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Getting Out : Inside Out

In the Eeencyclopedia...

from Rain Child - Tuesday, August 02, 2005
accessed 1480 times


Here are some interesting things I found in encyclopedias. Sort of explains our growing-up environment to a T.

Total institution , an institution which completely absorbs the lives of those within it and separates them from the rest of society. The concept was formulated by the US sociologist Goffman, following research in a psychiatric hospital. He cited prisons, hospitals, and, at the extreme, concentration camps as examples. In Asylums (1961), Goffman described the methods by which control is exercised and the dehumanizing effect on both the inmates and staff. A total institution strips identity from inmates--their clothes are communal, personal possessions are removed, privacy is denied, and a rigid routine imposed. Some inmates actively collaborate with the staff, others become passive and dejected, while others again find subtle ways of defying and subverting the regime. The Romanian asylums for mentally handicapped adults and orphaned children, revealed to the world after the fall of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, displayed in gross form the characteristics of total institutions.

symbolic interactionism , a form of sociology which stresses the place of symbols in social interaction. Closely associated with the Chicago School US philosopher George H. Mead (1863-1931), and the sociologist Goffman, it pays particular attention to the creation of the human personality in social interaction, by considering how people develop a sense of themselves. They learn through a process of interaction with others and with society, but do not always react directly. The symbolic nature of the interaction is paramount. They may never see their president or monarch, but are still subjects, relating to their power. Considered by some as an alternative to functionalism, symbolic interactionism has helped to elaborate ideas about deviance, role, and socialization.

Total institution
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Total institution as defined by Erving Goffman, is an institution where all the aspects of life of individuals under the institution is controlled and regulated by the authorities of the organization. Total institutions are a social microcosm dictated by hegemony and clear hierarchy.
Total institutions include boarding schools, concentration camps, prisons, mental institutions, and boot camps.
Of these, concentration camps are largely illegal and therefore outside the legitimacies of the society. While prisons and mental institutions though legal involve the isolation of people out of the society. Boot camps, army barracks and submarine crew, involve total institutions where individuals join as non-civilian professionals. One of the few types of total institution which operate within a civil society are boarding schools.
Some people view total institutions as places where rites of passage and indoctrination occur within their confines in such a way that the total institution acts as a secret society within the society, one which shapes newcomers willingly or unwillingly into a new and more or less permanent social role. This view is controversial.
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Mind control
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Mind control is a general term for a number of controversial theories proposing that an individual's thinking, behavior, emotions or decisions can, to a greater or lesser extent, be manipulated at will by outside sources.
The principal feasibility of such control and the methods by which it might be attained (either direct or more subtle) are both subject to hot debates among psychologists and sociologists. Also the exact definition of mind control and the extent of its influence on the individual are debated.
The different views on the subject do have legal implications. Mind control was an issue, e.g., in the court case of Patty Hearst and also in several court cases regarding New Religious Movements. Also questions of mind control are regarding ethical questions linked to the subject of free will.
The question of mind control has been discussed in relation with prisoners of war, totalitarianism, cults and terrorism, but also regarding the battered wife syndrome.
While mind control remains a controversial subject, the principal possibility of influences on individuals by methods like advertising, media manipulation, propaganda, group dynamics, or peer pressure has been well researched in social psychology and is today undisputed.
Social psychology tactics
A contemporary view of mind control sees it as an intensified and persistant use of well researched social psychology principles like compliance, conformity, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, framing, or emotional manipulation.
One of the most notable proponents of this theory is social psychologist Philip Zimbardo, former president of the American Psychological Association:
I conceive of mind control as a phenomena encompassing all the ways in which personal, social and institutional forces are exerted to induce compliance, conformity, belief, attitude, and value change in others.
"Mind control is the process by which individual or collective freedom of choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies that modify or distort perception, motivation, affect, cognition and/or behavioral outcomes. It is neither magical nor mystical, but a process that involves a set of basic social psychological principles."

Social psychological conditioning by Stahelski
Anthony Stahelski identifies five phases of social psychological conditioning which he calls cult-like conditioning techniques employed by terrorist groups : [Stahelski, 2004]:
Depluralization: stripping away all other group member identities
Self-deindividuation: stripping away each member’s personal identity
Other-deindividuation: stripping away the personal identities of enemies
Dehumanization: identifying enemies as subhuman or nonhuman
Demonization: identifying enemies as evil

Cults and mind control controversies
Several of the above mind control models have been related to religious and non-religious cults (for debates regarding what is a cult see the article). Among scholars, adherents of NRMs and the pro-cult and anti-cult communities, it is hotly debated, if mind control is applied in any or certain cultic movements.
Lifton brainwashing model
Psychiatrist Robert Lifton described in his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China eight coercive methods which, he says, achieve the change the minds of individuals without their knowledge and were used with this purpose on prisoners of war in Korea and China.
These include:
· Milieu control (controlled relations with the outer world)
· Mystic manipulation (the group has a higher purpose than the rest)
· Confession (confess past and present sins)
· Self-sanctification through purity (pushing the individual towards a not-attainable perfection)
· Aura of sacred science (beliefs of the group are sacrosanct and perfect)
· Loaded language (new meanings to words, encouraging black-white thinking)
· Doctrine over person (the group is more important than the individual)
· Dispensed existence (insiders are saved, outsiders are doomed)
In his 1999 book Destroying the world to save it: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence and the New Global Terrorism , he concluded, though, that thought reform was possible without violence or physical coercion.
Edgar Schein, who investigated similar programs in China, concluded in his book Coercive Persuasion that physical coercion was an important feature of brainwashing.

Margaret Singer's conditions for mind control
Psychologist Margaret Singer, using the work of Lifton, described in her book "Cults in our Midst" six conditions, which would, she says, create an atmosphere where thought reform is possible. Singer sees no need for physical coercion or violence.
· controlling a persons time and environment, leaving no time for thought
· creating a sense of powerlessness, fear and dependency
· manipulating rewards and punishments to suppress former social behaviour
· manipulating rewards and punishments to elicit the desired behaviour
· creating a closed system of logic which makes dissenters feel as if something was wrong with them
· keeping recruits unaware about any agenda to control or change them

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from gold member
Thursday, August 04, 2005 - 06:01

I would say that brainwashing is still a highly contested subject with family apologists and normal thinking humans.
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