On the concept of Total Institution

Sandro Serpa


This conceptual paper puts forward Goffman’s concept of total institution, a classic of sociology. It is concluded that this concept holds heuristic capacity, notwithstanding the great constraint of the action of its members, which, however, does not determine each actor’s margins of freedom, at least in the study carried out. Even in extreme situations, organisational actors discover or create spaces of (some) autonomy, in which they exercise their (even if highly regulated) freedom beyond the structure of the organisation, a fact that is acknowledged by Goffman himself.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v6i9.3467


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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