ERIC Number: ED146290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
The Uncounted Poor: An Ethnological Excursion to an Institution.
The upcoming Bureau of the Census document titled, "The Survey of Institutionalized Persons" will provide complete information and data on long-term institutional care. Because this document provides data basically devoid of context, this discussion paper presents an ethnology of a total institution. In it, the author conveys his impressions and observations formed during a guided tour of this institution which is simply labeled, "Palm Breeze". Although the grounds of the institution are aesthetically beautiful with green lush gardens, there are no people on the grounds. The people are inside the buildings exhibiting varying degrees of inactivity. There is a special language at Palm Breeze, shared by the inmates, but incomprehensible to nurses and guards. Power relationships are very clear at this institution. Actions are determined according to what is allowed, and one of the things seemingly not allowed is English. Ways of discouraging its use include drugs and a day structured to yank people away from any situation in which English could be employed, to name but two. The children's wards and the women's wards are visited, and each is replete with its individual horrors. The children are over drugged, under stimulated and forgotten. In the women's wards, women can be found drinking from unflushed toilets. The reason for this is that the water fountains are broken and some women crawl rather than walk. Palm Breeze is an inhuman and brutal institution. Its socialization is fast and efficient. It is a model for changing attitudes, behavior, and personality. (Author/AM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.