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Issues » 2010/4 - Social Work and People with Special Needs »

Soňa Vávrová

Institutionalization as a Barrier to Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities


The paper deals with institutionalization which gradually appears in persons living in the so-called total institutions isolated for a long time from ordinary everyday life of the other members of the society. A typology of total institutions was given by the American sociologist of Canadian origin Erving Goffman. According to the author of the paper, in the social area total institutions include residential care institutions such as residential institutions of social services, diagnostic institutions, children’s homes, mental hospitals, prisons, etc. It is institutionalization that is considered by the author as the main obstacle to social inclusion and effective social work. Prevention of institutionalization is seen by her in support of field and outclient social services, and primarily in support of families and in the strengthening of natural social links and networks.


institutionalization, total institution, residential care, social inclusion, social exclusion

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