Total Institution

A total institution is isolated and manipulated by an administrative staff.

  • Ex: boarding school, prison, retirement home

Three characteristics according to Erving Goffman

  1. Staff supervise all daily life activities
  2. Environment is standardized
  3. Formal rules and daily schedules

Types of Total Institutions:

  • Care for “incapable” or “harmless” members
  • Care for those who pose an unintended threat
  • Protect the community from those who threaten us
  • Pursue instrumental tasks
  • Pursue normative tasks