The underlying research covers a comprehensive report on the Circumstance of the Community Condition of Cerebral Patients and other Prisoners, a manuscript written by a sociology by the name Erving Goffman. The essay concentrates mostly on the four piece written in the book which includes features of total establishments, the right profession of the people with an intellectual health condition, under life of public agencies and finally, medical model and psychiatric hospitalization. As the researcher, I will examine the explanation given by Goffman in his first three essays and research on whether his theories are still useful in today’s world. Finally, I will discuss his final article, what makes it different from the rest and why its empirical facts only exist only live in St Elizabeth and not in any other institution.
Articles on the Condition of the Community Condition of Cerebral Patients and other Prisoners was written by a sociologist by the name Erving Goffman. The book was published in the year 1961 by Anchor Books, contains three hundred and eight six pages written in English. The report on this book explores about four essays written by Goffman on features of total foundations, the right career of the people with a cerebral health condition, about the under the life of public agencies and finally, medical model and psychiatric hospitalization. Asylums give a detailed examination of life in total institutions like prisons and mental hospitals and, it concentrates mostly on the relationship between the inmate and the new environments.
In his introductory essays of the book, Goffman aims at teaching us concerning the characteristics of total institutions that is, a comprehensive analysis of social life in these facilities with his concentration mostly based on mental hospitals and prisons. The second essay elaborates real career of the rational sick persons explaining more on, the effects of these rehabilitations on the social life of an individual before and after becoming an inmate. Finally, the third essay elaborates further on the life in the public institutions explaining the attachment people are expected to indicate to their new environments. In these three articles, Goffman is educating us on complete mental systems, and as stated clearly in his title, he gives an example of mental institutions(Goffman, 1961). In the first essay on characteristics of total institutions, the facilities description occurs in four groups. These groups include facilities to cater for simple and incapable persons like the blind and elderly. Secondly, institutions to provide for individual who are unable to look after themselves and are considered a threat to the society like albeit. Another group is described as establishments to protect the community against intentional dangers like jail and finally, institutions established with the aim of training religious leaders.
Goffman understanding on cultural institutes termed as both beneficial and well-defined as in many compliments. He understands the facilities as distinguishing establishments that remain both as part of and different from our modern societies. As pointed out by the writer in his attempt to define the institutes, these facilities identified as areas of work and living where persons within them are separated from the modern civilization for a certain period. He also explains that these institutions are distinctive and poses a lot in common since their social structure is dissimilar from our present western societies. In modern societies, individual tend to move to different places and interact with people from diverse backgrounds which is dissimilar from experience in total institutions. These organizations serve as breakdowns of the barriers separating individuals hence, tension build up resulting to incompatibility between these facilities and the outside world where family’s lives remain organized in a normal way .
In the second essay, Goffman describes the systematic diversifications in how individual interpretations of himself or herself throughout the transformation since they stopped being an average person to a patient. Goffman understanding comes from his natural, historical methodology on career highlights, and the variations happening from period to period that is common among society members. In this case, he elaborates on people with a mental health condition hospitalized in mental institutions, how their lives vary from those of ordinary individuals. In his application on the concept of a single thought to have a mental condition, a career in this cases includes three levels being, pre-sick person, inpatients and an already discharged patient(Scheid, 2001). According to Goffman, by morals, he elaborates on the changes a person confined in mental instruction sets that are different from the lives of other people. He puts a lot of emphasis on the link between a mentally ill person and the mental institutions whose primary focus is mental illnesses and also, concentrates mostly on the concept of self-evolving experienced by a person believed to have a mental illness.
According to (Scheid, 2001), Goffman view on the link between mental sicknesses and mental career received a lot of criticism from other scholars. A theory by Scheff on seminal labeling made a substantial contribution to the development of psychological illness, and career notion through viewing mental disorders as a communal responsibility different from the therapeutic belief on diseases that commonly affect people. In nineteen ninety-six, another researcher described another elaboration on the perception of profession and psychological sickness. Goffman applied a depressed patient scenario to put more emphasis on how individuals execute meaning depending on their experiences since it evolves over time. He described this as a wrong method to figure out the problems, their causes and how to live with them. In this case, they explained that different career paths exist and that many people develop psychiatric conditions in some forms, but only a few of these people are bound to become mental patients via recurrent periods of brain impairments.
These researchers disagreed with Goffman view of career and social life of a patient. They explained that it does not necessarily mean that a single series of levels gives characteristics of the sequence of an ailment but quite the contrary. On each stage, an individual might progress using the same path to take finally take another alternative route(Scheid, 2001). The mental sickness experience is therefore not dependent on a person despite the fact that it appears as excruciatingly personal. Patients who have the same condition at least have something in common due to the characteristics portrayed by an illness and, due to social responses to the conditions.
The third essay on the under life in public facilities, Goffman elaborates on the attachment that rehabilitated individuals are to portray regarding their new homes. He explained that, in cases where patients directly contribute to the facility’s required activities and under the expected standards, he or she becomes a cooperator and therefore seen as a built participant in the institution. Goffman elaborated on both primary and secondary adjustments that an individual adjusts. On the first circumstances, he explained the need for the patient to speak with the organization management that has the first change on his or her social life (Ditton, 2001).. On the subsequent adjustments, Goffman explained the changes as any forms of formal agreements by which an organization member uses unauthorized mechanisms, obtains unlawful ends or both Hence, understanding the organization’s assumptions on who or what they expect the patient to do.
Currently, Goffman understanding of mental institutions continues to receive a lot of criticism from other scholars. Some scientist and writers challenge his understanding of mental institutions with statistical facts from mental institutions or with first-hand information from the patients. They argued that Goffman portrayed and exaggerated and overdrawn understanding of mental institutions. According to their understanding, not all mental hospitals resembles total institutions or prisons or any form of concentration maps. Most sick individuals do not see themselves as prisoners denied freedom, abused, betrayed or left alone (Weinstein, 1982).
The scholar’s term his understanding of mental hospitals without referencing to the psychiatric challenges faced by patients as narrow-minded since the two always work together and also, they disagree with his opinion to generalize mental facilities from one regarded with suspicion case study. His entire services model continues to receive critics in the recent years. With the increased number of diversification in whole institutes, scientists have recognized their variety and the study on variables differentiating them. Goffman covered the past development of asylums in only one page of his book and also, associated the introduction of mental facilities with the application of the medical model and members of public responsibilities in treating the mentally ill persons (Weinstein, 1982).A researcher criticized his understanding and stated that mental infirmaries were never the monolithic establishment as indicated by critics.
During the nineteenth century, experimentations done using variety institution structures inclusive of decentralized infirmaries proved that Goffman thesis failed to meet the expectations. According to the research conducted then, hospitals not developed with the intentions of using them as instruments to control the social lives of patients. The results came from different studies designed to test the thesis of Goffman, disapproved with his findings. Most sick persons managed to improve their health conditions or remained unchanged during the rehabilitation period(Weinstein, 1982). The facts also indicate that ill person does not have covert to how the institutions define them and do not see themselves as mentally retarded beings. The thesis conducted by Goffman only distorted the personal experiences of rehabilitation by only concentrating most on only the negative and not positive impacts on the psyche of a person with a mental health condition.
Goffman understanding of the place of safety is not so much incorrect because it is one sided and concentrates mostly on adverse impacts on the patient. He mostly focused on negativity and debilitating features of psychiatric establishments without sufficient concentration on the therapeutic characteristics of these facilities(Weinstein, 1982). In reality, he concentrated mainly on the scholar’s view of mental infirmaries even though he insisted his impression came from the viewpoint of the patient. Currently, scientists do not accept his theory and model of the mental hospital because they realized it concentrates mostly on a personal perspective than a comprehensively managed case study on mental rehabilitation centers and also, the views of the patients.
In his last essay, Goffman talks about Medical model and psychiatric hospitalization. In the study, he elaborates on the importance of the members of staff to put into consideration the role of medical attention in serving the patients and providing them with facts concerning their mental conditions. The fourth essay is different from the rest. Goffman does not concentrate much on the sick person and their associations with the rehabilitation facility but rather, he focuses primarily on the shrewdness and practices of the mental facility(Jacobsen et al., 2014). He picks a point from his first essay and briefly talks about the rational perspective shown by these institutions (p. 83). In the medical model, he continues with the examination of the prudence of the entire center via analyzing the psychiatric occupation as a service offering expert network. He is mostly concerned with the relationship of service that exist between the patients who enters the medical facility either voluntarily or not through their will.
Goffman begins the introduction of this essay using a metaphor by describing services rendered by the practitioners as the object in need of repair services and the owner as an example of tinkering service (p.326). He portrays mental doctors as particular types of artisans who offers an emotionally independent service to mend broken objects. The whole essays revolve around identifying the social relationship between the sick persons and doctors providing services within the psychiatric established organization (Jacobsen et al., 2014). He states that the associations involve people seeking for services that place their lives in the hands of others. He also applies the service structure to elaborate on the relationship between the sick individuals and the medical officers attending to their cases in the psychiatric wards. He relates the patients with the organic system that is in need of repair
He elaborates that within the societies there exist different approaches that people can use so at to communicate with each other he provided two frameworks namely the close to close or upper caste to low. In these tow forums, contact established between individuals can be between their source of identity, a guide to their expected code of conduct and finally, by both harmony and disruptiveness( Jacobsen et al., 2014). Each of these two frameworks involves a set of symbiotic assumptions that work together to form a suitable model. Hence, the society student can use the same models used by other members of society (Jacobsen et al., 2014), Goffman also explained that, in our present modern society, people as servers and the one receiving service. Via exploring the assumptions in our modern society, we can clearly understand some problems associated with mental impairments hospitalization. Some of these specific duties divided into where the practitioners meet the needs of the members of the public and secondly, where he fails to meet the public and performs for the members of the organization
Goffman conducted his survey in St Elizabeth, and that’s why facts about his finding only exist in this institutions which currently serves as a landmark of analysis on the micro-sociological institution. On a broader scope, his research concentrated mostly on how human being survives under severe conditions hence, the need for the new importance of sociologically understanding the relationships and interlinks amongst individuals, their responsibilities, and social centers. He also continued his study by examining how people in their daily life, manage to control potentially dangerous data about their personal lives to protect their identities.
The report on this book explores about four essays written by Goffman on features of total foundations, the right profession of the persons with a psychological health condition, also the under the life of public agencies and finally, medical model and psychiatric hospitalization. The best way to understand people needs is by seeing them as working actors who personally creates an impression about themselves. The book elaborates mostly on the need to understand individuals and treat them according to their health conditions without discrimination.