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Title: A world of their own? : the novel and the total institution
Author: Hamilton, Anne
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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A World of Their Own? The Novel and the Total Institution is an exploration of the sociological concept of the Total Institution with particular reference to its relationship with English literature, followed by the presentation of Chasing Elena, an original novel. The term ‘Total Institution’, attributed to Erving Goffman (1961) encapsulates an environment in which a large number of individuals participate in an enclosed and formally administered way of life. Chapter 1 of the critical text defines the Total Institution and sets the scene for Chapter 2, which examines selected literary texts that feature life in all-encompassing institutions and considers Goffman’s ‘moral career of the inmate’ in terms of the experiences of the fictional characters. Chapter 3 is a literature review reflecting upon Goffman’s work. It expands the model and metaphor of the Total Institution and includes my original interpretation of the concept called here the ‘New Total Institution’. Chapter 4 offers a close reading of contemporary literary texts in which this new interpretation is examined for strength and sustainability when applied to a belief system, a social structure and an isolated physical environment respectively. Chapter 5 considers the relevance of the (New) Total Institution, initially, in terms of the family. It then highlights specific groups of people who live in constrained and constraining circumstances: those affected by domestic abuse, and displaced persons such as refugees. Chapter 6 turns to the relationship between the (New) Total Institution and the novel, looking at the choices and experiences of the writer and the reader. It goes on to describe the ways in which the (New) Total Institution has informed the writing of Chasing Elena. Finally, this novel is presented in its entirety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; PN Literature (General) ; PR English literature