Period 7- Desocialization and Solitary Confinement


Desocialization is the process by which an individual experiences role loss and an accompanying loss of associated power or prestige. The individual may experience a loss of social identity resulting in an identity crisis, loss of peer status, loss of self-image and self-esteem, and have difficulty finding a substitute activity or another peer group. For example, when an inmate at a prison is placed into a cell where they are isolated from socialization, they have a high chance of losing their normal state of mind and social identity. An everyday example is going from single to married.

Solitary Confinement

Solitary confinement is the placement of a prisoner in a Federal or State prison in a cell away from other prisoners, usually as a form of internal penal discipline, but occasionally to protect the convict from other inmates or to prevent the prisoner from causing trouble or hurting other inmates. Some people who have been in solitary for an extended period of time claim to have heard ringing in their ears, become depressed and hallucinate. Inmates who didn’t commit suicide can be in solitary for years on end with minimal human contact. Most of the time, the effects are permanent and damage a person for the rest of their lives. The longest amount of time held in solitary in the United States was forty years, the inmate being admitted in 1972.

Solitary confinement is a hotly debated topic. Some people are for it, saying that it is good to detain people who could hurt themselves or others. Others argue that the potential psychological risk outweighs that.

Pros and Cons;



1.) Give an example of desocialization and an effect it has on the persons involved?

2.) Does desocialization give way for new learning?

3.) Do you believe that solitary confinement should be allowed in prisons?

4.) What are the effects of solitary confinement?

5.) How would desocialization at different ages effect the person overall?

6.) Are the outcomes of desocialization and solitary confinement the same?


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