• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What kind of picture of Lennox Castle could we get from studying just the written or printed records? In what ways can oral history change our understanding of such institutions?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What kind of picture of Lennox Castle could we get from studying just the written or printed records? In what ways can an oral history change our understanding of such institutions? In order to discuss these issues I shall begin by introducing Howard Mitchell and his work. I will look at what written or printed sources he had access to and discuss what images and opinions these give. Then I will explore his interviews (the oral history), what impression these make and how these compare with the written or printed accounts. I also think that it is important to look at Mitchell's own background and discuss the possible influences this had on his own work. Finally I will introduce Goffmans model of "the total institution" and see how the different types of research prove or disprove his theories. Howard Mitchell was born in Lennox Castle hospital in 1955 and then lived 400 meters from the hospital entrance. At 19 he got a job as a nursing assistant at the hospital and worked there for five years. He became interested in why people acted the way they did in institutions, why they followed regimes and where these regimes came from and why people were reluctant to change how they practiced despite these practices being seen as unnecessary and cruel sometimes (Block 4 DVD, Part 2). ...read more.

Middle

This shows to me that there were little, if any, qualifications necessary for getting the job. We would not have known that if it were not for the personal interviews. When we have the opportunity to see an interview and use oral history, not only do we get the information first hand, we also get the chance to read peoples body language and facial expressions and can add these to how we may feel about certain evidence. Having said all this, oral history is not fool - proof we also need to be aware of the persons own perspective for example, when Colin Sproul was talking about the riot at Lennox Castle Hospital he may well have left out any information that he felt was detrimental to his reputation. He may have also given false information unknowingly, as it has been some time since these incidents occurred and he may have forgotten some details. Some of the information may have also been his own opinions and feelings around a subject. Mitchell is very involved in the subject that he is researching. As I have explained he was born at the hospital, lived very close by and later got a job there. He must have been very close to some of the staff and patients that he was interviewing and this must have had an influence on how he led his interviews and recorded the information he received. ...read more.

Conclusion

The role of the in-mate I think is covered by Margaret Scally (Block 4 DVD, Part 2). She speaks of how her clothes were provided for her each morning and how those clothes were not her own but shared by the other hospital patients. Mitchell also talks of how much of the patients' case file was not available to the nursing staff. This allows no chance for staff to encourage any individuality even if they had wanted to. It may have been seen as unnecessary information, as from the time they were admitted they became 'another in-mate'. This was re-enforced with the rewards of 'woodbines' for good behavior and the punishment of the "five 'o'clock regime", where troublesome patients were got up at five and put back to bed at five (Block 4 DVD, Part 2). Institutional perspective is about providing a false sense of community, which is best shown by the existence of the weekly dance and the football team. I feel that in order to gain as full a picture as possible on any subject it is important to have as much information, from as many different view points as possible. If we were to have only read the printed and written reports we would have believed that there were a few issues within the hospital, that were all dealt with quickly and efficiently. Further investigation shows that there were actually many positive and negative points to the hospital, and that many of the staff and patients shared views. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work