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    • Thread Starter

    The essay title is only asking for a description. This is making me feel uneasy about how to answer the question because I feel as though I ought to be analysing or criticising or contrasting in some way to show I am engaging with the material critically.

    The title is: What are 'total institutions' ( Goffman) and how do they impact upon the identities of their inmates?

    Any advice on how to approach this?


    Is this hw from your school or am exam question?

    From my understanding, it's asking you to first give a brief description/definition of what total institutions are
    And then "how do they impact...." is where you analyse the effect of them and perhaps talk about how effective each of them are/ aren't and why

    Then perhaps an overall conclusion summarising everything

    What subject is this out of curiosity? xD Is it sociology?:0
    Hope that helps !
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    • Thread Starter

    Hi Beaniehutton and thanks for your response 😊

    Sorry, I was very tired when I wrote the post. Yes it is sociology and I'm a first year undergraduate. The degree is Ethics, Philosophy and religion and I'm taking sociology as a minor, but considering making it part of my major next year (if I make it that far haha)

    Your idea of analysing in the second part really does help! 😊 Thank you! It really helps to have a different perspective when we are bogged down with something and can't see the woods for the trees. I've been reading Goffman intensively for the last 3 days so became transfixed on what he says is the impact upon the self. I suppose I take what he says is the impact and then try to back it up with studies or critise what he says in the same way.
    Thank you again. What are you studying?
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