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

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Doubleday, 1961 - Psychology - 386 pages
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Asylums is an analysis of life in "total institutions"--closed worlds like prisons, army camps, boarding schools, nursing homes and mental hospitals. It focuses on the relationship between the inmate and the institution, how the setting affects the person and how the person can deal with life on the inside.

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User Review  - wonderperson - LibraryThing

This guy has done his homework as his descriptions mirror real life and rightly so. Read full review

Contents

On the Characteristics of Total Institutions
1
The Moral Career of the Mental Patient
125
A Study
171
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About the author (1961)

Erving Goffman, an American sociologist, received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is known for his distinctive method of research and writing. He was concerned with defining and uncovering the rules that govern social behavior down to the minutest details. He contributed to interactionist theory by developing what he called the "dramaturgical approach," according to which behavior is seen as a series of mini-dramas. Goffman studied social interaction by observing it himself---no questionnaires, no research assistants, no experiments. The title of his first book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), became one of the themes of all of his subsequent research. He also observed and wrote about the social environment in which people live, as in his Total Institutions. He taught his version of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania; he died in 1983, the year in which he served as president of the American Sociological Association.

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