Summary Of Erving Goffman's 'Asylums'

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Erving Goffman was born on 11 June 1922 in Canada and died in Philadelphia on 19 November 1982. He was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The most important books wrote by Goffman are: Asylums, Stigma, Encounters, Frame Analysis, Behavior in Public Spaces and Interaction Ritual. The book Asylums is divided into four essays: On the Characteristics of Total Institutions, The Moral Career of the Mental Patient, The Underlife of a Public Institution and the Medical Model and Mental Hospitalization. At the beginning of the book “Asylums. Essays on the Social Situation of Mental patients and Other Inmates” Goffman defines a total institution as “a place of residence and work where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time, together…show more content…
The attitude is hostile about one another. This movie describes the tragic life of people from a mental health hospital, an institution that symbolizes the control mechanism. As I said before this movie shows the mental health hospital as a total institution and also fits the perspective of Goffman regarding it. Killian and Bloomberg(1975) claim that Goffman ignored the fact that patients can have a constructive resocialization. I also add the fact that Goffman ignored that the patients can change for the better. The mortification of self doesn’t represent the lost identities of the patients but it represents a change of identity that is necessary for a successful resocialization. In conclusion, Goffman takes into consideration only the negative parts of a total institution. He believes that the total institutions are isolating the members from the contact with the outside world and that they don’t have benefits. Instead I believe that total institutions can have a positive impact on the members because they were created to protect

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