"There is usually a balance between the control institutions exert and the power that belongs to individuals."

Essay by k-laHigh School, 12th gradeA, August 2004

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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...