"There Is Usually A Balance Between The Control Institutions Exert And The Power That Belongs To Individuals."

1358 words - 5 pages

Each institution serves a different purpose for both authority figures and the individuals institutionalised. With the study of texts such as RAW, a novel by Scott Monk, Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Cry From The Heart-The Chris Edwards story, as well as the 60 minutes story The Family by Peter Overton, it becomes clear that there is not always a balance between the control institutions exert and the power that belongs to individuals. It largely depends on the style of authority figures, their aims for those institutionalised as well as their disciplinary methods. In these four texts it is seen that the way an individual reacts to their time in an institution will also impact largely on the distribution of power and control.In the novel RAW by Scott Monk, Sam adopts an authority style that is fair and trusting. He respects the power of the individuals to change their own lives, "Only you can change your life." Sam gives the individuals in his care the trust and support they need to gain mature independence. The Farm is solely based on trust between Sam and the boys in his care, "The Farm is all about trust." Brett, having never quite experienced such sincere trust and respect, is shocked at the apparent naivety of the Farm and it's lack of security - no bars, fences or guards. The Farm exerts power through the setting of rules and the consequences for a broken rule. "You and everybody else here are entitled to privileges if you obey these rules...If you break these rules you're excluded from these privileges." This again emphasises the respect Sam gives the individuals to change their own lives. He sets guidelines but ultimately gives the individual the chance to make the right choice.Initially, Brett doesn't react well to the pressures and expectations of the institution and protests often. However, this is largely due to his lack of trust and respect in his past, as shown when he eventually shows a desire to conform. He reaps the ultimate benefit from staying at the Farm. "You've turned your life around from the start." "He'd come a long way since arriving at the Farm." "He wanted out. He wanted a normal life." The Farms balance of control of authority and the power of the individual taught Brett many things, like what it means to live a normal life, and this becomes his ambition. Josh reacts well to the pressures from the start. He has developed strong self-control and discipline over the many years he ahs been at the Farm. "I live on his Farm. I do what he says." Sam gave Josh the life he never had and the power, respect and trust he never had. Tyson on the other hand does not react well to the pressures of institutionalisation. He constantly protests in quite a violent manner. He is unable to change himself and won't let anybody else attempt to change him. "Sam's giving him an opportunity to change his life, but he's not interested."While the Farm aims to teach individuals what it means to be independent, Robben Island tried to rob...

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