Asylums

By Erving Goffman,

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

Book description

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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Why read it?

1 author picked Asylums as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This classic account by a renowned sociologist is critical reading for those interested in the anti-psychiatry movement, a crusade that viewed psychiatry as more coercive than therapeutic and, in some cases, questioned the reality of mental illness itself. For one year, Goffman embedded himself in St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital in Washington, DC, where he ultimately concluded that the defining features of the asylum – similar to those of prisons and other “total institutions” – did more to shape the patient’s behavior than the supposed illness for which the patient had been admitted in the first place. Goffman’s observations left a…

From Emily's list on rethinking your sanity.

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