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Inspecting theories related to the psychiatric hospital: links, resonances and differences between Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman and Franco Basaglia

Grant number: 11/20516-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Social Psychology
Principal Investigator:Hélio Rebello Cardoso Júnior
Grantee:Danilo Moreira Marques
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


This project proposes a theoretical study on the analyzes by Michel Foucault (1998, 2000, 2006, 2010), Erving Goffman (2008), and Franco Basaglia (2001) with regard to psychiatric institutions, highlighting the central themes, such as power, institutional discipline, control mechanisms, processes of normalization of conduct, production of subjectivity, among others. Our goal is, through a literature review, as outlined in the methodology, to identify links, resonances, and differences in their theoretical positions. Foucault understood the psychiatric hospital as an institution essentially disciplinary and exclusionary. He argued that institutional practices aimed not only to cure patients but also the control their bodies, in order to achieve knowledge about madness, through the practice of clinical observation. Goffman identified the totalitarian character of the psychiatric hospital. In his analysis, the author describes the inner world of the institution, focusing on the world of the mentally ill, with special regard to the institutional rituals and practices. Basaglia by his turn, a leading critic of the psychiatric hospital, considered it a violent and repressive institution, which promotes the social exclusion of deviant individuals in society.(AU)

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