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Dehumanization and the Total Institution (1966)

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Museum

Sound | 1966

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TAMI Tags
  •  Detective Rob Spy receives a phone call from Chief 
  •  Chief warns Spy about “dehumanization” 
  •  Invisible Agent 5 describes each character’s role 
  •  Spy and A5 visit the police force and observe “De” 
  •  A5 defines a “controlled community” as a “total institution” 
  •  Spy and A5 visit the military, an example of a total institution 
  •  Spy and A5 visit a prison  
  •  Spy and A5 visit a hospital for people who are mentally ill 
  •  Spy and A5 read off a checklist of signs that dehumanization is present in a total institution 
  •  A5 defines institutional neurosis to Spy 
  •  Chief reads a list of questions in regards to dehumanization within institutions, specifically within mental hospitals  
 
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Produced in 1966 by Studio One Animation, this short educational film analyzes various institutions and the presence of dehumanization within them. The film is a project of former Official of the Department of Public Welfare Miriam Karlins and Medical Director David J. Vail. Karlins and Vail worked towards eliminating dehumanization within state institutions, specifically mental hospitals, by analyzing living conditions and humane practices. The film uses animation and humor to address the psychological foundation of numerous institutions, including the military, police force, and mental hospitals. A topic that may otherwise appear dry and overly academic uses comedic relief with a clumsy detective, Rob Spy, a pleasant combination of pun and metaphor, and cartoon-like animation. Please note: The film uses outdated terms to describe individuals with mental disabilities. The Texas Archive of the Moving Image does not condone such language, but presents this film as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim these terms never existed.
TFC
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Museum
TSBVI
educational film
TSBVI Educational Films
animated film
animation
1960s
1960’s
60s
60’s
Austin
Travis County
Minnesota Department of Public Welfare
Medical Services Division
David J. Vail, M.D.
Vail, David J.
Hamm Foundation
Saint Paul
Minnesota
Dehumanization and the Institutional Career
Charles C. Thomas
Thomas, Charles C.
Asylums
Erving Goffman
Goffman, Erving
Anchor Book
Doubleday and Company, Inc.
Institutional Neurosis
Russell Barton, M.D.
Barton, Russell
John Wright & Son LTD.
Bristol
England
Williams & Wilkins
New York
George Karn
Karn, George
Don Bajus
Bajus, Don
Miriam Karlins
Karlins, Miriam
Arch Leean
Leean, Arch
Jim Engstrom
Engstrom, Jim
Bonny Lobash
Lobash, Bonny
Dick Stanley
Stanley, Dick
Bob Wickland
Wickland, Bob
Mark Lee Productions
Empire Photosound
Charlie Boone
Boone, Charlie
Joe McFarland
McFarland, Joe
Studio One Animation
MGMLXVI
Minnesota Department of Public Welfare
Minnesota
telephone
Ralph Spy
Chief
detective
Central Intelligence
De
humanization
dehumanization
Invisible Agent 5
human dignity
investigation
police
management
controlled communities
total institutions
military
closed world
army camp
institutional boundaries
authority
govern
army
individual
prison system
inmates
guards
warden
rules
regulations
hospitals
mentally ill
mental hospital
treatment
patients
nurse
doctor
annual check
degrade
system
industrial therapy
working conditions
employee benefits
freedom of movement
normal privacy
constant surveillance
censorship
illness
punishment plan
privilege system
conformity
depersonalization process
institutional neurosis
loss of contact
enforced idleness
bossiness
ward atmosphere
detachment
denial
inherent dignity
handicap
disability