chapter  10
The Presentation of Self and the New Institutional Inmate: An Analysis of Prisoners' Responses to Assessment for Release
Pages 18

Implicitly, too, this analysis portrays the institution as destructive to individual autonomy in yet more subtle ways, for the person loses not only previous social identity and the right to independent thought and action but the ability to maintain a separation between his or her private inner "self" and the social

character that he or she is presumed to have. Total institutions employ imperialis­ tic "interpretative schemes" and all encompassing "theories of human nature" that unequivocally define the person in terms of his or her present status and that provide standard recipes for explaining all inmate conduct in terms of the kind of person that he or she most assuredly is (Goffman, 196la:83-92). In the case of mental patients especially, the institution entirely takes over and absorbs the inner "self" of the person, or that part of the individual that is generally kept apart from assigned social identity and social status (Goffman, 196la: 146-69).