Total Institutions

1028 WordsApr 30, 20015 Pages
Total Institutions In the year 1961, the author, Erving Goffman, published a book consisting of text and studies on mental patients and inmates, in what he has called "total institutions". There is a large focus on the life of mental patients, due to his year long study in an American institution. However, the center of my reading was based on the institutions and the lifestyles that are reached when placed in such establishments. When describing these institutions the author referred to them as segregated communities. This is exactly what they are. One is cut off from the outside society, with little or no contact at all until the inmates stay is over. The character of these institutions is one that is an intimidating…show more content…
The grouping includes, monasteries and covenants, Buddhist temples and the like. For one to be include in such a lifestyle is to truly believe in the higher power. to turn your life willfully over to a way of life and to separated from everything that one has ever known, would be of great difficulty. It would be doing this that would profess ones faith, desire, and trueness to what one is doing. Finally the institutions that are established to protect the community against intentional dangers, such as, jails, juvenile holdings, and penitentiaries. Again, these are a group of establishments that have the ability to strip people of their identity for as long as they are a member of this segregated community. All the aspects of everyday life are conducted in one place and under one authority, usually a warden, sheriff or other member of the staff. Ones self is stripped and one is thrown unwillingly into a group or subculture of its own. In this new group, all activities are completed at the same time, in the same space and together as a large faceless assembly. The activities that are participated in are those that are strictly scheduled throughout the day and roll from one into the other. These rigorous schedules are all imposed by the officials that run the institution. The goals of the institution are fulfilled by these schedules and the tasks that are completed by the
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