New PDF release: Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients

By Erving Goffman

Asylums is an research of lifestyles in 'total institutions' - closed worlds like prisons, military camps, boarding faculties, nursing houses and psychological hospitals. It specializes in the connection among the inmate and the establishment, how the environment impacts the individual and the way the individual can take care of lifestyles at the inside of.

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Additional resources for Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates

Sample text

P. 42. 62 CHARACTERISTICS OF TOTAL INSTITUTIONS rently limited facilities for doing so, this line of adapta­ tion is often efiFectively irreversible. ^^'' The result is a constantly communicated intransigency and sometimes high individual morale. Many large mental hospitals, for example, have wards where this spirit prevails. Sus­ tained rejection of a total institution often requires sus­ tained orientation to its formal organization, and hence, paradoxically, a deep kind of involvement in the estab­ lishment.

No high-liver helping himself to Tokay off a well-polished sideboard smacks his lips with more mighty satisfaction than the sailor does over his tot. To many of them, indeed, the thought of their daily tots forms a perpetual perspec­ tive of ravishing landscapes, indefinitely receding in the distance. ®^ It is one of the most common punishments for very trivial o£Fences in the Navy, to "stop" a sea­ man's grog for a day or a week. And as most seamen so cling to their grog, the loss of it is generally deemed by them a very serious penalty.

Pp. 54 CHARACTERISTICS OF TOTAL INSTITUTIONS ceiving something like full punishment. " Typical infractions involved in messing up are: fights, drunkenness, attempted suicide, failure at examinations, gambling, insubordination, homo­ sexuality, improper leave-taking, and participation in collective riots. Although these infractions are typically ascribed to the offender's cussedness, villainy, or "sick­ ness," they do in fact constitute a vocabulary of institu­ tionalized actions, but a limited one, so that the same messing up may occur for quite different reasons.

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Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates by Erving Goffman


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