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SA 304 (1)
Lecture 3

Week 3 Reading Notes Goffman.doc

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Simon Fraser University
Sociology and Anthropology
SA 304
Dany Lacombe

SA 304 Week 3 Reading Asylums By:Goffman Institutions - Captures the time and interest of its members and provides something of a world for them Total Institutions – symbolized by the barrier to social intercourse with the outside - Often built into physical restraints i.e. locked doors, high walls, barbed wire, cliffs, water, forests, or moors - Brings together the three spheres of life: (1) sleep, (2) play, and (3) work o All aspects of life are conducted in the same place and under the same single authority o Each phase of the member’s daily activity is carried on in the immediate company of a large bath of others, all of whom are treated alike and required to do the same thing together o All phases of the day are tightly scheduled o The various enforced activities are brought together into a single rational plan purportedly designed to fulfill the official aims of the institution - Basic split between a large managed group (inmates), and small supervisory staff o Each groups tends to conceive the other in terms of narrow hostile stereotypes o Information restricted to staff only - Create and sustain a particular kind of tension between the home world and the institutional world and use this persistent tension as strategic leverage in the management of men Types of total institutions in our society 1. Institutions established to care for persons felt to be both incapable and harmless o Homes for the blind, aged, orphaned, etc 2. Institutions established to care for persons felt to be incapable of looking after themselves and a threat to community o Mental hospitals, TB sanitaria, etc 3. Institutions organized to protect the community against what are felt to be intentional dangers o The welfare of the persons is not the immediate issue o Jails, penitentiaries, P.O.W., camps, concentration camps 4. Institutions purportedly established the better to pursue some worklike task and justifying themselves only on these instrumental grounds o Army barracks, boarding schools, ships, work camps, colonial compounds 5. Institutions designed as retreats from the world even while often serving as training stations for the religious o Abbeys, monasteries, convents Family versus institutions – t
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