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The essays in this collection explore both organizational intentions and inhabitants' experiences in a diverse range of British residential institutions during a period when such provision was dramatically increasing. As a whole, the book addresses the subjects of inmates, environments and interactions as themes, with individual essays focusing on questions of authority, resistance, agency, domesticity and the material world. Institutions were intended to mould their inhabitants, and were organized in line with professional and economic constraints, public opinion, or the need to appeal to potential inmates. The authorities often modelled their arrangements on domestic ideals, and the imagined home was frequently the yardstick against which occupants measured their experiences of institutional life. Escapes, misbehaviour, complaints - even a newspaper campaign - demonstrate resistence towards the regimes, but there is evidence too of positive reactions and willing adoptions of institutional codes. Inhabitants are shown to have maintained external connections and even to have taken some control of their immediate environment.