Goffman Traits

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  • Topic: Sociology, Erving Goffman, Total institution
  • Pages : 7 (1760 words )
  • Download(s) : 75
  • Published : May 26, 2013
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Goffman’s four traits of
  total institutions

S.Mahenthiran, N4 222767

 

Principles of Sociology
2013-1

Statement of authorship
I certify that this dissertation is my own work and contains no material which has been accepted for the award of any degree or diploma in any institute, college or university. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge and belief, it contains no material previously published or written by another person, except where due reference is made in the text of the dissertation.

Signed _________________________________________________

Date ___________________________________________________

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Table of content
1.
  Introduction .......................................................................................................... 3   2.
  Goffman’s studies and theories ........................................................................... 3   2.1.
  Total institution .............................................................................................. 3   2.2.
  Four common traits of total institution ........................................................... 4   2.3.
  Degradation ceremony ................................................................................. 4   2.4.
  Resocialization .............................................................................................. 5   3.
  Self- reflection ..................................................................................................... 5   4.
  Four major theoretical perspectives .................................................................... 6   5.
  Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 7   6.
  Reference list ...................................................................................................... 8

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1. Introduction
The present essay aims to portray Goffman’s four traits of total institutions and discuss how a degradation ceremony is used to mortify one’s sense of self. I also aim to discuss why killing of the former sense of self, would be considered necessary to re-socialize a person. Based on my study I would also share my personal thoughts and experiences on total institutions. My self-reflection would also comprehend the four major theoretical perspectives on total institution.

 

2. Goffman’s studies and theories
2.1. Total institution

Erving Goffman the most influential sociologist in the 20th century had many theories and studies related to social order, interaction, impression management, total institutions, social organization of experience, and stigmas (El-Mafaalani, 2009, p. 38). One of his most interesting studies that attracted my attention: total institution. Goffman’s idea of total institution was introduced in one of his books Asylums. The book speaks about the equal treatment given to a group of people in any type of intuitions and how their behaviors are governed. His books have shown that in spite of total institution, people tend to break through their own personalities and redefine their established roles in regulated societies (Handler, 2012, p.179). Total institution can be dived into five different categories. The first type of institutions are for harmless and helpless people who are incapable of taking care of themselves, such as aged, poor or blind. The second category of institution is mental hospitals that take in people who are helpless and could be harmful to the society; people who seek for treatment. The third category is for people who pose

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danger and threat to the welfare of the communities and are put into institutions such as prisons and concentration camps. The forth type of institutions are established to create a working environment among the societies, such as military camps, boarding schools and work camps. The final type of...
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