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Revisiting the total institution: performative regulation in the reinventive institution
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 22:19 authored by Susie ScottSusie Scott
This article revisits the concept of the total institution (TI), critically assessing the extent to which it has changed from being repressively coercive to relatively voluntaristic. I propose two new concepts, the `Reinventive Institution (RI) and `performative regulation, to take the debate forward. The model of the TI outlined in Goffmans Asylums has been (mis-)interpreted as rendering its inmates powerless, but they also demonstrated agency through gestures of resistance. Conversely, RIs, which members elect to join for purposes of self-improvement, appear to celebrate the subjects autonomy but suggest a unique form of social control based on mutual surveillance. This performative regulation is enacted through the interaction order, as members actively produce, negotiate and legitimate the exercise of power.
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- Sociology and Criminology Publications
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