Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates
Asylums is an analysis of life in "total institutions" -- closed worlds such as prisons, army training camps, naval vessels, boarding schools, monastaries, nursing homes and mental hospitals -- where the inmates are regimented, surrounded by other inmates, and unable to leave the premises. It describes what these institutions make of the inmate, and what he or she can make of life inside them. Special attention is focused on mental hospitals, drawing on the author's year of field work at St. Elizabeth's in Washington, D.C., one of America's most well-known institutions. It is the thesis of this book that the most important factor in forming a mental-hospital patient is the institution, not the illness, and that the patient's reactions and adjustments are those of inmates in other types of institutions as well.
The first essay is a general portrait of life in a total instituion. The other three consider special aspects of this existence: the initial effects of institutionlization on the inmate's previous social relationships; the ways of adapting once in the institution; and the role of the staff in presenting to the inmate the facts of his or her situation.
What people are saying - Write a review
Other editions - View all
action activity allowed American appearance arrangements attendants authority become building called camps Central cigarettes claimed client concern consider course effect employed especially establishment example exchange expected expression fact feel fellow function Further give given grounds human important individual inmates interesting involved issue kind lead living look means ment mental hospitals moral nature object obtain occur official once one's organization participants particular patients perhaps person position possession possible practice present prison privileges problems psychiatric psychiatrist reason receive regard relation relationship relatively reported role rules secondary adjustments seems sense served server situation social society sometimes staff standards status suggested taken tend tion total institutions treatment usual ward whole York