A total institution is a place of work and residence where a great number of similarly situated people, cut off from the wider community for a considerable time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life.:44:855 The term was coined and defined by American sociologist Erving Goffman in his paper "On the Characteristics of Total Institutions" presented in April 1957 at the Walter Reed Institute's Symposium on Preventive and Social Psychiatry,:1 with an expanded version appearing in Donald Cressey's collection The Prison and reprinted in Goffman's 1961 collection Asylums.:1 In Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault discussed total institutions in the language of complete and austere institutions.:231
Typology of total institutions 
- institutions established to care for people felt to be both harmless and incapable: orphanages, poor houses and nursing homes.
- places established to care for people felt to be incapable of looking after themselves and a threat to the community, albeit an unintended one: leprosariums, mental hospitals, and tuberculosis sanitariums.
- institutions organised to protect the community against what are felt to be intentional dangers to it, with the welfare of the people thus sequestered not the immediate issue: concentration camps, P.O.W. camps, penitentiaries, and jails.
- institutions purportedly established the better to pursue some worklike tasks and justifying themselves only on these instrumental grounds: colonial compounds, work camps, boarding schools, ships, army barracks, and large mansions from the point of view of those who live in the servants' quarters.
- establishments designed as retreats from the world even while often serving also as training stations for the religious; examples are convents, abbeys, monasteries, and other cloisters.
According to S. Lammers and A. Verhey, some 80 percent of Americans will ultimately die not in their home, but in a total institution.:853 In recent decades the nursing home industry has quickly extended, and particular regions of the country have become huge territorial nursing homes where we hide the aged and they hide from us.:853 Long before their death, they are buried in the folds of the total institution, hidden, out of sight and out of mind.:853 In the United States, dying in a total institution has become a common experience.:495
Tourism and the total institution 
Sociologists have pointed out that tourist venues such as cruise ships are acquiring many of the characteristics of total institutions. Tourists may not be aware that they are being controlled, even constrained, but the environment has been designed to subtly manipulate the behavior of patrons. These examples differ from the traditional examples in that the influence is short term.:106
David Rothman states that "historians have confirmed the validity of Goffman's concept of 'total institutions' which minimizes the differences in formal mission to establish a unity of design and structure.":xxix:101
Further reading 
See also 
- Frank, Jacquelyn (2002). The paradox of aging in place in assisted living. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 44. ISBN 0-89789-678-5.
- Lammers, Stephen; Verhey, Allen (1998). On moral medicine: theological perspectives in medical ethics. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 855. ISBN 0-8028-4249-6.
- "Extracts from Erving Goffman". A Middlesex University resource. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Goffman, Erving (1961). Asylums: essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. Anchor Books.
- Donald R. Cressey, ed. (1961). The Prison: Studies in Institutional Organization and Change. New York: Holt.
- Foucault, Michel (1995). Discipline & punish. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 231. ISBN 0-679-75255-2.
- Goldstein, Martin; Goldstein, Inge (1984). The experience of science: an interdisciplinary approach. Springer. p. 231. ISBN 0-306-41538-0.
- Bryant, Clifton (2003). Handbook of Death and Dying. SAGE. p. 495. ISBN 0-7619-2514-7.
- George Ritzer and Allan Liska, "'McDisneyization' and 'Post-tourism:' Complementary Perspectives on Contemporary Tourism," Tourism: The Experience of Tourism, ed. Stephen Williams, vol. 4, New Directions and Alternative Tourism (London: Routledge, 2004), 65-82.
- Rojek, Chris; Urry, John (1997). Touring cultures: transformations of travel and theory. Routledge Publishing. p. 106. ISBN 0-415-11125-0.
- Rothman, David (2002). The discovery of the asylum: social order and disorder in the new republic. Transaction Publishers. pp. xxix. ISBN 0-202-30715-8.
- Chriss, James (1999). Counseling and the therapeutic state. Transaction Publishers. p. 101. ISBN 0-202-30624-0.