Download Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients by Erving Goffman PDF

By Erving Goffman

Asylums is an research of existence in 'total institutions' - closed worlds like prisons, military camps, boarding faculties, nursing houses and psychological hospitals. It makes a speciality of the connection among the inmate and the establishment, how the environment impacts the individual and the way the individual can care for existence at the within.

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Extra info for Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates

Sample text

While the colonized inmate builds as much of a free community for himself as possible by using the limited facilities available, the convert takes a more disciplined, moral­ istic, monochromatic line, presenting himself as someone whose institutional enthusiasm is always at the disposal of the staff. W. " In German concentra­ tion camps, a long-time prisoner sometimes came to adapt the vocabulary, recreation, posture, expressions of aggression, and clothing style of the Gestapo, execut120 Schein, op.

Third, punishments and privileges come to be geared into a residential work system. Places to work and places to sleep become clearly defined as places where certain kinds and levels of privilege obtain, and inmates are shifted very frequently and visibly from one place to an­ other as the administrative device for giving them the pimishment or reward their co-operativeness warrants. The inmates are moved, the system is not. We can there­ fore expect some spatial specialization, with one ward or ®o See S.

734. 124 This two-facedness is very commonly found in total institutions. In the state mental hospital studied by the writer, even the few elite patients selected for individual psycho­ therapy, and hence in the best position to espouse the psy­ chiatric approach to self, tended to present their favorable view of psychotherapy only to the members of their intimate cliques. For a report on the way in which army prisoners con­ cealed from fellow offenders their interest in "restoration" to the Army, see the comments by Richard Cloward in Session Four of New Perspectives for Research on Juvenile Delin­ quency, eds.

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