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Ideas on Institutions

Kathleen Jones - A J Fowles
pubblicato da Taylor & Francis

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First published in 1984, Ideas on Institution is a review of the major English-language literature of the past two decades on the experience of living in institutions - hospitals, mental hospitals, prisons. The survey opens with a consideration of the writings of Erving Goffman, Michael Foucault, and Thomas Szasz. They shattered the liberal consensus that the purpose of imprisonment was to reform. Instead, their work argued that the purpose of prisons and mental hospitals was social control, and that prisons created criminals, and mental facilities created mental illness. Part II looks at four British studies : Russell Barton's Institutional Neurosis which suggested the existence of a new disease entity; Peter Townsend's The Last Refuge, a study of old people in residential care; The Morrisses' Pentonville, a study of a London prison which became a classic in criminology; and Sans Everything, a symposium which paved the way for a series of official hospital enquiries in the 1970s. Part III examines David Rothman's two historical studies on how and why the U.S. constructed institutions, and how and why reform movements failed; N.N. Kittrie's The Right to be Different, a wide-ranging attack on the compulsory treatment of a variety of 'deviants', including the mentally ill, juvenile delinquents and drug abusers; Cohen and Taylor's Psychological survival, a disturbing analysis of the lives of long-term prisoners in a maximum security wing; Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment on the malignant effects of prison conditions on the personalities of both prisoners and their guards; and King and Elliott's study of Albany Prison, showing how a promising therapeutic experiment went wrong. This book will be of interest to students of history, gerontology, sociology, social policy, penology, psychology and political science.

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