Tags: goffman, theory, war/military, identity, institutionalization, resocialization, total institution, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: This clip is from Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" and depicts the recruits' first encounter with their drill sergeant. Here, through a series of debasements, the recruits' past identities are further eroded, and the recruits are told what is expected of them as they are resocialized into their new roles. At about 2:18 the drill sergeant ups the ante with homophobic and racist language, so instructors may want to stop the clip at this point. The clip is useful as a demonstration of Erving Goffman's concept of the total institution, and in particular, as a way of illustrating the way inmates undergo resocialization. Note that this clip can be successfully used in tandem with two additional clips. The first short clip, which is also from "Full Metal Jacket" (here), depicts Marine recruits getting their heads shaved as a symbolic act meant to strip them of their former identities. The second short clip, from "The Shawshank Redemption" (here), depicts the concept of institutionalization, when a prison inmate reacts violently after learning he has been approved for release by the parole board.
Submitted By: James Noon
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