil Bernstein and the Russian social theorist Lev Vygotsky.