Institutions as in what? For openers, the institutions of religion, a traditional western marriage, and the Have and Have Not horror (which in essence is a profoundly conditioned social structure).
To take the second one first, I suspect there is nothing humans represses more than that "marriage" (especially monogamous marriage) is merely a relative social institution. It's not in any sense biologically hard wired into our species and in spite of all the legal and religious jazz, it is a completely arbitrary social construction.
But for many (most?) of us, it is the God of our lives. But why should that be? Why should this concatenation of "rules" kill our individuality?
Hey, we're the dogs, not the tails, but we certainly don't live like that. When you pass through a marriage abracadabra ritual, you have surrendered the "center of gravity" of your life to what is a social "game", but a game backed up (rather like gold backs up paper money) by OTHER institutions, such as religion and a bunch of dreamed up "laws".
Probably nothing in life is a better example of the infinite stupidity of being a jail cell (often for the rest of your life) with one wall wide open. Yes, there are "consequences" when you get a divorce, but the MAIN thing that keeps probably most of us playing the game is we don't think it IS a game -- even though it's hard to say just how we do think of it.
Obviously, for some of us it's a commandment straight from God (whatever that means). For others, perhaps less religious, it has massive cultural "weight" that chains us to a defined way of life.
In either case, however, these are both simply forms of profoundly successful social conditioning.
It's easy to write off such of critique of marriage as sour grapes or "atheist thinking", but such responses beg the question since they are merely variations of not wanting to face the truth of things. And the truth of things is that institutional marriage is a "passing fancy" of evolution and will almost certainly be selected out in the relatively near future.
Children are not being overlooked in this examination, since it is a common experience for all of us that the toxic infrastructure of most marriages (yes, most!), are horribly destructive to vulnerable children. Love and compatibility is what should hold adults together, not fear of social punishment. However idealistic it may sound to say such things, the only relationship that makes ANY sense is one in which both parties are like birds flying together only for as long as they both want to, i.e., no “institutional chains”.
However, this critique of marriage is secondary to the larger point that we humans are dragging around mountains of anachronistic and criminally stupid conditioning. In short, we "believe" (note a root meaning of "belief" is "lief" -- which is wishful thinking) what we believe mostly because we have been massively socially/culturally programmed to have these beliefs.
As opposed to what? How tragic that we have to even ask that question. As opposed to BELONGING TO OURSELVES, that's what.
Indeed it's entirely possible that the human race is approaching a momentous cusp where if we don't demote our past conditioning from "The Authority" to a vast bank of pragmatic "memes", we are in grave danger of being "conditioned to death".
Religion comes to mind. Do we really NEED religion for ANYTHING? How much longer are we going to allow this institution to keep chaining us to a stake that was set in the earth usually several thousand years ago?
Again, we see an institution (frequently mostly made up of men in dresses) which, in effect, replaces our "sense of self". Nothing reveals the absurdity of institutional religion more than to think we have to ask the institution "who we are". Think about that. It's like having to ask your neighbors who you are -- surely the ULTIMATE act of submission.
The big concept in all this is the straight jacket of social conditioning (or programming or brainwashing or your concept of choice), and that any institutional dog which wags us like a tail is grounded in social conditioning.
Please keep in mind the Have and Have Not horror is ALSO variation of social conditioning. After all, only one or two percent of the human race has nearly ALL of the power and money, so why do we keep bending over for them?