TITLE

THE INDIAN RESERVATION: A TOTAL INSTITUTION?

AUTHOR(S)
Keller, Charles
PUB. DATE
February 1980
SOURCE
Humanity & Society;Feb80, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p29
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Indian reservations are places where the United States Army forced Indians to move to and once they were sequestered there their lives were managed by an agency of the United States Government's Department of the Interior under its largest bureau, the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Receiving its authority to regulate the lives of Indian from the Congress of the United States, under the aegis of the BIA, Indians live in an encapsulated situation resembling the kind of milieu Erving Goffman defines as a total institution. Conclusions posited in this article were derived from a field research based upon sympathetic, humanistic, introspective approach. The analysis presented here clearly supports the contention that however else the reservation system is described it also may be seen as a total institution. As long as the institutional character of reservations persists—tribal aspirations for self-determination will continue to be thwarted. As long as there is a bureaucratic organization, such as the BIA which sanctions the lives of Indians in the manner it does, the reservation system as an institution will be perpetuated.
ACCESSION #
11540495

 

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