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

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

by Erving Goffman


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385000161
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1961
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 286,913
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Erving Goffman was born in Canada in 1922. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1945 and then studied at the University of Chicago, receiving his M.A. in 1949 and his Ph.D. in 1953.  For a year he lived on one of the smaller of the Shetland Isles while he gathered material for a dissertation on that community, and later he served as a visiting scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington. Mr. Goffman is the author of several articles and book reviews which have appeared in such periodicals as Psychiatry and the American Journal of Sociology. He is also the author of, among other works, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Asylums, Interaction Ritual,and Stigma

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Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
Myth-busting book about mental illness Reading Asylums in a shattering and moving experience. Written by Erving Goffman, the book details the dead-end domain of those unfortunate to be locked away in "the prisons of the world" aka mental institutions, prisons, psych wards, boarding schools, army boot-camps, or nursing homes. The damage he uncovers is heartbreaking. What is feels like to be a prisoner in these secret worlds is examined down to the tiniest details. It's less of a confessional of horrific conditions but a sociology manifesto for the curious reader who likes to "go undercover" to discover why nurses in psychiatric hospitals have trouble finding employment doing anything else (hint: it has something to do with drawing blood). The book concludes with a conceptual breakdown, where with alarming speed Goffman examines psychiatry and its role in actually creating mental illness in this country. Although the writing is antiquated and the prose dusty, the facts Goffman unearths are crystal-clear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very informative book about the macro-institutional systems. Covers numerous institutions and is very easy to follow and comprehend, unlike a Marx or Weber book. Highly reccomend to any student of Sociology.