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

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

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Title: Asylums – Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patient and Other Inmates 

Condition:  GOOD (Actual photo of cover) 

Author/s:  Erving Goffman 

Edition/Year:  1976 

Publisher: Pelican 

Pages: 336 

Format:  Paperback 

Category:  Nonfiction / Science / Psychology & Psychiatry / Sociology & Anthropology / Mental Health 

 

About the Book: 

What really goes on in a mental hospital?  Are asylums genuine havens of rest from the pressures of society, or can they create even more crippling tensions in those already disturbed?  How do mental patients adjust to their new life?  And are their adjustments so very different from the reactions of members of other ‘total institutions’ such as army camps, monasteries, prisons and boarding schools? 

In these four controversial essays Erving Goffman explores various types of closed community, all of which seek to mould their inmates to some socially approved purpose.  He writes as an observer, not an official; and, like the British ‘anti-psychiatrists’, he is more concerned to interpret the experience of the patients than to justify the system which contains them.  His first essay is a general portrait of life in a total institution; the other three consider special aspects of this existence: the sense of betrayal and loss of identity which afflicts the new patient; the flourishing underlife of prisons and hospitals by which inmates retain some self-respect; and the role of the staff in presenting to the inmate their view of his situation.  


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